Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weak Weary and Worn

Today is a bad day. I'm tired.....very tired and right now my life is hard. I am so physically exhausted I just wish I could crawl under a bed and sleep until this all went away.

This morning I went to the grocery store to get a few things and I literally had to stop and rest against something at least three times because my body ached so badly. I would never wish this kind of suffering on anyone. My feet, ankles, and hand are swollen to the point of pain but right now the worst of my suffering is the mood swings. They're horrible. HORRIBLE....and I feel so helpless because I can't stop them. Even though I know it's coming or I'm in the middle of one I cannot control my emotions. Most of all, I feel bad for my kids. I've tried to explain it to them and they seem to understand but have you ever watched your child come to you for something that seemingly shouldn't be a big deal and you feel yourself about to snap? Your body language tells it all and right when it's about to spew you see them take a few steps back, say nevermind I'll wait, and walk away. HEARTBREAKING yet it happens more often than I am comfortable with.

My daughter Alexis is the one who recognizes my despair when it hits. Everyday she tries to make things easier and more normal for me. She is always hugging and kissing me and checking to see if there is anything I may need. She tries to do things she thinks would allow me to rest. Anything she thinks would help. Right now she is sitting in the kitchen watching eggs boil so they don't burn. It's sweet yet heartbreaking at the same time because she shouldn't have to worry about me. She is the only one who recognizes that today I just can't seem to pull myself together and she hasn't seen even the million tears I've shed in the past hour alone.

Today I wish I could crawl into my mother's arms for comfort.

I am a stranger in my own skin and it sucks. Yes, today is a very bad day. However, as I attempt to pull myself out of this low I will use these lyrics to encourage me:

I've had some good days
I've had some hills to climb
I've had some weary days
And some sleepless nights

But when I look around
And I think things over
All of my good days
Outweigh my bad days
I won't complain

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Well my anxiety is at a record high. Thursday will mark my second chemotherapy session. At the first session my oncologist told me I could expect to begin losing my hair in as early as three weeks. The time has come.

I must say that I've been so focused on finding the perfect wig(s) I didn't lend much thought to the fact that I will also lose arm hair, upper lip hair (yea, I'll admit it), leg hair, and...uh...well, you know. Two days ago I began to notice some excessive shedding and needless to say I got nervous. The good thing is my hair was still intact....I was shedding in the nether regions. I was a bit taken aback because, like I mentioned, I hadn't put much thought into that area. It bothered me a little but I was okay because I still had my top mane intact, although my scalp has become tender and that has my nerves on edge.

Recently, I've noticed myself periodically running my fingers through my hair and looking to see how many strands come out. Well later on, after the shedding incident, I took my wig to the salon so my aunt could taper the edges for me. When I put the wig on I couldn't get it styled the way I had the day I bought it and my tension began to rise. She went in and tapered it where it needed but couldn't get it  styled to her satisfaction either. We were both very obviously frustrated. Her frustration came from the whole 'cancer issue'. The cancer always becomes real for her when it comes to my hair and she cannot handle it. She breaks down. I am trying hard to be understanding but it is a double-edged sword. She has been my beautician my WHOLE life and I don't want anyone else in my hair. We both sat there frustrated and angry, not at each other, but at cancer. So, I gathered my purse, keys, phone, wig and left the salon.....still frustrated. I was mad that I even have to go through this.

Desperately I'm trying to remedy this hair situation and give myself options at the same time, so I decide to let my co-worker and friend create a wig for me using a 27-piece quick weave. We had talked about me losing my hair and she graciously offered to do it for me at the beginning of my battle. Yesterday was the big day. I went to her salon and she placed the stocking cap on my head and got right down to business. I was a long process but when she finished I was definitely pleased with the 'realistic' quality of the wig. I did want it to be a bit fuller in the rear-crown area but that was an easy fix we could do later.

Once I got home, I played with my new wig for a bit then toyed with the idea of trying it out in public at a poetry set I planned on attending. I realized I still wasn't ready mentally to wear the wig and probably wouldn't be until the time came when I HAD to. So I decided to take it off and get ready for a night out with friends. Then  came the real problems. It wouldn't come off. The glue had soaked through the cap and onto my real hair and it wouldn't budge. I began to freak out. I called Toni (my friend who created the wig), I called my aunt, then I called my sister all for advice on how to get myself out of this wig. I ended up using oil sheen in an attempt to loosen the glue. Then I spent thirty minutes in the shower shampooing and conditioning myself into a frenzy still trying to free myself. After an hour I was finally free and relieved but the wig was ruined in the process. I won't even begin to mention the amount of hair I lost in this fight. *HEAVY SIGH*

So here I am, almost three o'clock in the morning blogging because the time has come. Tonight my hair is beginning to shed heavily. I'm just glad I was not alone when it began. Papi was here reminded me that I was 'STILL WOMAN" but was just going through some changes. He threw away the hairball in my hand, told me to leave my hair alone and don't worry about it tonight, wrapped his arm around me and pulled me close to comfort me (Thank you Papi). The entire time all I kept saying is, "This is bullshit!"

It sucks that I have to endure this kind of pain and trauma. THIS IS BULLSHIT. I honestly feel numb. I don't really know what or how to feel. THIS IS BULLSHIT. I knew it was coming, but how do you honestly prepare for something like this....emotionally? So here I sit, blogging my emotions, forced to deal with yet another blow and if you really want to know how I feel.......THIS.IS.SOME.BULLSHIT.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I Give Myself Away

I am sitting here at almost two o'clock in the morning and I am beyond tired but tonight my mind will not let my body go to blog I must.

For the past few days I have lived in a body that has not felt like my own. If you read my last blog then you have somewhat an idea of what I am referring to. Today I have spent a great part of the day in my recliner listening to music and happened upon a song by William McDowell titled, "I Give Myself Away". This is the second time in two days that I have happened across this song in the most unusual of ways and I consider it more than coincidental, especially when I listen to the lyrics. They have left me unsettled and I've been thinking and reflecting and thinking and reflecting and thinking some this is what I have concluded:

I have been dealt this hand of breast cancer for a reason. It was not just by chance that it was given to me. I firmly believe that all things happen for a reason but whether I am privy to the explanation is an entirely different issue. I do try to make sense of the things that happen in my life so that I can learn from them in one form or another. From the beginning of this journey I didn't carry a great deal of fear because MY God would not give me something this hard to bear if he didn't feel I was equipped to handle it. That is my conviction.

Having said that, I believe this song speaks to me for this reason:
  1. I have been struggling lately with the idea of friends and family members who truly have not been there to support me in the way I felt they should and I've been angry about it. If you love me show it, don't say it.  Today I have been able to let that go because of some of the lyrics of this song.
Take my heart
Take my life
As a living sacrifice
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord I place them in your hands

My life is not my own
To you I belong
I give myself, I give myself to you

I give myself away
So you can use me

After focusing on these lyrics my realization is that now I have to sacrifice my struggle as a way to help others. There may be someone who is also going through this and may not have the determination or strength to fight their way through. Knowing that 1 out of every 7 women will suffer from breast cancer tells me that someone who is reading or who has read my blog will experience this tragedy if they haven't already and maybe it could help them. But more importantly, if you can help others in any way DO IT!! There is absolutely no way I could even sit here and write these if it weren't for the people who have helped me along the way. Take time to be selfless. You have no idea the impact it makes in the lives of others.

Tonight my friend Nicki came over, brought groceries and fixed dinner for me and my family. She even picked Zion up from daycare. She fixed each child's plate and just the way they wanted it and even fixed mine and brought it to me. But there was something she did that made me cry....and she doesn't even know it. After doing all that, washing dishes, and cleaning the kitchen she gave Zion a bath for me and put him to bed. It seems so small but it meant EVERYTHING to me in that moment.

Each day you should find some way, big or small, to give yourself away. You never know how much it means to someone who needs it.