Greetings from the fish bowl:

My last day of work was April the 27th and today (June 1st of 2017) is the first day since my 2nd cancer diagnosis (MBC on July 5th, 2016) that I feeI like I am not completely overwhelmed.  Well, except for those upcoming homeschool evaluations.  Ugh.

I have finally come up for air in my little fishbowl of metastatic breast cancer!

Why a fishbowl analogy, you may ask?
Because I have the attention span of a goldfish or a squirrel or a 5 year old kid. (And since inattentive squirrels usually get squished and I’ve already been a 5 year old kid, I choose the life of a goldfish!)

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I had been working 20 hours a  week since the middle of September 2016 in order to earn disability credits and I was able to earn 5 of the 7 that I needed based on 2017 federal standards.  Hopefully, after the summer is over, as I am able, I will look for some ’10-12 hour a week’ job to fulfill the last amount of my 4th credit for 2017.  (You can only earn 4 credits a year.  Each new year changes the credit value (dollar amount) and resets your total amount of credits based on your age – Happy, happy birthday to you!  (I wonder what happens to Leap Year babies??)  Anyway, it really is fascinating information for the interested individuals; it ranks right up there with watching paint dry…  The federal standards for 2018 have yet to be set and so I will have to wait till then to know how to arrange my priority list for life!

How many times did you have to read that last paragraph?
Confused?
Overwhelmed?
Clueless?

Welcome to the land of social security where you become a disabled hamster in that big federal wheel!

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As for my current state of body and mind, I’m alive!  

My body:
Trying to recover after 30 plus months of cancer-related surgeries and treatments.

I have no breast, no ovaries, no uterus, and 30 extra pounds (since August of 2016).  On the flip side, I have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness until a progressive group of someones get their way and chuck the Constitution.  Smirking is allowed…

Seriously though, I am tired.  Between recovery, loss of estrogen (surgically-induced menopause), and current medication, my plate is full and the flavor is less than desirable, except, of course, for the aforementioned extra 30 pounds.

Ladies, be thankful for estrogen.
Husbands, Just be thankful!

Estrogen is a beautiful thing that our Creator has granted us!

Without it (no supplementing estrogen for me since I have an estrogen-fed cancer), you get to experience the grace of God in abounding measure in multiple areas. (Follow this link if you wish to get the BIG picture.)

For now, my medication (Follow this link if you wish to continue that BIG beautiful picture.) is designed for post-menopausal women and has been causing me discomfort since about November.  Remember the hand/ wrist/ arm issues?  It’s the meds…  I’m wearing arm braces mostly at night while I sleep and about 43% of the time during the day.  The doctor says that the medication is keeping the cancer stable and that changing the medication will not guarantee a change in side effects.

So, live with the side effects, it is!

This is my course for now: taking medication designed to limit the growth of my cancer.  When it becomes evident that a particular medication is not working any more (preventing growth or severe reactions), the doctors will move me to the next medication till the same path occurs.  Etcetera,  etcetera, etcetera.  Over time, my body will not be able to endure/ combat the growing influence of the cancer.

My mind:
It’s somewhere out there.

I am a bit absent minded.  Focus is a growing issue.  Reading is for those very flighty birds.  Blogging is a struggle: focus, reading, typing, blah, blah, blah.  Conversation can be attained depending on the hour of the day and  I have acquired the proverbial ‘selective hearing’ without making an effort.  That could be a good thing: snickering…

The great Deceiver is working overtime with my ‘perception of reality’.  How I visually see myself continues to be an issue.  Battling the hormonal loss is not for the faint of heart.  Dealing with the enduring mental fatigue caused by pain is the pity party that I continually decline invitations.  Conversation with my Almighty Creator has to give Him a chuckle because keeping up with my ‘train of thought’ while having the ‘attention span of a goldfish’ would be akin to the loopiest roller coaster ride of all time!  (Feel free to define loopy as some have already decided to define my actions and attitudes based on their own perception of reality.)

All in all, I am moving forward and resting in Him, trusting in Him, and leaning on Him.  He is my great I-AM!  I am active and doing what I can, when I can, how I can, continuing to learn to live – day by day, moment by moment.  I do not live in bitterness or anger in regards to any aspect of my life: past, present, or future.  If you don’t believe me, then ask the ones who live with me 24/7: Hi Football Fan!  Hi Camo Kid!

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As a side note, I am off Facebook permanently.  If I remember correctly, there is a public group I had designated as No Smiling Allowed for those who wanted to follow my cancer journey via Facebook.  It may still be active and you are free to share my blog post there or wherever.  If you want to reach me personally, email me at nosmilingallowedATgmailDOTcom.

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Well, I’m off to swim because if you’re going to live in the fish bowl then you need to embrace the tepid water with your big beautiful eyes and your not-so-sleek, waterproof, goldish-colored body!

Till another gulp of air-
Keep that smile firmly placed in the right side-up position!

 

 

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