Cancer sucks. It takes so much from you. Believe me I am beyond grateful I got a complete response and hope and pray I remain cancer free. But the reality is cancer is always with you and even though I’m doing well, it’s taken so much from me in the past year.
It took away my health. I worked out daily, ate pretty well, breastfed my first 4 kids and that didn’t matter, I still got cancer. Now I worry about every little thing that’s off or doesn’t feel right. That worry is always going to be there now.
It took away the joy of my final pregnancy. Instead of enjoying the weeks until our baby arrived, there was a ton of fear. Is he going to be ok? Will the chemo affect him? How will I bond with him since I can’t breastfeed him? Please let this latest ultrasound show he’s ok. When I see ultrasounds of others online, I think you have it so easy. You have no idea how stressful each one of mine was this pregnancy. I didn’t care about how cute his face was or his tiny toes or hands, how was his heart rate? How was his growth? Will he be a normal, healthy baby?
Cancer took away my appearance. I don’t consider myself attractive or hot but I tried to stay fit. And I lost so much fitness because of my surgeries. I didn’t have six pack abs but now I have lots of flab and I can’t do any core work still due to being cut open three times under one breast. I can’t do any arm work so I lost the small amount of tone I had. At least I can still do legs. I can’t get in those really tough full body hiit or kickboxing workouts because of all the reconstruction complications I’ve had. I’m limited to walking a lot, lower body hiit, barre and Pilates workouts and I’m frustrated I can’t workout like I used to.
I gained a lot of weight thanks to steroids I had to take during the second half of chemo and just having a less active day due to how tired I was. It took what seemed like forever to get somewhat close to my pre pregnancy weight and I’m still about 10 pounds away from that but much better than I was.
I lost my hair. It’s becoming a curly mess but at least I have hair now. I miss my long hair I could throw up in a messy bun or ponytail but it’s just going to take time.
I lost my breasts. I have foobs but they have no sensation and I’ve had complications with them so it’s been hard to look down and fully like what I see.
I lost a lot of my baby’s first year. I was too tired to do overnight feeds when Bryce was first born. I couldn’t pick him up after my surgeries for at least a week. I don’t feel like I bonded with him like I did my other kids because I was unable to breastfeed.
I lost my livelihood. I can’t be carefree. I worry so much about a recurrence and just pray I stay healthy for as long as possible so I can be there as long as possible for my kids. I am finally gaining back all the energy I lost thanks to 16 rounds of chemo. I can’t run around quite like I used to but I’m getting there.
And because of all this loss, that is why the job loss hurt so much. It was the final straw. The final, are you fucking kidding me blow. The final I’ve had enough. The final I need a break. I’m tired of all this change, all this loss, all this that is unfair. I’ve suffered enough. And now the job I was looking forward to returning is gone too. Damn it cancer. Enough is enough.
So all the lashing out about my job is really lashing out at this terrible disease which has taken so much from me. Again I could be a in a lot worse shape and don’t mean to seem ungrateful for where I’m at. It’s just been so much. Now that I’m through the “worst” of it, there’s more time to reflect and start to process just how hard all I have been through has been. How scary it’s been. How exhausting it’s been. How much it has taken from me.
And that is why this job loss hit so hard. I’ve had enough. I’ve lost so much and the final remaining thing I was looking forward to returning to has also been taken away due to no fault of my own.
I’ve gotten through all this other shit this year so this is just one more hurdle to work through, to process, to grieve. It won’t be easy. But undergoing chemo while pregnant wasn’t easy. Having four surgeries in the past year wasn’t easy. Raising 4 then 5 young kids while battling cancer wasn’t easy. But I did it. I can get through the latest loss even if it takes a lot of time and seems like it should be easier to deal with than it is. I got this because I am one tough mother.
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