The following post was written several nights ago and just saved to drafts because I wasn’t sure if I was going to post it or not….
My husband and daughter (and the dog) are all asleep and my son is sleeping over at a friend’s house. I am sitting here wide awake and my head is full of random thoughts.
I posted a while back a link to an article about what not to say to a cancer patient. I have one of my own to add. Please don’t say that getting cancer is all a part of God’s plan for me. Just thinking that He planned this for me and my family really pisses me off. I have heard so many times over the past 6 months that God has a plan and everything happens for a reason. I am tired of hearing it. Seriously. Tired.
Secondly, I know this was in the article, but I just want to bring it back up again. If you know someone who is dealing with cancer please don’t tell them the story of how your Aunt Louise battled the same cancer but sadly died. Just don’t. If your story is going to end in death…keep it to yourself. This just happened to me again on Thursday. I had gone to Subway to pick up my daughter from work. She was running late because they were very busy so I sat at a booth and was playing “Ruzzle” on my cell phone. I took my cap off during the middle of a hot flash. A stranger walks over to me and asks me what type of cancer I have. I answered her and told her that I was cancer free and had just finished my treatment. She went on to tell me that her husband had cancer also and finished his treatment and they thought that everything was fine but it came back and he died. SERIOUSLY?? You come over to a stranger to tell them this when it is obvious that they are going through a cancer diagnosis themselves?
Now that I am finished with my ranting… I have to say that being diagnosed with cancer has shown me that I am so much stronger than I ever knew. I have more confidence in myself and what I am able to do. I mean after all…I survived a bilateral mastectomy along with expander insertion and 5 grueling months of chemotherapy. What could I possibly be scared of now? I am not embarrassed for people to see my bald head. At first I felt that it needed to be covered at all times because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself or make anyone else uncomfortable. Well…throw in a few hot flashes brought on by the chemo and that cap/scarf had to go! I no longer cared. I mean..if you think about it, people pretty much figured out that I had cancer just by looking at me in my scarf, so did it really make that much of a difference. And then the more I thought about it, what did I have to be embarrassed about?
I used to avoid situations that scared me or made me feel intimidated and I really avoided telling people how I really felt. Since this cancer diagnoses I have realized just how strong I am and I have stopped avoiding situations and speaking up for myself. My husband is actually proud of this fact. I am not mean, but I do say what I feel (in a nice way) and just deal with the situation at hand. It feels much better than holding things in. I know that I can handle being told that I have a life threatening disease and be able to hold myself together for my husband, children, mom, and sisters. I was strong enough to handle the treatments that went along with it. I am in no way saying that the treatments were easy because they were not. They were some of the worse things I have ever gone through. But I did it.
Another way that cancer has changed me….The little things now have more meaning. I am happy. Not that I wasn’t happy before, but now I make it as point to be happy and positive. There is always a risk of a recurrence. And knowing that makes me want to enjoy each and every day that I have with my husband, children, and the rest of my family and friends. I don’t want to rush through life and not enjoy it. I want to spend afternoons out with my daughter walking around the mall and being silly and just talking to her. I want to spend time with my son and just listen to all that he has to say. I want to send time with my husband and make the most of every minute that we have together. He is the love of my life and nothing makes me happier anymore than just being together. I visit with my mom and sisters as often as I can. I no longer take things or people for granted. I want to be happy and positive.
Some other random thoughts that are keeping me awake tonight:
- I really need to get my lily bulbs planted (or have Nick and Domenic do it for me)
- I need to work on cleaning out the leaves from my flower beds
- I need to come up with a menu for the baby shower that my mom, sister and I are having for my niece. I am going to be a GREAT-AUNT soon… I still can’t get over that!
- I am looking forward to going for dinner with our friend Stephanie and her husband Aaron tomorrow evening in Bardstown.
- I hope that Domenic is having a good time at Jordan’s house tonight. They are both good kids, so I am not worried about him, but that does not stop me from missing having him here at home.
- I really need to dust the living room.
My mind never stops!!