Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Feeling All the Feels

...which, by the way, isn't a phrase I use very often, but it's very appropriate right now.

One year ago today I underwent a double mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction, which removed all the cancer from my body. I'm extremely lucky that things worked out the way they did; my cancer was Stage Zero, and I didn't need radiation or chemo or even hormone therapy. But that doesn't mean it was easy. I had four surgeries in nine months and I still have pain at incision sites. And then there's the emotional toll, which I can't quantify. I can't even determine which emotions relate to which major life event. Because while going through cancer-ridding procedures, my mom was taken away with no warning.

My mom's death came three days after one of my surgeries, so healing and rest took a back seat to funeral arrangements and care for my grandmother. Proper grieving wasn't really an option. Then came legalities with both my mom and my grandma. I'm the executor of my mom's estate and now my grandma's power of attorney. I'm dealing with figuring out what to do with my mom's house as well as the house my grandma lived in for decades.

It took a few months, but then the depression hit. We sold my mom's car and on the way to the dealership I had to pull over on the shoulder of a freeway because I was crying so hard. Over a stupid car. A postponed trip to Florida in February has yet to be rescheduled. Mail piles up on the piano until someone comes over, then the piles get moved to the garage. I've messed up things at work that I never would have before. I end up putting out fires in one area of my life only to have another one start burning. Many nights I stay awake until I can't keep my eyes open because I'm afraid that I might go to sleep and not wake up.

On one hand, I don't want to sound like I'm whining or complaining. Plenty of people have worse shit going on in their lives. But I'm also the first one to say to someone else "your shit is important to you; don't discount it." A couple weeks ago, Jana wrote a post called #shareyourugly in which she encouraged bloggers to "discuss your battles" and that we don't always have to show perfection.

I have had a nasty year-plus. I've tried to downplay it but as more than one person has told me lately, a lot of people will go through their whole lives and not have to deal with what I have had in a year.

And for those of you thinking "girl, get some therapy," I intend to do just that.

In the meantime, tonight we celebrate one year cancer-free!


  1. So glad to celebrate a year of you being cancer free. Still living in disbelief of all the things the past year has thrown at you. Shit is bound to fall apart at the seams a little. You have all of my love and support.

  2. I know how you feel in so many ways. There are some days when it is ask I can do to make it to the living room just to sit in front of the TV. Then the sun comes out, or I plant flowers, or Audra says something so damn funny that I have to smile. when those moments come take the time to stop and enjoy them. Hang in there, you!

  3. I am cheers-ing your one year cancer free from afar, and also sending lots of hugs your way. I can't imagine dealing with all you've been handed in a year's time- but you are a strong, incredible woman and I hope all the best for you!

  4. Thank you for being brave enough to share all of this. I cannot even imagine dealing with what you've been handed this last year but I'm thrilled to hear it's one year of being cancer free.

    Depression is an asshole. Do whatever you need to do to work through it and remember, it lies. Don't believe anything you tell yourself while depression is hanging around. You are amazing, and the strength you display to simply keep going this year while dealing with all the terribleness proves that.

  5. You are SO strong! So excited for your 1 year being cancer free! This is amazing. Everyone has "battles" they are fighting and they are all equally important. Sending you lots of hugs and well wishes!!! :)

  6. Sometimes we all have to dive back into reality in the blog world and realize that people have battles that aren't shared. You have shown so much courage taking the time to share your story. Sending you lots of happy vibes. I'll be driving through your hood tomorrow at some point. If we have time to stop, I'll drop you a line :)


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