Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I could not have said it any better

While I try very hard to remain positive and optimistic about my future, I would be lying if I said my mind never wanders to dark and scary places every now and then. When I was initially diagnosed with breast cancer, it took a day or so for the reality to hit me. And when it hit me, it kicked my ass! I had a complete and utter meltdown.

I looked at my husband and just kept saying: "This can't be happening! We're supposed to grow old together!" I thought about my best girlfriends and all the jokes we make about getting a condo together in our old age and living like "The Golden Girls" when our husbands kick before us. I thought about a recent conversation with our financial planner about how to best structure our savings so that we would have money to live on should we need assisted living.

Suddenly, all my visions of getting old went right out the window and that scares the hell out of me. No one WANTS to get old but I can assure you -- it beats the alternative!

Yesterday I was looking at some of the conversations on a message board at My Crazy Sexy Life (a wellness community started by cancer survivor Kris Carr). One comment jumped right off the screen and basically put into words everything that I have been thinking these past two months.

Today I was thinking... before having breast cancer I was so spoiled. I never truly wanted for anything, everything I desired came easily for me, a healthy body, a great husband, house, cars, trips round the world. But then, WTF?!! cancer struck and now every moment I am struck by how beautiful life is. A tickle fight with a friends five year old (will I ever have a five year old?), a road trip with my husband (how many miles left?), sitting in my fancy house (will these curtains outlast me?), every small minutiae seems infinitely precious. Do I appreciate cancer? HELL NO! but it has made me aware of how amazing this life is.

-- Written by Carissa, a 29 year old with breast cancer who just underwent a mastectomy, chemo and radiation

**Note: For those of you who think breast cancer does not strike younger women, think again. It does and it is getting more prevalent.

I find myself thinking very similar thoughts as Carissa, particularly the ones about "will these curtains outlast me?" I wonder if my 8 year old dog (with diabetes, Cushing's disease and cataracts) will outlast me. Strange, I know. But this is what happens to my mind at any given moment. It takes a very sharp detour down a dark and scary path.

I know that I need to do everything in my power to stop these thoughts from overpowering me. But at the same time, I have to believe these thoughts are a natural part of the process. I just need to make sure they don't take over my fighting spirit and the belief that I will become healthy again.

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