"When I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me Speaking words of wisdom, let it be And in my hour of darkness She is standing right in front of me Speaking words of wisdom, let it be" ~The Beatles
So, here I am again. So much going on, yet again, and I am here trying to decide just how much to talk about, but I feel that this is important because life will keep throwing those hard balls at you and don’t think that just because you have cancer that it will be the only thing you’ve got to deal with. Many people have to deal with life as well as the cancer. Many people don’t have the ideal husband who will take care of everything else that comes up. Many people do not have a good support system. Thank God that I have a GREAT support system and I love every single one of you… You know who you are!
Believe it or not, cancer has not been the hardest thing for me to deal with this past year and a half, or so; and that is due to my beautiful, big hearted friends and family– My Support Team! As written in my last post, “Catching Up” I tolerated the treatment pretty well and I have been NED (No Evidence of Disease) since the end of December 2017. But as I said before, never think life will allow you the luxury of dealing with one crisis and then getting on with your life; and as the famous Dylan Hunt said, “It’s never easy.” Nope it never is.
A month before my last treatment in November 2017, hubby’s company ran out of work for him. It’s common for contracting companies to run out of work for the majority of their employees in the winter time, and this happened to him. No work for the winter and still no work for my husband. This is perfectly understandable since he was needed and working on the bigger jobs, not the smaller jobs.
As you may remember, there was roughly a three to four months gap between my last radiation treatment and when I finally agreed to their proposed next step, and that was that I was to be monitored closely and we were not pursuing more aggressive chemo treatments at this time. The reason this decision took so long was because 1. I wanted to pursue surgery and it took another visit to the gynecologist surgeon to make her be very clear as to why she didn’t want to operate. I want to make it very clear to cancer patients right here and now that if you are not satisfied with any answers from your doctors, that you have to KEEP ASKING until you truly understand and are satisfied with what they are telling you because doctors are people too, and cannot anticipate exactly what you want to know. I prefer to attribute this little mud puddle we stepped into, to my doctor not wanting to be graphic with the kind of damage my inside tissues sustained during radiation. I needed to hear it, though, because I kept asking, “why” and the answer was not clicking. I’ve got to say that it was an eye-opener because you think one thing and the facts just cancel that out. The damage done to my insides is that of the consistency and resiliency. I’ll just say that the vision I had was of a disintegrating pelvic organs. I finally understood and asked if, given time, the tissue would heal, get better, etc. and I was told the answer with sad eyes, a head shake and the word, “no.” Okay, so that is it, right? Another obstacle is the fact that I have diabetes and the healing process would be hindered by that since tissue heals much more slowly and diabetes have to be really observant and mindful of getting small injuries that can lead to much bigger issues. I was also told of possible complications that, quite frankly, I don’t think I could deal with even just the possibility of protraction and pee/feces coming out of my vagina.
That is a topic that I’ve not written about yet and it will have to wait some more. Our current problems are sort of taking away a lot of time that I could be using to process this… I mean, it is what it is and I accept that, but the thoughts are still ruminating around in my head and I have to yet bear the whole of what that means to me. Of course, none of this was mentioned before or during my treatment. Not that I would have chosen to do anything different, but I would have liked to know EVERYTHING before I got into it. Eh, I guess they can’t know, either, until the end…. Whatever.
Back to my original thought… So my husband was out of work for quite some time and even though he did receive unemployment, it was a partial benefit because he was also working part-time at another company. I don’t really get this because in my eyes, unemployment is supposed to support the job you just lost. They are basically assessing and making a judgement to give you even less than what is due you because of the second job. I don’t get it because that second job is now a liability. Anyway, my chemo brain is perturbed.
Not wanting to get into details, we were forced to leave our residence of two years without having a permanent place of our own. We had to shuffle and revamp our finances but that did not happen in time and so this is our position. Despite this, we are coping and actively looking for another place with a few possibilities out there.
The reason I bring my private life into this post, and it’s more than I am comfortable with, is because when there is cancer to deal with, life could throw a couple of other balls at you that you will have to juggle. These past few months have been VERY stressful for me and that is not good for my cancer (yes, I still say “my cancer”) or my diabetes. Two pretty serious conditions that constant, continued stress WILL affect negatively. It’s not just being stressed but the thought that eats away at me is that I could be a failure as everything I love, feel very strongly about, and have been fighting for could come crumbling down. I feel powerless sometimes. I know my friends and family will not like reading that, but I’m trying to be truthful and let my feelings out there because if they exist for me, they could exist for you. I’ll say this again: My faith in God is the only thing that gets me through these low times.
So, I’ve been working at the Raritan Valley YMCA! I’m excited about that NOT because I need a job to feel valuable, but because I enjoy it. The people there are wonderful, warm and welcoming… the Three W’s. I also can fully get behind the work they are doing there. For many years, I’ve been told that “Oh, you should get a job. You’ll have better self-esteem…” I will say here and now that I never needed a job for that. Since I had my son, I knew what my mission was, as if my vocation finally presented itself and manifested itself to me. Working for an employer could never replace that… ugh, these people who believe otherwise!