Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Well, I had thought I would get something on here before now. But I had something strange hit me that I hadn't anticipated. Last week I finished the radiation treatments.... all 34 of them, done, finito. That does it for everything planned by my awesome oncologist, Dr. Toma. And I still feel confident and grateful for everything she has done. So, that said.... you'd think I'd be dancing and on top of the world. Well, maybe you wouldn't expect that but I sure did. So it kind of blind-sided me to discover that I'm basically in a funk.... blue.... low..... yes, depressed. Mentally I know all kinds of things that are true - I'm grateful, I'm blessed beyond belief, I have such a wonderful life, I'm excited to see what all evolves with Dorcas.... but still I've been down emotionally. I finally admitted it last night and felt so guilty & ashamed. How dare I feel that way when I have so much to be grateful for!!! And it was so tempting to hide it where no one could see, after all, how could I disillusion all these folks who have loved on me and praised me for what they've seen God do in my life through all this??? I couldn't steal God's glory away like that!!! But thankfully BIG spoke loudly enough to me that I heard a faint echo of a suggestion that maybe what I was feeling wasn't so extraordinary (not to mention that I'm not QUITE powerful enough to screw up God's glory.... hmmmmm). I text'd a friend and asked her if I was crazy for feeling that way.... her loving reply was no, that it made sense. WHAT???? How could it "make sense"???? So I go online and googled post-treatment depression.... and lo and behold, it's not very uncommon. To quote one blog I read, "We need a certain amount of energy to feel positive. Since radiation zaps our energy for some months to follow treatment, it would be normal to be depressed when the radiation energy drop hits. The good side of this is that we should start to feel better emotionally when we start to get our energy back. Unfortunately, from what I've heard, that post radiation energy drop can last a good long time. ... While we are in treatment we have a sense of control and accomplishment. Remember that helpless/hopeless feeling that followed diagnosis but before treatment started? Starting treatment lifted our spirits tremendously. Ending treatment takes away the structure, the activity, and the goal orientation. Anytime we are working on a goal and it passes, be it having a baby, a wedding, graduation, etc., there is a let down when it is over. The same is true for treatment. When the chemo, surgery, and radiation are past, we have to restructure our lives." Oh. That DOES make sense. And helped considerably to make me feel better. I can kind of accept that now that I know. I remember also reading something that talked about finding a "new normal" once treatment ends. I guess that's where I am - trying to find the new normal. So I risked exposing all this to show you... I have such feet of clay.... and sometimes my prayers consist of "I believe... help my unbelief!" But thankfully God isn't dependent on my pettiness or my perceptions. He is still HUGE and FAITH-FULL and LOVING and in charge of my life. So now it's time to gear up for Christmas.... and Dorcas is still awaiting my final efforts on the paperwork... and life is going on. It's still a precious gift and I'm optimistic that the joy of that is slowly creeping back in. Thank you for letting me be real. I love you!
Posted by Mo at 3:48 PM