As the weeks wore on and the new diagnoses as well as the bills piled up life just….well it just got hard.
I was having migraines all the time, still experiencing the pressure of my tumor (though it was not progressing which was good news) and I was tired. So tired. I just felt heavy, like gravity was pushing down on me harder than everybody else. I was deeply and emotionally fatigued. I just never woke up in the morning feeling good. I could sleep for eight hours through the night and the alarm would go off and I would feel like I needed more.
I was having trouble feeling motivated at work. I still resented the university for putting me through so much during my initial surgeries and was having a hard time letting it go. I appreciated my boss for everything he had done but I felt anger towards the huge machine that I was a part of that looked out for itself and not its employees.
Plus being broke is incredibly boring. I didn’t have the money (or the time) to take a vacation and mentally recharge. Even simple things that break up the monotony of life were not indulgences I could afford. I would cook a large meal for myself and eat it multiple days in a row until it was gone. This was probably the most painful part of the entire experience. I LOVE good food and wine. And I am an absolutely AWFUL cook. It’s embarrassing that I have a master’s degree but I can’t figure out how to bake chicken in the oven so it is done all the way through without being dry. (seriously, someone please help me, I’m so tired of eating cardboard chicken). Going out for happy hour was now something that I shied away from because drinking made my headaches worse and I didn’t want to spend the money so I saw many of my friends much less. As a result I stayed in and watched episodes of Downton Abbey rented from the public library and just felt sorry for myself.
I was also having trouble accepting my new body and all of its new quirks. When my endo told me that I would need to be on hormone therapy “for probably the rest of your life, at least the forseeable future” I cried. This whole time I had been fighting under the flag of “let’s get this tumor out and everything will go back the way it was.” I just wanted to get back to normal. But these changes were permanent and I didn’t know yet how sweeping. The question of fertility was still up in the air. But then again with my personal relationship now crumbling it did not seem as pressing an issue. I will respect his privacy and gloss over the details but I believe that relationships are like houses. You can build one meticulously from the ground up making sure every detail is beautiful but you will never know if the roof leaks until you weather a storm.
And our roof didn’t just leak, the basement flooded
I felt like life was a game of battleship and someone knew all of my coordinates. Tumor recurrence number three to G6 Boooom! Personal relationship crumbles to B9 Booom! You may never have children to A3 Boooom!
Your life will never be like it was again to S7 Boooom!
And that’s when the U.S.S. Stephanie started sinking….fast.