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I think I’ve been pretending to myself that I’m my old self, the self that never had cancer. And I also think that is what prompted my mini melt down this morning. I was talking to my husband about how I felt my reconstruction was going, and feeling a little impatient and dissatisfied with this sort of in-between/half-baked place I’m at, and then telling myself I need to BE patient, when for apparently no reason I burst into tears. I mean ugly, red-faced, snot-dripping from my nose, hard crying. I wasn’t really upset about anything, but at the same time, I was upset about EVERYTHING, and apparently it’s all wrapped up in how damn mad I am at having no parents. Yeah, I know I’m supposed to be a grown-up, and I am responsible for my own feelings and actions, but sometimes don’t we all get a little fed up with being grown up and tough about all the shit that has happened to us? I know I do. My dad, who I always thought was so hard to talk to when I was growing up, I now feel was probably the one who actually listened and gave a damn about us kids and our hurts – even as he was trying to toughen us up, as he was always telling me. And now I don’t have him, and I’m pissed about how he was taken from us, but mostly I’m pissed at myself for not appreciating him until now, three years too f-ing late.
So I guess I haven’t been dealing with any of that, either.
Anyway, I’m thankful to have my cancer treatment behind me, I really am. I’m thankful that (most likely) all my surgeries are behind me. But I’m also kind of restless and dissatisfied with where I’m at, compared to where I thought I would be at. I really believed that I’d have everything all wrapped up, tied in a neat little bow, within one year. Mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and reconstruction. Oh, and I’d be feeling like my old self, too. Like this never happened. We all know the reality was no where near what I had envisioned in February 2013. So I’m a little grumpy about that. But it occurs to me, I’ve actually been given a HUGE gift. I get to completely redefine my life. I’m still mother and wife, and part-time bunny wrangler. But the rest of it I get to make it up from scratch. Why aren’t I happy about this? Everyone, at some point in their lives, craves a “Do-Over” button. Here I have one, a great big blinking golden Do-Over button, and I’m not happy. I am scared shit-less, that’s what I am.
So what do I do now?
What mostly got me through chemo and radiation was just to keep on going, and doing what the medical team told me to do. But that’s just a survival technique. What I’m trying to do here is take advantage of an opportunity to create a whole, new life experience for myself and my family. And there is not anybody who can tell me how to do that, and there aren’t any guidebooks out there, at least none that are specifically for my experience. Because that – I’m going to have to discover for myself.