Consumed and Depleted

Sometimes I play my new Tibetan singing bowl right in front of my breast. I feel the vibrations zoom through my body. I have no idea if it does or can do anything…sound therapy, and especially sound therapy done by a person that doesn’t know what she’s doing. What is apparent is that it makes me feel calmer and maybe that’s enough.

I rub essential oils all over my cancerous breast and bonus breast, too. Again, I don’t know if they’ll do anything. But the scent makes me feel better.

I touch my plants. I pet my animals. I cry more than seems reasonable. I drink a little. I watch sappy movies. I think and think and think. I research.

I am flat exhausted.

It is unreal. The self-advocacy I have been tasked with is really overwhelming. I know Jess is wonderful and we love each other. But I’ve known him eight months. It feels like so much to ask for his emotional and medical companionship in this. But the truth is, I really need it.

I hate needing. I hate feeling unable.

For at least half of my teaching day today I felt dizzy and faint. I realized once I got home that it was a.) generalized exhaustion from all this sleep issues, b.) extreme stress causing me to feel tired, and c.) the damn compression sports bra I was wearing because I was coaching cross country today.

If I wear a compression sports bra all day at school it really makes me feel horrible. I’m not going to make that mistake again.

I got home and had two gifts waiting at my door. One was hot/cold breastfeeding gel packs from my dear friends (THANK YOU, ERICA!) in Indiana, and one was some Frankincense oil from my dear friend from Oregon (THANK YOU, CHERYL!). I cried. I needed them both. I put the packs in the freezer immediately and the oil on myself immediately. I can feel some of the pain from earlier subsiding. I’m not going to wear that bra anymore unless it’s for 1/2 hour- 1 hour long max.

I broke my toe and strained my Achilles tendon over two months ago, and I lost all that time running. Then this shit happened and my breast has been sore. I ran with my cross country kids last week, but I couldn’t do it this week.

It’s really sad to not be able to do things physically, and to keep training for being better at running like I want to be able to. I’ve been through this before with hurting having major back issues after being rear-ended at high speed in 2000. It hurts. And it sucks.

I want to and need to keep exercising, but I’m going to have to accept that it’s just not going to look like “push push push” right now, which running is for me. It literally might mean walking my dog every day. Or just sitting on the yoga mat and breathing. Or playing my singing bowl and trying not to cry.

I called the clinic today and talked to oncology. I said I wanted a consult with a plastic surgeon. So next Tuesday I meet the regular surgeon and Wednesday I meet the plastic surgeon. I told the navigator I talked to (not mine, she’s out of the office for a week) that I am not interested in the study at all. That I know I want surgery and I know I want to know worst/best case scenarios for my breast recovery.

I want to know if the lumpectomy doesn’t get all the cancer what happens next. I want to know what happens when they remove the cancerous tissue (lump) from behind my nipple-will it cave in? I want to know specifically what radiation will do to my breast tissue and what that will mean for my reconstruction. I’ve already had two friends tell me their radiation/reconstruction stories and it sounds so. hard.

I had to teach from my desk for the second half of the day. I had to sit and have them come to me. I felt that lightheaded. They’re so sweet. “Are you doing ok, Ms. Fogerty?” the kiddos asked.

Their little worried faces freaked me out. I said I was ok. I said that I felt dizzy and like I could faint, so I was sitting down and drinking water, and that made me feel much better and I was ok. I had forgotten to take all my meds today, so I’m sure that didn’t help. My heart was also racing so my BP was probably high from all the stress

It was pretty intense, because I really did feel like I was going to faint. I told them if anything ever happened that I was acting weird or not talking to them, to leave the room and go get the nurse or another grown up. They looked kinda scared, but I told them they’d be okay and I was really okay.

That felt like way too much to have to tell my class, but what else can I do? I don’t know if I’m having weird symptoms due to cancer or due to the stress of having cancer. I’m almost positive it’s just the stress. That one is on me to try to mitigate.

It’s time to do yoga in class again but because of Covid it makes everything so hard. I can tell them we have to do mindfulness because Ms. Fogerty needs to get her shit together. Or something like that.

I hate all of this like I can’t even believe.

You know me. I’m positive to a fault. But I’m having a really hard time spinning this to be positive today. I want to not be sick with stupid cancer shit.

The accumulation of stuff this year is just way too much, and witnessing the stories of heartache of others has been too much. My old school community lost yet another young person unexpectedly this week. The sheer loss that community has suffered in 2020 is unreasonable. They’ve had more than most of us, including trying to start school and then FIRES shutting them down for 10 more days and people evacuating and losing homes. They’ve lost several current and former students and teachers to unexpected death. They lost federal school income due to Covid. It’s just. No. No.

No to all of this hardship hitting all at once.

I guess all I can do is play my singing bowl and smell some oils and send love out.

I send love to my breast, to my health, to your health, to my community and yours. Hold us in grace and love, anchor us in the love we have for each other, and let the tears cleanse our souls.



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