“Are we there yet? No Patti, not yet!”
Remember when you were a kid and you’d travel somewhere…and the trip seemed to take FOREVER? It may have only been a short car ride but it always seemed to take so much longer because all you wanted was for the car ride to end and the adventure/vacation/visit to begin.
In my case, this “ride” is also taking forever. And just like when I was a child, I’m not in the driver’s seat. Although I am now familiar with the route and am anticipating the final destination, my journey is far from over.
Today, I looked back on some of my earlier blog postings. There are a lot. I haven’t read them since I wrote them, and I must be honest ….I didn’t get very far. Re-living some of those moments was very difficult. I became very emotional reading what I had written. I remember how difficult it was for me to share some of those moments and how painful this whole experience has been. But this time, I was not only re-living my words, I was now experiencing the posts as a reader too. I felt as though I was an observer, part of an audience that was invited to share in my journey but from the safety of their theatre seats. It was very surreal.
My post from a year ago today was about bringing my family doctor up to speed with what I was going through. At that time, I still had the infamous tissue expanders in my chest. That, fortunately seems like a lifetime ago and yet many of things I wrote about I am still dealing with.
As a type “A” personality I am “driven”. I am passionate, diligent, stubborn and focused on achieving whatever I set my goals to be. That trait has served me well on my cancer journey as I have remained positive and determined to get this all behind me. Unfortunately, cancer has a different set of rules and priorities. It won’t let you just punch in your destination like on a GPS where the fastest and most direct route is set and mapped out for you. It instead, throws in a lot of construction, traffic, slow downs, accidents and road closures so that your route is anything but linear. In my case, my cancer GPS keeps saying “recalculating” every time I think I may have made some progress.
This week has been very difficult. My energy is at an all time low. I have severe joint and nerve pain, inflammation, insomnia and anxiety. I had to drive in “snow” for the first time in over a year and I was overcome with a feeling of panic. I didn’t feel in control. My wheels were spinning and my car did not feel stable. There were so many things to focus on in order to get where I was going. The snow coming down, icy road conditions, other cars that were driving too fast, slush flying up on my windshield making it hard to see and trying to calculate braking times and speed to ensure that I didn’t crash or slide off the road.
THAT is how I feel most days since being diagnosed with cancer. As hard as I try, I am not in control. I am overwhelmed with all the pain, medications, appointments, treatments, surgeries and recovery times that have taken over my life and made this journey seem like its taking forever. Is there an end in sight? I sure as sh#t hope so. Do I have it all mapped out? Not a chance. But everyday, I keep plugging in my destination into my cancer GPS and I try to stick to the route that is set out for that day. Is it the fastest or most direct route as a GPS should map out? NO. But it is a route, a plan, a map to get me through this maze and to a final destination where cancer and all its bullsh#t is only seen from my rear view mirror.
Am I there yet? Unfortunately not. But hopefully, fingers crossed, I will get there soon … before I run out of gas.
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President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.
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