Boy, can’t stop crying this morning! That’s one problem with holding them in and not staying current with tears. When they bust through – there are so many! I have had the urge to stay very busy lately. Organize, organize organize. A little on the frenzy side. Because I am a therapist I know this means I am most likely running from feeling. I slept through my alarm, missing Sunday Worship which bummed me out and started me out in a funk. Then later, I was able to admit that I was feeling sad and then the tears started to flow. A few days ago, I read my latest tumor marker test. Up again. 26. I am scared! I am having a hard time emotionally knowing if I am living or dying! My petscan says my body shows no cancer but my tumor markers in my blood says that a protein that my cancer produces is increasing in my blood. I know many people, if not most would not share these details. They would just be positive for their loved ones and keep a smiling face. I am not like that. I need to share. It helps me to process and helps me to cope. And I hope and believe there are others who when they read this will be encouraged and feel a little less alone.
I am beginning to understand the weight of this. That some days my fatigue is not due to physical exhaustion but due to mental fatigue. Yesterday I felt good and walked 4 miles with my husband. That was awesome. Today I awake and feel drugged. Yes, maybe there is a connection. But how do I know? I need to stay in shape. The World Vision marathon has been helpful in pushing me to walk farther and farther. However, I am honoring two friends of mine that want me to ask my Oncologist if she “approves” of me doing a half marathon. What she tells me is to stay active, to get movement every day but not to strain myself or be too strenuous. So, I think I am realizing the answer. That awareness might have contributed to my funk today. That really bums me out. I needed to cross that finish line. New plan is to split the race with Jim. I really hope they let us do that. Because I REALLY want to raise money for water for children in Africa. For once in my life I want to train. To push to commit and to conquer.
So, how is the Joy talk going? I don’t know. Can Joy and Sadness coexist? Does grief acknowledged and felt allow us to feel joy deeper? Am I just a depressing person who does not think positive enough? This time of year is hard for me. Period. I experience what I can only describe as PTS. Post traumatic Stress. I don’t even know why in the Fall and not the rest of the year but I am MOST grateful for that fact. Here is what happens, as hard as I try to avoid it and to stay in the present, a fog comes into my life. I battle it to not let it take over. For when it does I am awash in body memories of feeling icky and guilty and very ashamed. I am instantly brought back to a 7 year old girl. My muscles get tense, I get cranky. I need people – but push them away. I want to yell and scream and cry. And not be social. Plans often need to be altered this time of year. I do not know how I am from day to day.
Meanwhile, it’s the time of year when things are gearing up in society. The School Year, volunteer sign ups, definitely high season at Church! And of course, what follows Fall? The Holidays. I feel like a bear who needs to hibernate. Just wake me up in Spring and I will be a whole new me.
It’s less severe. My PTS. Shorter too. I can identify it now and talk about it. I get the help I need, I slow down and take very good care of myself. And try not to feel selfish or guilty about that. I am so GRATEFUl the rest of the year I don’t suffer so much and I feel for those of you who do. Who live with PTS all year long.
My therapist pointed out that I am probally feeling vulnerable from having metastatic cancer and that in itself is a trigger. Feeling vulnerable. Makes perfect sense when I say it out loud.
I am tired. I am tired today. My heart is tired. My soul just wants an answer. Am I ok or not? I know its one knowledge God does not give us – how long we have. And I feel like having a temper tantrum regarding that fact. I know logically I have to decide I Am OK. I am alive today. Go enjoy it.
Maybe tomorrow. Today, I think I will take a nap!