I miss YOU. It’s true, I do!
March 18th marks 8 months since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I emailed you, back in September, I was still new to the cancer game and naive to doctor’s timelines. I was filled with positivity, hope and a sense of change coming my way. Back then I shared that I needed to take the rest of 2018 for treatments and healing. It’s taken longer than expected and I wanted to give you an update about where I am now & why I need a little more time.
After surgery there were some complications and my tumour needed special US based testing to determine if my body would benefit from chemo, which delayed things. It was determined that the risks of chemo outweighed the rewards so it was not in my best interest. Twenty rounds of radiation therapy completed on Dec. 18. The very worst of the side affects happened between Christmas & the new year, with 6 weeks of healing past that – bringing us to mid-February. I really did believe I would be crossing some imaginary ‘cancer completion’ finish line that day. When the day came, I didn’t feel like I thought I would.
One of the major side effects of Radiation is extreme fatigue. That didn’t dissipate upon crossing that ‘finish line.’ I want to share this part of the journey with you because although I am typically a happy, positive and optimistic person…I have had a string of bad days that leave me feeling like anything less than my usual self. These last few weeks have been a struggle.
Just before I crossed that imaginary finish line I started having major gallstone attacks that landed me in the hospital, at one point. I’m scheduled for surgery next month.
The doctors discovered that my thyroid numbers shot up. I have hypothyroidism, which helps explain why it has been so difficult to recover from the extreme fatigue of radiation. There is still more testing ahead to determine the type of hypothyroidism.
Taking hormone therapy for the next 5-10 years will reduce my chances of a cancer reoccurrence by half. The side affects of the hormone therapy are reeking havoc on my moods/emotions/feelings (among other symptoms) which makes all the things feel even more difficult. Some days are a struggle to keep it all together. Matt has been a wonderfully soft place to land & I am so grateful for him.
I share this knowing that each one of us is going through or has gone through hard things. We can’t be our sparkly selves all the time and this has been a long lesson for me over these last 8 months. There’s a big part of me that feels like I’ve been away long enough, I should be healed by now and I’ve taken up enough of everyone’s time with my stuff. A dear friend reminded me, “You are worthy of this time for yourself. You are worthy of our time for yourself.” I burst into tears. I’d love to blame it on the hormone therapy but in reality it struck the worthiness cord in my heart.
Worthiness. It’s something I’ve been working on since I started my soul work back in 2013. I thought I had healed it. As more time passed it became harder and harder to reach out to friends because I didn’t want to burden anyone with my stuff and the days that would have been good to reach out, I didn’t even know what I needed myself. This is the Universe’s way of offering me up a way to heal it even deeper. Thanks, Universe!
Where am I right now? I’m still honouring the pause. Wait. Honouring the pause? I’m IN the pause. Some days I resist it hard but I know deep down that it’s exactly where I’m supposed to be right now. I’m still figuring out my new normal. My body is still healing and will need more healing time after surgery next month. I got myself a therapist. My circle sisters hold me in sacred space & I’m grateful for the peeps who invite me to show up as I am in the moment. Doctors are trying to balance out the hormone therapy & thyroid meds to improve my quality of life. I spend time in nature, get some exercise with yoga, going to the pool and going for walks. I’m doing the work of Radical Forgiveness (By Colin Tipping). I’m writing. I’m soul searching. I’ve been cracked open. An invitation, perhaps, to discover the very best version of myself that is in full alignment with body, soul, heart and mind. I’m still working on it and it’s gonna take some more time. Thank you for your patience. I dream of the day my sparkle returns.
A reminder for you & for me…we are worthy of ALL the good things. I look forward to the days we are together again in circle, gatherings and sisterhood. I am filled with deep gratitude, optimism that I am overcoming and trusting that the Universe has my back in all of this. xo