Well kids, the honeymoon phase is over.
I feel like some sort of sick (I guess I am though hah!) and twisted person to be saying this, but I do believe I had a sort of "honeymoon phase" after my diagnosis. One website defines this as "A timespan during which problems are known to exist are either not manifest or are ignored, much like the newlywed period during which spouses are most cordial and passionate with each other. In medicine, a honeymoon period is that which follows the diagnosis of a disease and before its impact is felt."
That is definitely what I experienced. The past few weeks have not felt scary, just slightly overwhelming. It has been almost exciting, as any new adventure does. All the love and support was so great, and it felt really good to know that God has put such AMAZING people in my life (this means YOU! You are AMAZING!).
Part of me was relieved that all the weird and annoying symptoms I had been experiencing (fatigue, night sweats, etc) were validated. I was not just a whiny wimp that wanted to sleep all the time, I had a good reason to skip out on social events on Friday nights to sleep!
Another part of me was "happy" to have something that forced me to make some major lifestyle changes; changes I have wanted to make for years, but never had the real strength or resolve to make them last. I was thankful for an "excuse" to purchase expensive organic produce and all natural beauty products.
And, of course, I've always wanted bigger boobs ;)
Thankfully, I know I can continue to focus on the positive things. I do know, however, that these "excuses" are ones I should have been using for years. I preached prevention to all my patients, but I did not practice what I preached.
Suddenly, reality has set in. I am blaming PMS, as that is what gets me emotional on a monthly basis. Also, this is the first time I have felt that anything about my situation is unfair. PMS and cancer?!?!? I mean, just uncap and dump the entire salt shaker in the wound!!!
While I am thankful for the lifestyle changes I have already made, the reality of incorporating them for the rest of my life overwhelms me. I worry about things I should not even be thinking about right now. Things like "What will my friends think if I only want to eat at 'healthy' restaurants? Will it drive my family and friends nuts, or offend them, if I turn down baked goodies, or (my newest thing) only want to use glass food containers instead of plastic?" With the holidays approaching, how on earth and I supposed to show all my loved ones how much I care without budget-friendly baked treats?!?!? And holiday parties...ok, while I know I will bend my "rules" here, what AM I going to wear?!?!?
Thankfully, I know you all are amazing, and will support me in this fight however I need you to. I've been drinking apple cider vinegar and kombucha for years, and you all still love me. :) Thank you!!!
Then there is surgery (worries of pain, external scarring, pain, internal scarring, pain, infection, pain, and oh those creepy/gross drains, etc) and chemo (nausea, fatigue, low white blood cell count during cold and flu season, and my biggest concern: whose hair WILL I pull?!?!?), but for now I am just focusing on my next step: preparing my mind, body, and soul for surgery. I want to go into surgery as healthy as possible, so that I can recover as quickly as possible. I have a LOT to do in that time off after surgery! So much Netflix to watch and so many books to read...but I am terrified of the pain and side effects from surgery (especially the limited movement...yikes! And I'm not even allowing myself to think about how I will look with clothes off for a long time...not that I enjoyed thinking about it previously lol).
Once I am healed up from that, then I can focus on the next steps. But those are a few months away, and I know that with God and all you wonderful people, I will be just fine. Please know that all your texts, calls, emails, Facebook posts, cards, prayers, and EVERYTHING helps me so much, every day. I go back and look through them constantly, and I will use them so much over the next few months. I hope God blesses you all as much as you have blessed me, because you have blessed me beyond words.