I've been feeling the stress of having to keep up with everything at home. Everyone seems to think I'm back to "normal" but I remind myself the docs warned me of this common aftermath. The psychological stages of being a survivor and always wondering if the other shoe will drop some day are something I need to push far away from my mind:) But the technician today said my stress test looked good although the cardiologist will verify that tomorrow. I'm feeling better when I exercise as well.
To be honest on another front, this past year has taken a toll on my marriage with more severe ups and downs. I was always a secure, confident person, but being knocked down, I've felt more needy this past year. I expected encouragement and things to be said that just we're not in the nature of my spouse and probably would not have phased me before the diagnosis, but that do seem important now. My appreciation for life and what is truly important has changed. I don't question his love or commitment and hope we can work through some of the disconnect and communication capacity going forward. I do realize the extra stress on a spouse is significant as well. I did feel I had to appear so strong for the sake of the kids, so maybe he thought I was doing fine and did not realize I needed an extra hug from time to time. I've always been great at appearing like everything is fabulous on the outside, and it was one of my strengths in the business world... never let anyone rattle me or see me sweat, but there are emotional scars from the ordeal of going through this process.
My children seem great and I can only hope this will all be a distant memory one day. My hair will grow back to the length I'm used to and I will be back full force with a new lease on life.
As I was driving to MGH a today I felt so relieved to only be doing a stress test for my heart and not a treatment. Also I saw a couple in the waiting room and it was clear she had just had her double masectomy because I could see the drain bulbs under her shirt. I struck up a conversation with them and offered my support as well as telling them that this time next year it would be so much better. The husband was so devoted and positive to her and seemed to be her champion cheerleader in her journey. So wonderful. Afterwards I phoned a woman who had questions about the cold therapy caps and was beginning chemo next week. We really connected and I once again realized how fulfilling it is to share my story and help others going through this ordeal. It makes my heart smile and fills me with gratitude to be able to be here to tell it:)
Here's a photo of just a few of the friends who helped me get through. I had to throw a girl power party for them to let them know how much I loved and needed them...there were many more not in this photo as well.