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A Cancer Diagnosis and Wondering, 'Will I Ever Be 'Me' Again?'

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It has been almost six months since the Friday night I woke up in pain and found that lump in my breast. Six months since my life changed, and six months since I was “normal.” And by “normal” I mean not this version of myself that I have become — the one I don’t even recognize at times.

Maybe my lack of self-acceptance of this new me is to blame for my new anxiety issues that can make normal tasks difficult. Things I once didn’t even think twice about have now became my “new daily goals,” so to say.

I am now easily underwhelmed and indecisive. Going from a woman who can take on a million things at once to not even being able to make simple decisions or complete normal tasks is in itself beyond overwhelming, not to mention irritating.

Cancer is overwhelming, to say the least. All of us with cancer know and realize how much our loved ones, family and friends care and worry about us, but at times that too is overwhelming. It is overwhelming feeling like the one everyone feels sorry about or now views totally different.

But for me what is the most overwhelming of all is how different I feel to myself and how hard that is to explain and express to others. It is hard for me at times to know what is going on in my own head. To allow others to understand that is beyond frustrating.

No explanation seems valid as to why I now have about 20 more personalities than before. I don’t even understand it myself. How can I expect my family to understand? I can be laughing one second and in tears the next.

There comes those days here and there where I feel like I could conquer the world. Those days I usually go non-stop until I am drained, and nine out of 10 times wake up the next day asking myself why I didn’t limit myself and end up angry for not being able to even have one day in weeks of time that I could do all the things I used to.

Then those days lead to days I can’t even climb out of my bed because I am out of energy. I should not have overdid myself those days before.

Then we have the days that treatment just takes it all away. I feel lightheaded and weak. I don’t make it out of the house.

Then there are the days I just can’t mentally. Like I don’t even want to look in the mirror at myself let alone get out of bed and look at the world. I don’t see an end or new beginning. I feel as though I can’t face another day, and it is all too much. As I hide away under the covers I question if it is worth it.

Those days I am at my all time low. When I snap back and take a look I then see where my thoughts and depression could take me if I allowed it.

The days I feel “physically not well,” those are the days I lounge around and relax and just plain want to be left alone. Those are the days the kids are likely to get away with more and I am going to say less, if anything.

Then there are the days I am “mentally not feeling well” — these are the days that make up for the ones when I didn’t say much. Sometimes thoughts like, “I can’t do this anymore” or “How can I keep going?” race through my head.

So that is why I need to say I am sorry, fam. I apologize for the days I feel so worthless as I lay around, feeling like I am only letting people down. I am sorry all my anger and irritation from the days I didn’t feel well and had no energy, piled up with all my other millions and trillions of emotions. I am also sorry some days I just feel sad and like no one understands. I am so sorry I don’t always know how to contain all this anger. I am sorry I may be a little “extra” when it comes to my emotions lately. I wish I could say I would change. I wish I knew I could change. But that would be a big lie. Six months later and I question if I will ever feel like myself again.

But to set the record straight — those days when I question if all this is worth it, my family and loved ones are more than enough reasons to keep fighting. I am definitely not done here. This storm too shall pass. One day I will look back at the past and be thankful for all my pain. Without the bad times, how can one truly know what it means to be grateful for the good times?

Getty image by agsandrew

Originally published: April 27, 2018
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