The transition from our old life to this new one is not as easy as you’d think. We had our old routine down. I knew when I worked. Josue knew when he worked. Our kids knew the daily grind of it all. This one is not that way. We scheduled things and then medical changes happen. We can plan out our week, do a regular blood test on Tuesday and by Thursday I’m getting a call for some test that will inevitably come out negative but will take the standard million hours to do because of the way hospitals functions. It has made committing to anything very difficult. Then, Josue and I find ourselves discussing how guilty we feel that we don’t commit. We have become those people. The ones that want to be there but never are, or we randomly show up when we the schedule actually stayed open but nobody was planning on us so they have to uncomfortably make room.
Then there is the fatigue! Imagine going to bed around 9:30 pm, waking up about 7:00 am, and feeling like your body is made of led because of how heavy it feels to lift. After 9 1/2 hours of sleep, you are still exhausted. The worst part of the fatigue is that it is the only symptom that has a gradual onset. It sneaks up on you. It creeps in and does not creep out. Running and other activities help but starting them is extremely difficult. There is no motivation because you never feel rested.
Throw in the never ending feeling of numbness in you feet. Neuropathy is stupid. I view it as completely unfair. My big toe on my right foot has not been felt for weeks. I can press it into the floor and feel the pressure in my nerves further back in my foot but not on the actual toe. Wait! I lied. It has been felt. When I run, somewhere between mile 2 and 2 1/2 I can feel it. Oh boy, can I feel it! My feet will start to sting. They get that familiar feeling that everyone knows. It the one that happens when your feet fall asleep from sitting on them too long. It’s the one where you know it will hurt to move them but if you do the blood will start to circulate and they will feel better. Only, in my case, they just have the hurt feeling because the nerves are messed up.
Some days I wonder where I fit. Most days I just don’t want to fit anywhere. The transition doing a lot to feeling like you do nothing has mentally beat me up. My kids are awesome at reminding me that they love having me home, even if I’m not as active as I was. Josue is great at coming up with things to do and keeping us active. I know this change is a good thing and the transition is good but that doesn’t make it any easier. I’m grateful for the things I have recognized as needing changed and taking more of an active role in my home life. I am really grateful for that blessing. However, suddenly I find myself having to redefine my identify outside of home. I helped build a little program at work and now it is time for it to restructure without me and that is sad. I love being a counselor. I am passionate about working with people but cancer has decided that isn’t my main role for the time being. I guess my new adventure is learning to master the roles I am being given now.