Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Meltdown

I'm home today. I was going to meet my chemo pal, Elayna today but I had a lousy night's sleep and my expanders are holding me down. Just feeling heavy and sore today.  And everything is making me cry.

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.  

And think.

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!)


Lynn Sheehan said...

Oh yes Becky you are "funny, interesting, and cool", how can I not check off all of those boxes!! The irony of the chocolate though has a much bigger association for me. It was a piece of a chocolate chip cookie that had found itself down my scrub top one day at the hospital after working 16 hours. I mean a girls gotta eat!!! It was that piece of cookie that went down the "cleavage" and landed in my bra (left their to melt till I got home and took a shower that evening). That night I saw it as I undressed in the mirror and didn't know what it was? When I tried to push it off my breast (nipple) I thought I saw a small discharge of blood. It was that damn cookie that probably saved my life. It drew attention to something that I probably would have not noticed till who knows how long. My gut told me something was wrong. I was 35 years old but I just knew. My melted cookie that I found that day brought me some teary eyed days but I can assure you now that I have continued to love to eat them for the past 16 years. Those damn chocolate chip cookies saved me! Now I can laugh and looking at your picture of the melted chocolate I thought "What the hell is that" and had a great laugh when you said what it was! You rock my friend and by the way mine was Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Chip cookies! XOXO

Corinna beana said...

wow! "you know you're amazing, just the way you are"....Love u Boo...Let it out, then smile and move on...Mikey taught me to smile, laugh, and laugh harder especially when it was most inappropriate! love u!

AMER O said...

I related to every thing in this post. Expect the chocolate down the camp lmao! I love ya my snickers bar! Xo

deleok said...

Oh, Becky! So, so glad to have met you! Cry, baby, cry! Whenever you need to. I think I've cried more since my final surgery than I did during treatments. It's just reflecting back on the past and the exhaustion it caused physically and mentally. Our paths are so similar - treatment, meds, tears. But be proud, girlfriend. You are a WARRIOR! (BTW: My high school mascot is a warrior!) Hugs...