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The Dark Side

I went to the dark side last week.  I lost my happy place for awhile. I let fear take over.  I let someone's words wound me.  I forgot to stay in the now.  I forgot to feel gratitude.  I forgot to allow love.   I didn't journal.

It took me some time to get back on level ground.  I fought really hard to get back.  Fear was having a hard time letting go.  Sadness was over taking me.  Anger came along for the ride.

It's hard to navigate the journey with the Big "C".  Yes physically it's difficult but mentally it can destroy you. Sometimes it moves too quickly for my mind to catch up. I had my port put in last Tuesday and went in with a great attitude, then I saw my surgeon.  When I told her my chemo was scheduled to begin on July 12th, she was not pleased.  She wanted me to begin a week earlier.  She sited studies that show the quicker it's administered the better odds of not having a recurrence. One week.  One week put me over the edge.  I also talked with someone the next day who wounded my heart with cruel words.  I was in a tailspin.

I had worked with the oncologist to time my treatments so I wouldn't have a treatment the week of Nick's wedding.  I wanted to feel the best I could for the wedding.  I have been poked and prodded on both sides of my chest.  I was still sore and recuperating.  I wanted time to heal.  I wanted to get some basics done before I began the treatments; get my breast prosthetic, buy my wig, basics.

I wanted time to finish all the details of my son's wedding.  And what I really wanted was a few weeks of feeling a little normal.  A few weeks of no phone calls from the hospital or doctor's offices.  Time where I didn't have to be stuck with needles, no tests or meetings where I'm on information overload. Time to do normal things: grocery shop, do laundry, lunch with friends.  Bottom line, I just want to feel normal before the next phase of my treatment begins.  The next phase where I keep getting told will be my hardest test.  And yes, I had developed what I refer to as chemo phobia.  Fear was grabbing hold of me and running rampant.  How was my body going to handle chemo?  Would I be able to navigate this?   I was sad, angry and afraid.

So I grieved, I cried, I shouted and unfortunately let fear in.  I found after a few dark days, I didn't like being in that place.  I don't like the darkness.  I had a choice to make.  I could continue down a path of darkness or I could choose the light.  I could go back to gratitude and love or stay in sadness and fear.  After much soul searching, I chose gratitude and love.

I consulted two other oncologists about the timing of my chemo treatments and was assured the timing was fine.  I spoke at length with those oncologists about my chemo treatment and the side effects.  Both times feeling more confident and less afraid.

I've made a conscious decision not to engage in conversations with people who are heartless and negative.  I no longer will engage with people who have no empathy.  Until you have cancer, you have no right to judge or tell me how I need to handle it.

I realized I was putting too much emphasis on the chemo.  I was letting it take over my life.  Yes, I will be having chemo treatments for the next 20 weeks, but it doesn't have to take over my life.  It will be a part of my life, my new job, but I have so many other great things happening in my life besides getting chemo.  We have a wedding celebration, we have a daughter exploring Barcelona, I have a son who's doing great at his new job.  I'm surrounded with the love and support of so many.  And I was forgetting the most important part - the chemo is giving me my life back.  I will have a long life because of it - gratitude is the only way to look at this.  Fear needs to step aside.

And I realized I forgot to dance.  So today I turn on September and dance.  I dance with gratitude, love and happiness because I get to live and in order to live a long life I will embrace chemo and all it's side effects. I will remember this is as temporary.  I will remember to stay in the now.  I will remember how blessed and truly lucky I am.  Life is bright again!


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