I seemed to get through so much stuff over the last months without breaking down. I don't know if I was just in the fast forward mode of "getting it all done", the chemo, the surgery, and now the recovery. This is the time now to think. I have not been thrust back into working (yet) and I have down time to recoup.
If you didn't know already, I am a thinker. My brain just doesn't ever not think. Sometimes, I'll ask my husband, "What are you thinking about?" and he replies, "Nothing". I'm like, "How can you be thinking of NOTHING? How is that possible. Even thinking about NOTHING is thinking about something. The fact that you are thinking period is thinking, right?"
See? It's torturous being inside this head. Sometimes I wish I could just turn a switch off and stop all of it.
Anyway, having this down time to rest, stretch, take care of myself, etc. is odd but I know it's necessary. The problem is, I start to really think about all that has happened over the last year and it's still hard for me to grasp. Before I was diagnosed, I was in Worrier mode and then quickly jumped to Warrior Mode. I had a job to complete and I'm almost done. I have my final "exchange" surgery in March when my tissue expanders will be removed and replaced by permanent implants. So, the worst of all of this is definitely (and hopefully) behind me.
So, why do I feel so blue? Shouldn't I be happy? Well, for starters, I think my whole being has been messed with in more ways than one. About 2 weeks ago, I started the Tamoxifen and Effexor. The first is an Estrogen blocker (see prior blog), and causes menopausal symptoms. The Effexor is an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant and that is supposed to also help relieve hot flashes.
I am not ashamed to say that I take stuff for depression. I think there is such a stigma in this culture about mental illness and if you need something to help you cope, you take it. Personally, I'd rather not have to take it and eventually my goal is to get off it. This period in my life has been wrought with many emotions and trying to "keep it together" for my kids, my family and myself is not easy. A little help is ok if you need it. I've learned that many people take this stuff and don't have life threatening illnesses and just have trouble coping with every day life or have an imbalance. I get it.
It's important to mourn, cry, let it out.
I had just written up to this point and took a break to read a message from a fellow Pink Sister who is a long time survivor. She knew about my teary week and said she was glad to hear I was "finally crying" because it really is necessary for the entire healing process. I think she was starting to worry that I was handling this too well! No one gets out of this one without crying, no matter who you are.
After my tearfest today, I finally decided I needed to shower. It's amazing how the armpit smell evolves after weeks of not wearing deodorant. I started to undress for my big event. I love the hot water, the stretching in the shower, the feel of the water on my scalp, and the freedom to cry where you can't see the tears.
First, I lifted up my cami, which has become a post mastectomy fashion staple. I was just looking for a Foob Update to see how they were doing today and this is what I found:
My first reaction was a gasp, thinking I somehow shit myself in an odd position. And then I realized that my late morning "snack" must have ventured down my chest, but because most of it is numb, sort of like when you have novacaine, the chocolate just smooshed right into my brand new, $2.46 Old Navy camisole. And then my six year old caught on after hearing my hysteria.
In times like these, it's handy to have one of these, but because I don't, I let the shower do the trick.
I had given up sweets recently and it didn't last long. I'm glad it didn't because this little wardrobe malfunction gave me just the belly laugh I needed today and my blues quickly turned into the browns.
The Browns helped to turn my frown, upside down. Just the therapy I needed today!
(Oh, and the culprit? Trader Joes new chocolate chunks! You must try them!)