My Journey through Breast Cancer

On October 11, 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) ... or as we like to call it, extreme measures for a nap (EMFN). For a while, this blog will be my cancer journal. Enter at your own risk.

12 January 2014

the loneliness factor

Since my cancer diagnosis in early October, our little family has experienced an outpouring of love and care that is impossible to quantify. We've had people bringing meals, helping clean the house, taking the kids for play dates and driving me to doctors' appointments, sending gifts and countless notes of encouragement. Every time I go to church or a family event, I get hugs and hugs and more hugs. I have never felt so loved. Truly. Which is why it's difficult to share this. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea about how blessed I have been by the Body of Christ.

But when it comes down to the bottom line, nobody can go through this but me. When I was wheeled through the doors of the operating room, I was alone. I alone am poked with needles, I alone am pumped full of toxic drugs. I'm the one who can't sleep on account of various aches and pains and the insomnia the drugs cause. I alone have to battle my thoughts, fears, and anxieties. The helping hands of so many can only go so far.

I remember, when this process first began, a few survivors mentioning what a lonely process fighting cancer is. That didn't make sense to me then, but it does now. It doesn't matter how clearly I try to communicate, I am the only who really knows what I'm going through. And therefore, it's very easy to slip into a lonely place.

I don't share this for sympathy or to get anyone to feel sorry for me. That is not my purpose. I suppose if you're reading this and you're a praying person, you could pray for me. What I need most is strength, a strength far greater than what I can muster up myself. I need strength to have patience with my kids ... Kids who don't even begin to grasp what their mommy is going through. They just want their milk or their diaper changed or to play with me, and they want it now! I need strength to love those around me, even when I feel like crawling in a corner and hiding from everyone. I need strength to fight the battles for my thoughts, which sometimes try and take me to dark places. And sometimes I need strength to let others in, let them help. It's amazing how hard that can be to do.

Again, I can't begin to describe or express my gratitude for the amount of love and care I and my family have been shown. There is no way in you-know-where that we would be getting through this without you. And don't worry too much about me. Overall, I'm doing well. Just a bit lonely, despite the crowded room.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is One Who knows what you are enduring--and you ARE enduring with grace. He knows your every need, your every pain, your every stress. I will be praying that you will feel the Lord's loving arms lifting you in your times of loneliness, weakness or discouragement. I pray...
"May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints of light." (Colossians 1:11-12)
Love, Your MIL