Writing a wrong

For as long as I can remember, I have written about my feelings and experiences (and some days, thanks to lingering chemo brain and Lupus fog, remembering is quite a challenge for me!) But, I’ve noticed something about my musings. I rarely write when I’m happy or in a good emotional spot in my life – I mostly write when something is wrong. I don’t know why, but the words come much easier when my heart is breaking then when it’s full of warm and fuzzy feelings. Oh, I can wax poetic with the best of them over the love of my life or my angelic (most of the time) children, but what really gets my pen moving on the paper (or now, my fingers tapping on the keyboard) are the hard times. And, I have had my share of hard times. I guess it’s one of my best, and oldest, coping mechanisms.  So, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a good friend of mine gave me a pretty little blank journal and I used it to write about my journey.  I look back at it now and am able to see what a terrifying and life-altering time I managed to live through.  It’s a good reminder, especially when I start to become complacent or let negativity creep into my day. It reminds me that I have so much – and so many people – to be grateful for, that I have strength sometimes I forget, and that prayer and positive thinking can make a difference.  So, even though I may mostly write when things are wrong, it eventually helps me see what’s right – and, if you ask me, there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

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No matter what…

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Fear Factor

My life is a lot scarier these days than it used to be. If I get a weird pain or a suspicious spot on my skin – I can’t help but wonder – “is it Cancer?? Did it come back??” Things that I wouldn’t think twice about before my cancer diagnosis, can now send a wave of panic ripping through me. For example, I recently developed this strange clicking noise in my left ear. I mentioned it to my primary doctor, who x-rayed me and told me it was an inner ear infection and that antibiotics should clear right up. Well, they didn’t. It persisted and I eventually mentioned it to my Oncologist’s ARNP at one of my check ups. She prescribed me ear drops and said I might need to follow up with an ENT if they didn’t work. They didn’t. I was so busy going to all my other doctors and losing time at work that I just decided to deal with the strange sound in my ear. Of course, in the back of my mind I’m thinking crazy stuff, like- “what if it’s a brain tumor!” I mean, I have known people who went through cancer in one area of their body, only to have it pop up in their brain, so it wasn’t all that far-fetched, if you ask me. Again, I went to my primary, this time with a sinus infection, and mentioned the clicking in my ear to his ARNP. He gave me antibiotics again and said not to worry about an ENT. A few days after that, I was at another routine check up with my Oncologist and I mentioned the weird sound in my ear. After finding out that it had been going on for over a year and that I was getting frequent colds, she said, ” I bet you have a sinus polyp. Go get yourself an MRI and see an ENT.” Long story short, I had the MRI, I do have a polyp, I saw an ENT, he said the clicking is tinnitus and there’s not much to do about it and I don’t have a brain tumor. Whew. Anyway, I’m getting used to the fact that now fear is a permanent part of my post-cancer life. But I have to figure out how to live with that daily fear and not let it rule me. Actually, I’m a lot less fearful, overall, since I beat cancer. I don’t let the little things spook me as much as before because I know I’ve faced the scariest thing in my life and beaten it. But, fear of cancer coming back is a reality for me and, to avoid going bonkers, I need to use that fear to my advantage. I need to use it to motivate me to take care of myself and do all that I can to stay healthy. I just finished reading Veronica Roth’s Divergent series and a quote by one of the main characters really caught my attention :”fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up.” Well, I’m wide awake now, thank you!  And trying hard every day not to let my fear shut me down.

WordCamp Tampa 2016

September 10-11, 2016

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