Processing

Cortney and I have gotten TONS of messages of love and support over the past 48 hours and we are so grateful. I had therapy yesterday as well, and when asked how we are doing with all this, I just nod slowly and say, “Ok. We are processing it all yet.”

The culmination of a day of ALL THE PROCESSING resulted in a major ugly cry meltdown on my part at bedtime. Cortney held my hand the whole time. He let me fall apart, so (as he says) we can start building it back up again.

I’ve been having problems sleeping, which if you know me means this is something that is really giving me anxiety. I love my sleep and can usually fall asleep any time, any place. Charlie’s answer to what his mom loves on his Mother’s Day sheet from school was, “books and naps.” The boy is not wrong. So when I lose sleep due to a racing mind, well, it’s serious.

I had cancer. It’s gone now, but I need treatment to make sure it doesn’t come back.

Cortney and I have an appointment next week with my surgeon and oncologist to map out what that treatment will be and what the schedule will look like, but simply it’s going to be chemo and radiation.

Chemotherapy is exactly what I was hoping to avoid.

When they went into surgery we thought the only tumor was in my breast, but because there was a speck of a tumor in my first lymph node (they took three, two were clean), it changes the treatment from just radiation, to chemo and then radiation.

In the spirit of being open and honest: I am having a hard time with this news. Like seriously struggling.

People are saying all the right things (and a few of the wrong things, but that is Ok too. They’re trying), but I am grieving a lot of things right now.

I know the list of “At least you’s…” Trust me, those are what keep me getting out of bed.

I have the best possible partner in this life. The best.

My kids are great. I worry about them, but they are magical beautiful little weirdos that I am in love with.

I work with the best staff in the world who are so supportive and loving.

I have an ENORMOUS community of support and love.

I have women who have walked this arduous journey before me who are holding me in their hearts and literally holding my  hand.

My family–gosh my family. I have siblings and sibling-in-laws and parents and parent-in-laws who give and give selflessly out of love and support and concern.

I am one of the luckiest women in the world and that does NOT escape me.

But I am still struggling. I’m still processing.

One minute I feel like a warrior who is ready to pump those chemicals in and give myself that NO MORE CANCER “insurance”.

The next I am a weeping ball of snot because I feel like it’s all not real, and this can’t happen to me, and that I can’t do it.

I love my hair and all the time and product that goes into it. It’s not the most fabulous hairstyle, but it’s mine and I love it. I love my salon visits–they have become my self-care that is scheduled and part of my mental health management. It’s the thing we splurge on to make me feel good.

I’m going to lose my hair.

But I know I can do it.

But I’m struggling too.

It’s all part of the process.

I hate this process.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Stage 4 Colon Cancer and my brother in law became BFFs 6 months ago. I adore him. He’s been in my world for 20 years. Naturally, I’ve been researching and reading everything I can get my eyes on to hold the knowledge where I can positively say that everything will be okay. And I believe that. For him and for you. Keep close with your supporters and let people do things for you. You may not even lose your hair, everyone is different, and it depends on your cocktail. You have this, Katie. You don’t know me but I feel like you have this. It’s going to be okay.
    Pamela Gold recently posted…He Feels | She FeelsMy Profile

  2. Sending love and beautiful healing thoughts your way, my friend.
    Jennifer Wolfe recently posted…Podcasting: Why You Really Need To Try It!My Profile

  3. Thinking of you, praying for you, and giving you all the space you need to grieve a recovery that looks different than you thought it would. I can only try to imagine, but so many great people that I know and love have been where you are and come out of this, to the other side, stronger than ever. You will, too.
    Andrea Bates recently posted…Inspiration in the DarknessMy Profile

  4. Heather Von St James says:

    You know what ? It’s ok.. it’s ok to be mad, and scared, and apprehensive , and upset about losing your hair. It’s all a giant mind fuck and it’s ok to deal with it any way you need to. All of the support and love is awesome.. and yet, I get it.. it is still cancer, it is still chemo and radiation.. it’s the feeling of your body betraying you.. and the thought of.. “good lord, haven’t I dealt with enough? And now THIS? “ then there is the what if’s.. those damned what if’s.. if I had a dime for every what if I thought of, I’d never want for another thing.. People will say.. “stay positive” but it’s ok not to all the time.. people will say a lot of things…a lot of really stupid, awful things, and people will say a lot of really incredible wonderful, and helpful things.. the generosity will make you cry too.. so many emotions.. Katie, if you need someone who knows, or any resources, I’m always here.. it’s kinda my thing.. 🙂 Not the same cancer, no, but still cancer.. Remember, there is no wrong emotion..everything you feel is valid..
    sending you all my love, strength and anything else you need.. #warrior

  5. Sarah Garcia says:

    Oh, Katie. I hate the process too. I hate that you, r anyone for that matter, has to go through it. It sucks. Period. And it’s okay to struggle. Because it sucks. But you are strong and have awesome family and friends. And you will beat it all.

  6. Elizabeth Flora Ross says:

    Katie, I’m so sorry. I don’t know how I missed news this big, but I just found out today, and I cried. I hate that you have to face this. I know that you can and will overcome. But it sucks, and you have every right to have a meltdown. You will struggle. You will have good days. You will feel strong. You will feel weak, in every possible way. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. You can’t be strong all the time. Give yourself time and space to feel whatever wave of emotion comes over you. Prayers for your healing journey. You are loved and have so many people in your corner. Cancer doesn’t stand a chance.

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