This coming Friday, October 24th, will mark a year since my life was changed forever. A year since my diagnosis. A year since my whole life as I knew it was taken from me, never again to be returned. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I’m doing as well as I am, a lot of stage 4 patients do not feel this good and are not as physically capable as I still am and have not gotten some of the positive results that I’ve been getting and I do not take that for granted. This fact in and of itself is usually enough to shake me out of any pity party I may be having, I mean, why waste time being all bummed out while I still have some semblance of health left? Unfortunately, for the last few days, that just hasn’t been cutting it.
I think part of the problem is that my one year cancer-versary is coming up and I find it impossible to not ruminate on the way things used to be. I miss the life I had. I miss the stress of getting the kids ready for daycare and I miss being reunited with them and hearing all of Evan’s stories about his day. I miss working. I miss my job a lot. I miss driving and independence. I miss feeling productive and valuable. Life was stressful, and hectic, and crazy, and….normal. It was a normal life, and I miss that terribly.
These days, I find myself drawing more and more inward. I don’t know if it’s some sort of permanent damage from the last seizure or maybe it’s the new chemo, either way, if I thought focusing was hard before, it’s getting darn near impossible now. My home is beginning to feel more like a cage or prison, I mean, I’m pretty much always here. But, on the same token, the world outside is getting less and less inviting and everyday seems a little bigger and a little scarier than the day before and this makes me more and more hesitant to go anywhere or do anything, no matter how anxious I am to leave.
I’ve gotten into a bad habit of not caring in any form or fashion how I look (it’s really easy to let yourself go in this situation haha) so 99.9% of my time now I look exactly like this:
I stopped caring that people who may not know me might be weirded out by my face or what they might think when they saw it. I stopped wearing makeup and never, ever do my hair anymore.
But last night as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I was kind of counting my losses and all of these things kept resounding in my head. I have let this cancer seep into every single part of my being, it controls my thoughts, my appearance, my day to day life, just about everything in my life now is either determined by or the result of my cancer.
Today I said, “Enough! I am not letting this cancer control my day today!” So, I was unsupervised with the kids this morning while my hubby went hunting, it was hard, as I tire easily, but I did it! And then, we decided to go to our friends’ kid’s birthday party and I knew there would be people there that I don’t know, so I thought, “I’m not gonna look all cancery today! I’m gonna hide it and try to be normal!”
Please excuse the selfies, I’m really bad at them and really don’t like them, but I use them today to prove a point: cancer still won this round. Even if I did look “normal”.
Conversations are still hard, my memory is shot, I can’t focus for anything, my brain is slow, and foggy, and awkward, there are connections that I can almost feel my brain trying to make, but it just can’t now and that’s not really something I can hide. I knew that cancer could take my life, but I never imagined that it could take my spirit, my personality, my “me-ness”, whatever you want to call it.
I’m still adjusting to this new normal. I pray that it can be used for God’s glory somehow. It’s kind of neat now though because as my brain slips further and further away from my grasp, I feel a closer connection to God and a huge openness to His Spirit that is almost a little surprising to me while it’s happening. For example, the last time I spoke at a church, I had my 30 minute message all prepared, only to get up there and not say anything that I had written. The Spirit led me a different way and since I’m too slow to object, I went along with it haha. But in all seriousness, it went really well and was a really cool experience.
I realize that as I am becoming more and more attuned to the leadings of the Spirit, I probably look pretty batty sometimes. I’ve taken to constantly scribbling ideas or thoughts down as they come knowing that I will surely forget them if I don’t. The notepad in my phone is full of dozens of “random” thoughts, phrases, paragraphs, ideas, concepts, just the oddest things. Maybe someday I’ll be able to make sense of all this, because if I don’t, someone’s gonna look through my phone after I die and think I was some kind of lunatic!
Haha, perhaps there is still a purpose for all of this and I pray that God keeps using me. But I also pray that I can get back to being my more outgoing, gregarious self again here soon, because I miss her, she is way more fun than the pensive, anxious, introspective Kim that’s been here lately 😉