Sunday, September 2, 2012


I'm coming unhinged, slowly but surely. I can feel the cracks opening deeper, I can feel the ebb and flow of emotion pushing further in and out. And I can tell, without a doubt, that I'm struggling to be me again.

You'd think that surviving cancer would set me along the proper path, indeed, surviving is a special gift, one that isn't always given to everyone. But, instead of feeling like I'm headed in the right direction, I've got this feeling in my soul that I made a wrong turn, that I've taken a different route.

I can blame it on many things, one of them being that I dodged a pretty big bullet this summer. Yes, as I frequently remind people, early detection saved my life. I try not to dwell on the "what ifs" any more. I am moving forward, as best as I can.

I'm letting go of the guilt. The guilt is slowly seeping down, out of my body, with every pounding step I take in my fancy running gear on the unforgiving pavement.

I can blame it on the whiplash we went through as a family: lump found. cancer diagnosed. surgery scheduled. boobs removed. cancer free. no chemo. All in a 26 day time period. I can't even believe the kids are going back to school. Where did summer go? Oh yeah, we lost a month of our lives we'll never get back. Oh yes, forgot about that.

I can blame it on the Tamoxifen, that wonder-drug that causes women to have hot flashes and mood swings, kind of like menopause in training. My poor husband. My poor children. I feel like I have PMS. Every. Goddamn. Day.

To be truthful, I've got nothing and no one to blame it on but me. I'm the one who has tried so very desperately to wear a bright shiny happy my glass is half full face through this whole inconvenience.

Yes, I'm the one who has worked so hard to make it seem like I'm OK, that I'm BETTER than OK. But I'm not, and I don't want to pretend anymore.

I promise with all my blackened shriveled up half of a heart that I won't be Debbie Downer on my blog. No, this might be the only time that I show you my guts, my raw meat, the stuff that no one sees (well except those people who carved me up and stuck temporary boobs in my chest).

But I need to come clean. I hurt. Physically I hurt. Every night these freaking tissue expanders hurt. I can't sleep on my side because it hurts, and it hurts only slightly more than sleeping on my back.

Emotionally I hurt. As much as I try to put a bird on this thing and call it art, it kind of sucks. It sucks to lose a month of your life. It sucks to recover from this shit. And it sucks to go through all of it, because my family suffers with me. They don't deserve this. And yet, I know I'm lucky and I have nothing to complain about. So I haven't been. But I'm coming apart.

I'm tired. Tired of having boobs that I can't feel, tired of being uncomfortable, tired of not being able to do all the things I used to do. Tired of feeling bad because I'm reaching the breaking point, and as I mentioned before I GOT LUCKY. So why do I feel so bad?

I don't know. I don't have any answers. I want to feel like me. I want to be me. I want my old nonexistent sad little saggy boobs back. I want to hug my kids and my husband and not feel like there's a big ass log stuck in my chest that I can't feel.

I don't want to be such an emotional train wreck so my husband and kids can count on me to be me. Normal (I know, I know that's a stretch), less hot-wired, easy tempered and for the love of all that is good and holy, not having a damn pity party over nothing.

I feel like I took a wrong turn somewhere, and I'm on a really old part gravel and part paved road, with giant cracks left unmarked, that goes uphill, never down, winds and winds and just when you think you've reached the end, there's another bend ahead.

I know with every fiber of the human being I pretend to be that I've got nothing to complain about, nothing to be sad about, and nothing to feel like this over. I got lucky, I dodged a bullet, and every other happy little catchphrase I've thrown out there.

But today, just today, I have to be honest and not blow smoke up your running skirt. This sucks. It totally sucks. Do you want to know how much it sucks? It sucks so much that I'd willingly give up running for the rest of my life to get those 26 days back and just be able to be me again.

I'm sorry for always making sure that glass seemed half full. I kidded myself thinking that I did it for my friends and family, but to be honest I think I tried to convince myself more than anyone else that I could handle this. And, I can handle this. But not today. Today I just need to give myself permission to feel sad. And so I did.

Yes. I've taken a wrong turn. But just as sure as I know my name, I know that soon I'll find my way back. I'll be on the right road again, running and smiling, and each and every day feeling a little bit more like me.


CBinID said...

You're entitled to feel crappy and grieve the loss of an important part of your femininity. Just give in, wallow in it, and know none of us will think you don't deserve it.
Hard to believe the God we were taught about could let such a terrible thing happen to you. Grieve the berayal of your higher power.
Find a support group. Really, they do work. Sometimes you need others who know your story only too well.
Then come back and have use spewing beer out our collective nose.

Venus of the Kitchen said...

It is your right to feel however you want to and to express it on whatever way you want to. Yes, you survived and it's a wonderful thing, but what you and your family went through was crazy, and your lives have been changed forever. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in therapy. I initially went because I have an intense fear of vomiting, and in discussing it, came to realize that that fear was representative of a whole host of things I had been through, and that was how my pain and anger decided to show itself. Go see someone if you can. Sometimes, all you need is someone who doesn't know you or love you to tell you that it's ok to feel the way you do. Hang in there baby. :)