The past few days have been draining for me. First I am recovering from surgery last Friday. It put me out a few more days than I orignially expected. Today I am thankful that at this time my lymph nodes were negative. That is great news. I do feel somewhat reveived that they are negative. I know that most likely no cancer anywhere else, or at least I would like to think that for now.
The bad news this week that I got was that the cancer is still in me… so I am officially still “Cancer, Amber” sorry, could not help myself, it is a running joke with a few of us! With the cancer still there, aggressive and extensive I have decided to move forward with the next surgery being the “big” surgery.
When I first heard the words, “You have cancer” I immediately wanted my breasts removed no questions asked. Now when it is time to prep for the “big” surgery I find myself crying, quietly and by myself. The tears that are shed, I am realizing are tears of mourning. As much as I want them gone, my heart feels heavy with sadness. I am however thankful that I was a young mother. I am so grateful that I had my children young, I had the experiences of nursing my boys, each one of them.
When I see other women in my shoes who are single at 26 facing this surgery I can’t even imagine. So in the midst of my tears I also find happiness in the realization that these girls of mine did their job, these girls of mine experienced nursing my babies.
This is a journey of many emotions, I can not even describe all that I am feeling at any given moment. One minute I feel like plain Amber, in the moment dreaming of bigger plans for the future and the next I am so paralyzed with the fear of the unknown. My life has been put on hold, as much as I am trying to maintain normalcy, it is not normal, not in any way.
Going to the doctors’ two or three times a week has never been my normal, researching my type of cancer or reconstruction has never been normal in my world.
A dear friend of mine told me the other day that I had changed. Please don’t get mad that I am writing this, dear friend. You are so valuable in my life. But those words struck me, it was true, I am trying so hard to fight of this cancer, to stay the same, but I am changed.
I can’t deny it, this news of cancer has changed me to the core. As much as I struggle to remain just plain Amber, I am realizing for the remainder of my life, cancer will follow me. Check ups, oncology visits, surgery’s, all things I never asked for, I never dreamed up.
My world has always been bright and big, I have always dreamed big, setting my next goal and then chasing it until it had been accomplished. This diagnosis was never a goal of mine, I never dreamed of chasing it down until it was accomplished. So my world as I knew it, is on pause. My goal of graduating with my degree in psychology has been put on hold, my dream of opening up The Secret Ravine Foundation, a non-profit to help autistic children and families has suddenly been halted.
My role as mother has also been put on a temporary hold in many ways. I have missed baseball games, driving my kids to school and helping them in general due to appointments, or healing and recuperating. All of this is overwhelming…
My life as I knew it has quietly died in some ways. The old Amber is here, somewhere but buried under the mess of this cancer. I know that I will be back, I will be back to rise up set new goals and begin life again one day. Soon, really, soon I hope I can be back.
But now, I am mentally tired, physically sore, emotionally drained. This is raw, this is honest. I am no hero, I am not strong, I am scared and I am in mourning. I am letting go, of my body image, I am letting go of what I thought I knew about myself, my hopes and dreams. I am going to let myself cry, something I don’t like to do very much. I am going to let myself grieve, I have to, it is apart of my journey.
I will however, grow from this. I will however become a better and stronger Amber. I will however come out of this episode with a new me, new goals and new accomplishments. I am confident in that, even when a lone tear slowly falls down my cheek.
I am confident that is will be ok, no matter what…. in the end it will be ok, in fact I know that it will be better than I can ever imagine. But until then… today I am in mourning and it is ok…