Cancer is so Lame

The last few days have been very tough for me for lots of reasons, but mainly because I’ve had some pretty big realizations about my life and my condition. For those of you that are new to this blog, I have stage 4 melanoma with mets in my brain, bones, and lymph nodes. Anyway, I had a complete mental breakdown the other day because my parents’ dog chewed on a toy I had gotten for Evan. Yes, mental breakdown complete with ugly crying just because Ryder from Paw Patrol got a little dog slobber on him. I. Freaked. I felt bad for my family who clearly felt awkward in the situation but I just couldn’t help myself. So I sobbed, “I just need to be alone.” But everywhere I went there was someone there. So I had a small (small??) panic attack and ran outside crying hysterically.

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Then it hit me, I haven’t been alone for over a month. I have not been in a place without other people for weeks and it was really starting to wear on me. Now, I’m someone who likes to be with people. I’m pretty social and enjoy company. But I realized in that moment how much I missed just being able to go and do what I want when I want without people to answer to. I know it probably sounds like a silly thing to complain about, but it hit me pretty hard that that’s what’s been bothering me. It’s pretty exhausting to have people around all the time. Like, all the time. I still can’t be alone until my next MRI tells us what my brain tumor is up to. And trust me, I understand, I sure wouldn’t want to put the kids in a situation where I’m the only one here and suddenly go into seizures. Not cool. And I do enjoy hanging out with friends and having family over, I guess it’s just kinda hard to explain.

Obviously, I’m grateful for the abundant help and support we have. This post isn’t to make anyone feel like they should be doing any less, or more, or anything differently at all. I know that I’m not the only person affected by all of this and that it’s quite a burden for a lot of people to bear. But these people who may also be having a hard time with all this can go home, and when no one else is around, just cry. Or they can put on “Timber” (or some other horrible pop song) and sing and dance like an idiot without others there, or they can go in the shower and pretend to be Natalie Grant at the top of their lungs til they’re blue in the face. They can let it all out without someone right there feeling like they need to fix it. But this, of course, cannot be “fixed”. We all just have to deal with each hurdle as it comes up.

This isn’t about being resentful of the help we are getting, I cannot stress that enough, it’s about me not coping well with the loss of my independence, my freedom, and my privacy. It’s much harder than you’d think. And those are three things that I would not have thought before would bother me to “lose”. I’m not a private person to begin with, thus, the blogging. But it’s still somehow hard for me now to always be sharing with everyone my plans for every single day. I understand that I must because these amazing people are watching my children and taking me where I need to go and doing our laundry and grocery shopping, it’s just a huge difference from before. I need to learn to adjust and figure out a system that works for everyone in all this.

Add onto all that the guilt of being a burden. It’s burdensome being a burden!! I know people love us and don’t really mind, but that doesn’t take away the guilt. I’m hoping I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes here, but I feel like my goal in writing this blog is to keep this experience as real as possible. So here it is.

Every day I feel more tired and less mentally and physically capable. Not to sound overly dramatic, but there’s a sense of feeling myself slipping away. Like you’re watching yourself go and you can’t get it back. I want so badly to be able to do the things I did before, to work, to drive, to play with my children, to make plans or an appointment without first making sure I have someone to babysit and someone to drive me.

A typical afternoon for me now looks like this:

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I think the hardest part overall, and the hardest revelation for me, is the knowledge that this is how it’s going to be. It’s not temporary, at least not on my end. This is life now. But I can’t stress enough how grateful we are to have friends and family constantly being amazing and helping us, with transportation, childcare, housework, bringing us meals, everything. I am truly sad for the people that don’t have this kind of support group. So please, don’t think I’m pointing any fingers at the people helping us, because that’s not my intent. It’s just a huge adjustment to go from living the normal life of a wife and mother, being someone who cares for others, to being someone who needs caregivers, and transportation, and near constant help. I will get used to it and everything will be fine, I just gotta adjust. It’s all about perspective, right?

As much as I could focus on the bad (there’s plenty), I want to focus on the good. Because we have so many people who love us. And I’m just so grateful for my amazing husband who is my everything. I can’t even explain how much I love and respect this man:

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And here’s a random shot that my awesome mom got earlier of me trying to get a pic of how the dog, Buck, was “hugging” my arm and Brit was saying “Cheese!” Haha, I thought it was funny…

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Again, I reiterate, the problem is not other people or anything they are or aren’t doing, it’s my reaction to my circumstances and my poor coping skills at this point. “I can handle this! Handle is my middle name! Actually, it’s the middle part of my first name…” -Chandler Bing (:

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13 thoughts on “Cancer is so Lame

  1. Your so strong GOD is giving you all the strength u need to go through this journey he has a plan for u so don’t think u r a burden cause u r not you r a blessing to all of us GOD BzlESS

  2. Kim, We’ve never met, but we have a few friends in common. That’s how I’ve come to read your blog. Girl, if anyone deserves to have a breakdown, you get all my votes! You have been carrying a lot, besides the need for help, and needing “supervision.” I’m surprised you don’t have a breakdown every few days, but, in getting to know you in your postings, that isn’t you. Kudos to you for sharing this journey you’re on. You’re an inspiring and courageous young woman. Praying for you and your family.

  3. I cannot even imagine what you are experiencing. However, I do relate to feeling burdensome regardless of those who love us being blessed to help. With Fibromyalgia, I never know when I will hit a wall of fatigue and not be able to function effectively. It is very hard for me to “ADMIT” that I cannot do something.

    Having “alone” time is one way to reenergize and to emotionally take a breather.I would imagine that Jesus experienced the same feelings and it was why he felt so compelled to go the Garden of Gethsemane – he had to plead with his HEAVENLY Father to take his burden from him. Jesus was overwhelmed.

    I do not know if you are able to tolerate earphones at this time, if you can, plan small escapes in your mind – to re energize. You have mentioned that Hillsongs is a favorite of yours – mine too. They have a CD called Overwhelmed with a song called My Heart is Overwhelmed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-H_kN4ig4U) and Song with Joy – God is Able (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT1r4yVl6gg). If you can – get some alone time by going to one of you favorite places, just do it in your mind.

    I am so very, and I struggle with the right word here, sorry. Sorry is not the right word. I want to help, I want to fix, I want to encourage, I want to weep, I want to explain way – I cannot do as much as I wish I could. All that to say I think I like the term IFFY – I FEEL FOR YOU! This is a phrase my husband and I use when sorry just does not do the trick. I am praying – and I know that prayer is key – I truly wish I could do more however most of what I pray for you is work that God needs to do.

    Dear heavenly Father – I left KIM to you this morning and I ask that you not just shower her, I ask that you RAIN/REIGN over her today. Literally pour feelings of peace and “rigthtness” over her. Calm her spirit; renew her physically, refresh her mentally, and HEAL her as only you can do; according to your will.

    I love you Kim! Know that God is using you in so many ways and when you meet HIM in heaven He will say “Well done, good and faithful servant”. There are several people who work with me in Jacksonville, FL that know your story and it has opened doors for me to express and share my faith and OUR GOD!

    My scripture this morning is – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
    —Ephesians 3:20-21

    ps sorry this is so long

  4. Kim, I also don’t know you, but you deserve to have a breakdown every day if you want to. There is nothing wrong with that. I can only imagine what it is like for you, family and friends. But being honest with everyone is the best policy. I agree with Ken. God is giving you all your strength and just remember, I can do all things through Christ. God bless you and I will be praying for you and your family and caregivers

  5. Good morning, Kim, I think you are doing a great job sharing your true and honest emotions. I have a sister who is going thru some difficult times now with cancer issues an has to rely on others as well. She was always a very inde

  6. Kim you’re certainly entitled to feeling this way! I barley survived 24 hr total care from family and friends while on bed rest for 4 weeks with my first pregnancy! As much love as everyone is there to give sometimes you just need a breath of fresh air; it can be suffocating. I’ll be praying for God to continue to sustain you and provide those moments of renewal (a fresh breath). You are loved! God bless!

  7. Galatians 6:2 (NIV) that says “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” We all all so blessed to help carry your “burden”…….insert witty comment : those first two photos look like a Calvin Klein advertisement 😉 Please know how deeply loved and greatly admired you are Pure Joy !

  8. Hi Kim. Again thank you for sharing so honestly. That alone is good therapy for you and everyone else. Believe me when I tell you that I “get” this phase. I have worked with many younger people through all phases of this journey. It seems to me you are in a transition phase that can use some “professional” guidance – not just for you – but for your family and loved ones also.
    Dont’ try to get through all of this without some outside perspective. When you go for your MRI, I suggest you talk with them about the transition to palliative care. That big word means that you are taking treatment to lessen the symptoms of the disease process. It also means that you can focus more on living the here and now without pushing for the “cure”. Your doctors should be very familiar with this transition and be able to advise you well. In my experience as a hospice nurse, having worked with an excellent team of doctors, social workers, therapists, chaplains and others trained to deal with this phase of life, it seems to be the most comforting and tension relieving way to deal with the inevitable. Getting supportive care to focus on comfort and quality of life as well as guidance for your family now can help all of you to move forward together.
    If you care to talk with me further about this, feel free to call me. My phone # is 945-3003 (859-4814 at home). I would like an opportunity to talk with you anyway. I can even visit if you would like. Just sayin….Love, Char

  9. Hi Kim… I don’t think I’ve ever met you, but I’ve been reading your blog since Pam forwards them to CON members. You write beautifully and from your heart. I just felt like you might want to know that I looked at your pictures you posted today and I see a beautiful woman. And as I viewed them I thought, “what does God see” and I think He sees His beautiful daughter and He’s smiling big because of you & your faith in Him. Anything that draws us closer to Him… pleases Him… keep the faith and know that He loves you with an everlasting love and He will never leave you or forsake you. Can you see… He’s still smiling at you… 🙂

  10. You are beautiful inside and out! You have been blessed with the gift of being able to write down your thoughts, beliefs, fears, challenges and stories about your loving family, Husband and children. You are a very talented writer, cry when you need to, breakdown as needed. You have a great support system and don’t worry I’d bet they all understand and think nothing of it if you wig-out on them once or twice. LOL. Keeping you and yours in my prayers daily.

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