I was planning on writing about my experience with Tamoxifen earlier than this, but I was pretty much a poster child for it the first year. I know, it’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. I knew there were numerous side effects that you could experience while on Tamoxifen, but the only real issue I seemed to have was aching hips from time to time. Diet and exercise seem to help manage that aspect. I do feel like my head is in a fog occasionally, and I have trouble remembering things sometimes. They say that’s normal for menopause any way with lower estrogen in your body. I was just experiencing it a bit earlier with the medication induced side effects.
There’s something remarkable about a place that transcends time, brings together a passion for timeless beauty with an enduring legacy of pride and resilience. Stallion 51 in Kissimmee, Florida is just that kind of place.
I did a post last Valentine’s Day about the state of my heart not too long after my breast cancer surgery. I figured it might be good to do an update a year later and post cancer.
Those first few months were agonizing and long. I wanted to die rather than face this battle. I cried many tears. I know it was hard for those closest to me. I shut people out and buried myself from the world.
While it was probably the lowest point in my life, I can look back on that time, and see that it wasn’t the end of the world like I thought it was at the time. It was a very difficult, intense time but in the end, I think I’m better for it. If I had a choice, I would not choose this path; but, it is my path and from it, I’ve learned that I can get through just about anything now.
Here I am looking back at 2015, starring down 2016 and wondering exactly what this next year has in store for me. 2015 certainly didn’t go as I had hoped it would, but in the end, it’s been an amazing year in spite of battling breast cancer, and several family deaths that brought some intense emotional battles to my family.
What I had hoped to be a simple process of getting cleared to fly again, has met another speed bump on this road called life. After being declared cancer free by my oncologist, the FAA wasn’t completely convinced, and wanted an MRI of my brain since it was the only part of me that hadn’t been scanned.
There are days that my heart still aches for a different time, days when I remember what it’s like to be so absorbed in a moment that there’s nothing else you can see around you. Moments when I could melt from the heat raging inside of me, of a fire burning so strongly it fills my soul. A warmth like a kiss of sunlight on my skin, a breath so deep and slow and full that my eyes close and I just inhale deeply, and feel my chest rise. I remember a time before cancer when I could get lost in my own thoughts and hide from the world. I remember when flying made me feel like this. There are times when I want to remember, but other times when I think it’s best not to dwell on it too long.
I don’t think you wake up one morning and say I think I’m going to be brave today. I don’t think courage is something you consciously decide to do. I think courage comes from within and unexpectedly, in moments when you decide not to give up regardless of how you’re feeling. I think it comes when you decide to push on in spite of obstacles in your way. Sometimes, I think it comes when you decide to sit out for a round. I believe that knowing when you’ve had enough and need a rest also takes courage. Sometimes, it takes a leap of faith that comes from somewhere deep inside of you to muster the courage you need to proceed.
Sharing my story hasn’t come easy for me, journaling about it is easy but sharing it, not so much. It’s personal, it’s painful and it’s been life changing.
It’s winter in my heart. A lonely, barren, cold place today. I search inside of me for signs of life, but the sun hasn’t shone here for days, weeks maybe and the bulbs of my heart are holding tightly to the dark, wet dirt of my soul.
I like to rise early and enjoy a cup of coffee, sit in the quiet before my day begins and the hustle of life kicks into high gear. I have much in my head these days, and ponder life and meaning often. Cancer can do that to you I guess, redirect your focus, change your priorities and cause you to question everything about your life.