Mar 28, 2011

My Life Be Like....

I have to thank my SIL, Beki, for letting me use this title (she uses it on FB for her mobile uploads, and it comes from a song that I have never heard. The fact that I don't know the song makes me feel really, really old) Every time I see a posting with this title, I think about what my own life be like...
While it is a little crazy, scary, and sometimes just too much, it is still my LIFE- which is always nice to remember.

As I come to a close on my treatment, I have encountered the great realization that my treatment is ending. Someone once told me that while treatment is hard on everyone else, after treatment is hard on the patient.

When I first heard this, I was knee deep in chemo, about week 5, and I just laughed. I was so confident about killing my cancer, that I found it hard to believe that anything would be difficult for me ever again! I guess that is a good perspective to have while in the middle of a debilitating drug regimen. But as I finished my 3rd treatment and looked ahead towards my completion date, I got really depressed. While it was killing me to get through it, I didn't want it to be over! I know, crazy right??

My final round of chemo was scheduled to begin on Valentines Day. My husband took the day off work to take me to treatment that day so we could celebrate together. The first thing the nurses always do before starting is CBC (blood work) to test my levels. That monday, they came back to tell me that my white blood and red blood cells were just too low to risk it, and my treatment would be postponed one week.
I was secretly happy. (insert happy dance here)
But, I put on a "bummed" face since everyone around me was looking forward to this week. They really wanted it to be over. I kinda felt bad that I was happy. While I wanted treatment to be over, it really felt a lot better "fixing" my cancer than trying to go back to normal life.

That brings me back to "My Life be Like".
Starting over after cancer is really confusing.
What should my life be like?
On one hand, I feel like I should be skydiving, going to Disneyland (Aunt Heidi, can we go? ;), playing the know, doing everything you ever wanted to do and living life to the fullest!
On the other hand, I feel like I should just go back to my 9-5 and try to get my life back into the pattern it was before I was diagnosed.

Truly, it should probably land somewhere in the middle.

Part of the healing process is that I have to find a new sense of normal for my life. I have to live my life as if nothing happened and know that it will forever be changed from here on out. There is no normal. I have cancer. I will always live with the fear that it could come back. I will always live with the confidence that it won't.
Therein lies the struggle to be normal.
I have to remember both, and live everyday under both truths. This is my cure.

ps- don't worry, I'm not depressed, it was a passing emotion. I was able to talk with a great counselor that I will continue to seek support from and I am moving on with my LIFE, my little and my hubby in tow ;)


ray*ray said...

Your such an inspiring woman !!!!

Tami Kaufman said...

Rachel....I totally get it. Finished chemo 3 weeks ago and have been depressed. I still have some of the side effects which the doc says could take up to four months to totally go although my energy is slowly coming back, I'm not my "old" self. I'm not sure where to go from here, treatment has been my life for over 4 months, and I so miss all the people that have been part of that (you included). It's an adjustment and I guess we take it one day at a time!

Rachel K. Miller said...

Tami-hang in there! email me anytime
i have to believe that it will get better as time goes on!! We have survived the really hard part, we can get through this next chapter ;)

Amy said...

I have celebrated my one year cancerversary and run through the gamet of emotions. Life does return to normal; it's just a new normal.

I think it just takes a long time to emotionally heal.....which can be hard since the body appears to be healthy to everyone else. I still can become very emotional when I reflect on that year of my life. And even the anger will return. However, with an optomistic personality like yours I have faith that you will do and be well.

Anonymous said...


Thank you so very much for sharing your journey. You are an amazing woman and it brightens my whole week when I get to see you! I read almost the whole thing, but decided to skip some sections so that I could read more later. Like saving the last couple pages of a good book.

See you soon, I hope,

russ said...

hey Rachel,

i hope you're doing okay... i've been thinking about you a lot lately and just wanted to send best wishes from Vermont...

You are an inspiration and help me to realize that there's sometimes a silver lining.

the pattern

Just as soon as you think nothing will ever be the same fall back into life's steady pace. L I F E  R E M E M B E R S  T ...