My mind is all over the place. Sometimes I feel I can’t focus. There are just too many emotions flowing through me during these holidays. So many memories of people who are no longer here. There is also sad, bad news in the blogosphere. And the uncertainties that never seem to end.
Yet, we must continue. Some days are more difficult than others though. Today is one of those days.
There have been a lot of deaths the last month due to metastatic breast cancer. One of these women who lost her life was Carolyn Frayn who blogged at art of breast cancer.
Although I know the outcome from this disease, it is still very hard to process when someone I care about dies. Carolyn was a beautiful artist (read her last post here). I enjoyed reading her posts as they were always so poignant. I often checked for updates. I knew what she was dealing with, but in my mind, when I did not see her posts, I was wishing she was just too busy living her life and didn’t have the time to post. I didn’t want to imagine the worst. Although I know the reality of metastatic breast cancer, I still hold on to hope. I am sad to have lost another member of our community. My condolences go out to Carolyn’s family.
And even those other women I didn’t know — their deaths affect me too. Ever since my diagnosis, this has become personal for me. Let’s not forget we are all in this mess together regardless of our cancer stage. I am unable to walk away. I feel for those families as they endure so much pain during these holidays. My condolences go out to you as well.
Losing a loved one sucks so much! There’s no way to describe the pain we feel. Losing someone during the holidays is even more painful to me, not that there is a “right time.” It reminds me of when I was getting chemo and was given a huge dose of steroids and diphenhydramine. One made me wired and one made me extremely drowsy, simultaneously — the side effects of these two drugs fighting against each other. But I couldn’t avoid them. I had to let them pass. Similarly, I don’t feel festive these holidays and at the same time I don’t want to sink into sadness. I need to let these days pass. But I do agree allowing myself to experience all these emotions/feelings is best. I should allow myself to grieve.
I am also thinking of my grandmother, who raised me, and who died from ovarian cancer on a January 2 – not a good way to start a New Year. It was during these days — the holidays, 1997 — that I had my last conversations with her. I am still grieving her loss. One thing I’ve been doing to help my state of mind is writing stories based on our memories together from my childhood. I suggest you give writing a try as it might help you too. Think of one special memory (or several of them) and write them down. Then read them out loud.
It’s totally OK not to feel festive during these holidays. And I am sorry some of you have reasons not to. Still, my wish for us is that we have many more good days than bad days, remembering we can only do our best.
Thank you for all the support you’ve provided me during 2015. Please know I am thinking of all of you and wishing everyone a wonderful holiday.
May 2016 bring us all some hopeful and encouraging news!