All of this will be for nothing. This cancer is going to come back, I'm sure of it. I know this because, ever since I had that stupid mammogram back in November, 2016, not a solitary thing has gone my way. They said, "Don't worry, we caught this early and it's teeny tiny small!" As if that mattered one iota. It didn't save me from chemo, and chemo has been The Shit. Everything bad that could happen has happened. So why expect a big shift now? The radiation will go badly too. Then the hormone pills will completely fuck me up. They'll make me gain 50 lbs and I'll never sleep again thanks to heart palpitations and night sweats. I'll be a sleepless, sweating, bloated alien with no body hair and one red boob. And maybe, if I'm lucky, by Christmas 2017 I will have a short peek at what my old life was like before the next mammogram is due and they find a new spot. Basically, my life has been summed up like this: There was a good healthy confident life before the mammogram. Now there is a shit life after.
These are the Voices from The Dark Side. And they are nasty and mean. On bad days, they even have me resenting my oncologist for trying to cure me. Is she even competent? Is she just making me do all this to rack up fees? Is she getting kick-backs from all these pharmaceutical companies?
I really hate TDS. It's destructive, it serves no purpose, and it creeps up on you when you least expect it. It makes a hard time even more difficult than it has to be, and sucks the joy out of the day or night.
I'm fortunate that I don't go there very often, but staying away doesn't come easily. I've had to distance myself from the negative--or just ill-witted--people who try to drag me in there with their doomsday comments. The people who, for reasons I will never understand, seem to think I need to be told about all the bad cancer shit, instead of working to keep me focused on the positives. (I promise that if you or a family member are ever diagnosed, you can talk to me because I will NEVER do that to you.) Seriously, if there is ever a time in a person's life when they need to stay focused on the positives, this is it. And it's a fucking hard thing to do.
And then on the flipside are the wonderful people who do keep it positive, who come around often and make sure I'm okay. I torture those poor people, because I flip between needing to get out of the house and needing to stay home and decompress in solitude. And that need changes day-by-day, hour-by-hour. I don't expect anyone to anticipate my current mood, and will never fault any of them for getting it wrong. I'm a hard person to figure out right now.
But what ultimately works against me is that I can so easily become a couch potato. And now that I'm working fewer hours and have doctors telling me to rest, I could pretty easily get up in the morning, sit on the couch, eat almond milk ice cream, chips and guacamole and watch TV all day. From early childhood, it was my tendency to lean in that direction (growing up in rainy Oregon helped). But too much of that isolation sends me over to TDS. So unless it's a day when I'm feeling physically bad, I'll have to stop that no matter how much the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee in my head tells me I have every right to sit and do nothing but watch TV and eat sugar.
Because, of course, the best cure for TDS is to get up, move around, breath air and do something constructive with at least a good portion of the day. That really is the answer. You've got to stay busy enough that you don't have time to sit down for hours and start living in your own head.
From the time I took off work at 3:00 on Friday until the time I went to bed Saturday night, I couch potatoed for no good reason. My stomach is feeling better, so I used it as an excuse to eat crap all day. And what I got for it was a night of insomnia filled with Voices From The Dark Side. It's why I'm up at 3:21 a.m. writing this post. I had to get up and do something that would start me moving in the other direction. The Voices want me to feel sorry for myself, be sad and depressed, but the rest of me can't tolerate that kind of existence.
So I'll start tomorrow with new rules designed to keep me out of TDS. From now on, Couch Potatoing is for those crummy-feeling days when I physically can't do much more. There will be enough of them in my future, so I don't have to worry about missing my favorite shows.
Days like this beautiful Saturday we just had, when my body is feeling good and the sun is shining, are not the days to sit around and be lazy. Those are days to get out and go shopping, or get on my orange and white Cruiser (I call it my Creamcycle, heh) and go for a bike ride. This last week I worked from home (more isolation=bad) but I'm back in the office on Monday and will be happy to be there. I love my coworkers and enjoy being around people and talking about non-cancer things like work and hobbies and other people's lives.
It won't be easy because I really do like to sit around and be lazy and have the house to myself to do what I want. Give me the option of sitting on the couch with ice cream or sitting on the weight machine in the garage pumping iron, the couch will win every time. But I've got to muster the will to change that going forward, as the price I pay for it is too high. I've got WAY too much more shit to go through to have my psyche derailed on me now. I'll never get through it if I stay on this path.
So, sorry Itty Bitty Shitty Committee, but you will have to go back to your Sith Lord and tell them The Force is too strong with this one. I've got my army of Jedi Knights and....well....you've seen the movies. With the right plot, the good guys always win.
(Gosh, I guess I shoulda posted this on May the 4th. :) )