CDC Symptom Diary Card

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The past......is it still me?

Did I ever really talk about the vocational testing?  It was tough to do the psychological interview.  She asked me a bunch of questions about my personal history, relationships etc.  It was good and bad to revisit the past.

I am trying to figure out why such detailed questions were necessary, especially now.  I don't know about you, but having experienced this whole "cancer thing" has altered my perspective on so many levels.  I just don't feel the same as I did before cancer.  I AM A DIFFERENT PERSON.

I love everyone in my family MORE than ever and cherish my friends like never before.   The hard part is that I can't seem to express it well.

Maybe the chemo has also exacerbated problem areas which is creating a situation where I feel stuck.  I am a turtle, I move slow, and to much the dismay of those around me, I wil likely not be able to move any faster. Each day my physical priority is to get my gut in order, then the rest of the day is fine.  (TMI I know)

In my past, I have been one who had a few close friends, but otherwise, was very shy.   In my late twenties and early thirties, I had a bunch of friends for a short time.  When I filed bankruptcy, I retreated and eventually lost contact with them.  I had such a great group of friends.  Now I have reconnected with a few on Facebook, and I am so thankful to God for that gift.

Now, I am in a new area, and my friends are my family and a few people in California.  I feel really isolated.

I wonder if my family thinks I am too dependent on them now, and too needy?  I don't mean to be. 

I am going through what some would call REGRETS right now.  This is probably a normal experience when you have really faced the possibility of death.

I regret not spending more time with my little sister and brother.  That is probably the biggest regret I have.  I am 4 and 5 years older than they are, and I always saw them as a team, and now I want in.  I love them very very very much. 

Everything is moving too fast around me right now and I wonder how I will keep up.  See, since 1996, I have always had to live with someone else because I just couldn't afford the cost of an apartment on my own.  I am part of the "working disabled" community, the working poor.  And I had a lot of medical expenses because of my rheumatoid arthritis, and most of those bills went on credit cards.  So you can imagine. The only way I could live was to rent a room, and I went from house to house, like a gypsy, just getting by.  But I was as independent as I could be.

I am not sure if I will be able to exceed that level of living. 

Emotionally, I was already depressed from my RA.  The oc made it worse, and better.  I know that sounds weird, but it's true.

Now I see what is important, and have so much more love in my heart.  But I lack resources, not motivation.  My stuck feeling comes from not being able to take care of my needs in the right order and with the resources to do it.  I need a mastectomy, and if I get a job, when will they let me off work to heal?

So now I'm thinking to just do it now so that I can be healed before I get a job.

And then I think, well, forget the BRCA issue and forget the mastectomy.  Deal with that issue when you get breast cancer.

Another regret I have is the multiple attempts I made to start my own business or operate a home based business.  I can tell you that nobody wanted me to do that, but at the time, that was the only way I could bring in money.  I really had hard times finding jobs I could keep because my RA would get in the way eventually.  I wish people believed me there.

So because of THAT, my work history is just scattered, my resume sucks.  It is what it is.  This is the first time in my life that I have received any help from the government, and I've earned it.

But I feel guilty too, like a slug, like a loser sometimes.  People ask me why I don't have a job, where do I live, gee don't you want to live on your own???????????????????????????????????/

Of course I do!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I haven't had my own place since 1996, of course I would relish in THAT.  I would have an open wooden floor and dance my little dance all darn day.  But I am with mom right now, and you know what, I LOVE it.

I get the total godly joy of seeing my precious mom every day, good day or bad day. I get to relish in her stories and her smile, and I get the joy of doing what she asks me to do, if she needs it.  I'm not ashamed, I love it.  I love my mom.  I don't feel alone when I am here.

I feel protected.  AND, I want to support my mom too.  (she has her own challenges)

But I can't move out yet, but the plans are in motion.  I sent out another resume on Friday.  I meet with Voc Rehab next week to go over benefits and will meet my counselor again real soon to go over test results.

I do need more financial help soon, though and am worried but I know it'll be alright.  I'm not sitting idle awaiting a rescue, I just need a little more time. 

So to those of you who wonder what I'm doing, I'm applying for some jobs, not many, because only a few of them fit my physical needs.  But I look every day.

AND I am continually rebuilding my health as best I can.  I also applied to be a volunteer at a local cancer center.  I sent off the paperwork for a background check a few days ago.  I hope they accept me.

I participate in an online support group for ovarian cancer patients and caregivers.  That really helps me out.  I have connected online with one woman who lives in the area and she is organizing a get together for the local Seattle gals, for the springtime.  Yay.

And the best thing is that I get to spend time with my family.  Mom, sister, brother-in-law, nieces.  My aunt is coming out here in a few weeks.  Yay.

And I post on facebook every now and then.

When I go to Church, I feel at home.  I feel safe.  I feel pure love.  I pray every night before bed, and exercise almost every day. 

That's my life.  All I need is a boyfriend and a puppy, and I'm good to go.

I've rambled on and on.

Peace and love.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks, Denise, for visiting my blog. Miralax is the only thing that keeps my gut in order. This ovca sure leaves a lot of rubble in our lives, eh? But I'm glad to be doing well today. May God bless you with all that you desire and need in regards to job/health/living. Bless ya!

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  2. Rambling on occasion (some of us do it on lots of occasions!)is good for the soul - writing helps to sort all of those feelings out - very therapeutic!
    Teri

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  3. Thanks for reading my blog. Ramble away. Sometimes I have lists of things I want to write about on my blog and never actually find the time to write about them or they just seem too disjointed for me to write about. I might try a ramble like yours and just go for it.

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  4. Ladies,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I really truly appreciate that you listen, wow. Peace and Blessings,

    Denise

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  5. Your and my cancer diagnoses are similar....lol our names are as well. Loved reading your blog!

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  6. This is very powerful sharing, Denise. Cancer does set one apart, re-categorizes us somehow in people's minds and sometimes in our own. Plus the time in surgery/chemo is like doing jailtime isn't it, after which you look around hoping to pick up where you left off somehow?

    I hope a lot of cancer survivors read this..

    Blessings, Joe

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  7. Joe, thanks for the acknowledgement. It's reassuring to see that others can see what I see sometimes. jail..hmmmm HA

    Denise, thanks for your support..like your name too

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  8. Hi, I'm new to your blog. It's good to see that you're giving back by volunteering, I sincerely hope things get better.

    Best,
    Hua
    healthcentral.com

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Thank you for giving to me your precious time. I look forward to what you have to say. Peace and Blessings, Always.