Day 339 - Not me

I'm feeling sad ... depressed ... maybe not depressed -- but blue. I smile and laugh when there's something to smile and laugh at, but then I revert back to feeling sad. My motivation is gone -- my "get up and go," got up and went -- and left me standing alone trying to figure out how to move out of the dust. There's no sparkle to my day, no urgency to do anything -- it's hard to get up in the morning. Time just ticks away.

It's really hard feeling like this. This isn't me.

My perspective is so different than it was before cancer. Things that used to be urgent and important, really aren't so anymore. I do what I do because I have to, not because I want to right now. I feel like I got a new lease on life, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do with it. Am I suppose to just go back and live it like I was before? Like none of this happened? That feels shallow -- unappreciative of my survival.

"When you have no other choice, you have no fear. You do what you have to do," ... Survival.

But then what? What happens after you survive? How are you suppose to go back when you've gone through something that has altered you at the core. I know it sounds a little dramatic ... but it's how I'm feeling -- at least right now anyway.

I look back at our wedding pictures and it feels like it was so long ago. It's hard to identify with the "me" I was then. I mean -- I still love the same things, but so much has changed. So many important things have changed. It's like we have a whole different life now. Even our dog is different. So much change in not so much time. Maybe I have whiplash.

I asked my doctor if this is a normal side effect of the tamoxifen -- this sadness. She said it could be, but it could also be a normal phase after undergoing treatment in the way that I did. Lately, I could cry at the drop of a hat. I cried when I emailed her to ask her what the hell was wrong with me. I cried when I read her reply. I cried at dinner when I was telling Mike I'm not sure what's wrong with me. I cried when I told him that working out is really hard - that it's tough to feel the muscles move the way do, that I can't stretch my arms back the way I used to -- it's tough not feeling any strength in your upper body any more. It makes yoga really tough sometimes ... and I love yoga. Mike said maybe I just need to sit and have a good cry -- get it out.



  1. Kristen O'BrienMay 4, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    So sorry you are going through that Melissa! If you can stick to doing the things you DO enjoy and try to change your focus that may help. One day at a time is all you can ask of yourself. Some will be good, some will be bad. I have a 29-year-old friend who went through this 2 years ago and it took some time before she stopped being scared to death and frantic. She was not sad so often. Try to make sure you can do ALL the things you LOVE as often as you can. I think it will pass and I believe it is a phase of what you have been through. You need time to process everything. My thoughts are with you and I hope that your days can only get better. Sounds like Mike is doing a WONDERFUL job at support!

  2. Melissa, I just read your current blog and cannot stop crying. I can't imagine all the pain and change you have experienced due to the cancer however, I can relate to hurt, pain and change due to my son and his bad choices in life, which have impacted the entire family. I continue to question my "motherhood" and at times fall into a dark place. But when that happens, it usually takes something small to remind me of how very blessed I am.

    I am a woman of faith and believe even when we feel sad and all alone, we are truely never alone. God is always watching over us and never gives us more than we can handle.

    How often do young woman get breast cancer? Maybe your "calling" is to share your experience with other young woman who have or will be going through the same experience...Maybe you need to publish your experience globally which may also be healing for you. Let others know they are not alone.

    I feel blessed to call you my friend, and if there is anything you ever need, I will always be here for you.


  3. Hey - so glad you posted about this!! I feel this way now!! I am often catching myself getting sad and at least in my case, I wonder how long 'the lease on life' really is that I am buying myself... Is it ever truly over, when you go through something this big? I don't think so.. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to go from 'patient' to 'survivor' and not have a thousand eyes on you and your progress... mentally that must be a difficult transition.

    The reason I am glad you posted this is because I do believe it's 'normal' to go through it, and I am told by others that in time, (and I don't know how much time) you wake up in the morning and you don't think of cancer anymore... and I think that is when you know you've truly transitioned... but I think that would be a long time away from me. Cancer still is the way I identify myself, which is really kind of sad, since I've been 'me' for 35 years and only had cancer for 5 months... but it's HUGE. ANd it does make you look at things (and people) different, your entire outlook changes.

    Maybe that is a good thing...


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