Something in the Universe…

It feels like I’m walking through mud lately. I’m not only physically exhausted, but mentally exhausted as well. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given what I’ve gone through in the last few months, but still, there is a part of me that questions it.

I suppose I’m still healing not only from my surgeries, but also from the mental anguish of being on a cancer journey. I think this may sound odd, but I don’t think I began to really feel the full brunt of everything until recently.

While mom was going through chemo and radiation, my father was dying and I was doing everything to try to help them. There was no time to feel anything but the constant need to push myself.

Now that need isn’t there. Dad has been dead for a year and mom is doing great. Her last cancer screen came back clear and she’s continuing to get stronger every day. Now it seems like it’s my turn to finally be the one who is in need and I don’t know how to handle it.

Stupid me, I just thought I’d continue on working like a fiend and coming up with project after project to work on and suddenly it was like something in the universe just said, “no.”

It’s a life lesson I’ve had to learn and relearn before. I can’t push everything back forever. Eventually I have to deal with things. I thought I was, but my exhaustion signals to me that perhaps that’s not true. I was there, I was present and I did deal with things as far as my parents were concerned. But as far as I was concerned, no.

I hid myself in my job and let it become more important to me than it should be and when I began to make mistakes, I couldn’t do that anymore. Now I’m slowly getting back to work and trying to keep things in perspective, and yes, I do have some projects that I’m working on.

By the way, I will be having hopefully the last of my surgeries on Tuesday, and then I will be done. The precancer I had removed, grew back, so this time instead of having it removed in a doctor’s office, I’m having it removed by a surgeon. I’ll be home the same day, and should be fine in no time.

Now, after everything I’ve been through, I have finally learned that caregivers need care and sometimes it takes something in the universe to help us come to that realization.

What cancer brings, is the realization that it’s as OK to be weak as it is to be strong. I am not made of stone, but flesh and blood.

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This entry was posted in breast cancer, Cancer, Caregiving, Coping, exhaustion, hope, Mom, Survival, wisdom and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Something in the Universe…

  1. NL Gervasio says:

    “Now, after everything I’ve been through, I have finally learned that caregivers need care and sometimes it takes something in the universe to help us come to that realization.”

    Yes, we do. We gotta step back and take care of ourselves too, hon. As usual, this post brought tears to my eyes. Know that I love you and I’m thinking about you. *hugs*

    • Blackbirdsong says:

      Thanks hon. There definitely does seem to be a learning curve when it comes to caregiving. Of course, you know all about that yourself. Thank you for the heartfelt comment. You have no idea how much that means to me. *hugs*

  2. Take care of yourself Rachel! I think when everything is happening and you are in crisis mode, the adrenaline kicks in and you have the energy to deal with the dramas – afterwards it is all flat and the deep exhaustion kicks in (and sometimes illness) – might be the bodies way of recovering, slowly I suppose.

    • Blackbirdsong says:

      Thanks Gabrielle. Yes, I think that’s what’s been going on, along with ignoring something that I was aware of for too long. Thankfully, this surgery should be minor and I’ll be up and back in action the same day.

  3. Daryl M. says:

    I hope all goes well with your surgery, Rachel. May it be minor, and your recovery quick!

    I know from personal experience that the caregiver’s own recovery can be a slow, treacherous process. Your focus has been entirely upon someone else. You’ve worried about their health, you’ve handled the practical aspects of their lives (and your own at the same time), and you probably fought insurance companies and doctors on their behalf along the way. There’s no respite until it’s finally over, however long that takes. By then, you are drained, carried forward only by momentum.

    My wife’s bout with cancer triggered a fear deep inside my exhausted mind, a fear that I would be next. And in my run-down state, my body was experiencing odd symptoms of its own. The combination led to a long battle with anxiety and panic attacks in which I was convinced that every new ache or oddity was The Big C, come to get me.

    As you said, we’re only flesh and blood, not stone, and caregivers need care of their own. Also, by accepting care, you are giving others the opportunity to give.

    • Blackbirdsong says:

      Thank you Daryl. I’m home and recovering. A bit sore, but that’s OK. Thank you so much for leaving such a heartfelt comment. It’s good to know that I’m not alone and that others have gone through similar experiences as caregiver.

      This line is a keeper, “Also, by accepting care, you are giving others the opportunity to give.”

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