So, I’ve been dealing with something that has truly flipped me upside down, but haven’t really shared it with many outside of my inner circle. I feel now is a time that I’m ready to say what I’ve wanted to say, so here goes – it’s long….
What a difference a year makes. Around this time last year, I noticed something a bit off so I got a GI Dr., and scheduled a much overdue Colonoscopy. Fast forward to July last year. Bombarded with the news it was not a polyp or hemorrhoids, it was Cancer. Stage 4 CRC with Metastasis to my Liver.
I sure as heck wasn’t expecting that news. Game changer for sure, life altering sh*t, literally. My life was turned upside down in a matter of minutes, and it’s been a rollercoaster ever since.
Cancer is a life changing experience, no matter what kind of Cancer you have, or what Stage you are. You plan your day around how you feel when you wake up. And there are many days when your plan changes moment to moment. You miss out on so many things, and it’s very easy to slip into depression.
If you have a family member, friend, or neighbor with Cancer, please don’t hit them with the, “You’re a fighter, you got this!”, or “Stay strong”. Just be there for them. I know it’s hard to hear this kind of news, and the knee jerk reaction is thoughts and prayers or the “they’ve made so many advances in Cancer treatment, you’ll be fine”. UGH….Just listen to them. Tell them you are there if they need a shoulder, or a helping hand, go over and give them a hug, send them some flowers or a meal, tell them it’s okay to cry, be angry, sad, crazy, all the feels. Just be there for them because in my own humble opinion we don’t need cheerleaders, we need to be heard.
Cancer sucks – big time! We all know this, but until you are faced with it, you just don’t know how bad it sucks. Cancer is hard on the person with it, their family, their friends – we all feel helpless most days. It’s scary because the truth is, the questions you want answered most of the time they can’t answer – it’s the fear of the unknown that I struggle with, especially because I’m a Type A Sagittarius who just wants to take charge, get things done, and fix whatever is broken.
Problem is, most of my life, I’ve been fixing and helping everyone but me. I put myself at the back of the bus because that’s how I’m wired – take care of everyone else first then I’ll focus on me…Yeah, right…
Get a huge support system around you – DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP!!! Get a cleaning crew to take care of the household cleaning – I did, love my gals Kassy and Franchesca – Klean Freaks. Get rid of things that don’t serve you anymore – just let it go, it’s so freeing. Make a space that allows you to just be at peace – a happy place. Get help with meals – my Sister in Law Wanda Cruz is a Saint – she makes my hubby meals so I don’t need to. Love her!
Talk to your nurses – they are a wealth of information and support – sometimes – actually most times they’re more helpful than your Oncologist or their team. Find a support group, get a therapist – do it – trust me. You need someone other than family or friends to unload what you’re going through because it’s hard on them too.
Give yourself grace – find your peace – love yourself – try to laugh – put your barefoot on the ground and feel the healing and strength from the Universe – every day try to do one thing that brings you joy, and trust me I know there are days when that feel insurmountable/impossible, it’s ok, try the next day – again, give yourself grace.