Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Oh My God Moment

Tonight I had that "Oh My God" moment! I don't know if it was because it was such a heart-wrenching day at work since 9 people were laid off or because I start chemotherapy tomorrow. I was sitting at the 3 way-stop sign by Crystal Lake Park (north of Carle) looking through the open space between Carle Hospital and their North Parking Garage and saw the Mills Breast Cancer Institute. That's when it hit me-I have breast cancer! Now it's not like I didn't already know that but the realization slapped me upside the head and the tears started flowing. I wasn't able to leave that spot-I must have sat there for at least 5 minutes. Good thing there was no one behind me! I'm not sure what about that sign triggered me. It made me feel so insignificant and vulnerable.
I worry about the chemo drugs they will be infusing into me. I worry about losing my hair. I worry about nausea and losing my appetite. I worry about food tasting different. I worry about AWF/AWP and those few I'm leaving there to take up my slack. I don't for a minute think they can't do it but I worry about burnout. I worry most about fatigue (which could affect how much I'm able to work) because it is the most common complaint associated with cancer treatment. Fatigue is described as pain that is invisible. It cannot be measured and you can't push past it. All those years ago when I had meningitis I suffered from fatigue and lethargy. It was a horrible, helpless feeling because I really couldn't get out of bed. Some days I slept for 20 out of 24 hours. I fear feeling like that again. They warn that cancer itself causes fatigue as cancer cells develop so rapidly that they use a lot of energy. Also, as cancer cells die, they create waste products causing the kidneys and liver to work harder to eliminate the toxins, which can sap your energy. I haven't really felt sick but tonight I'm feeling drained and overwhelmed.
This once fearless woman now feels scared a lot of the time. I'm scared for my family. I'm scared about the financial repercussions of cancer as well as the work repercussions. What if I can't work full-time? What if I'm not up for the challenge of running AWF? Not knowing what my future holds is the worst!

1 comment:

  1. One day at a time, and if that's too much, one moment at a time. Sometimes that's as far as we can look ahead. You are strong. And being scared doesn't make you weak. This is a huge change in your life, and you should be allow yourself the time to figure things out and adjust. You have survived some pretty crazy experiences already - and you're still here. I know you can do this.