So, here's the thing. I am strong. I have always been strong. Strong is a word that has been thrown at me since I was a 14 year old girl, when my dad (who was also my best friend in the whole world) passed away.

The problem with being told you're strong all the time is that it becomes hard to be weak. To let people see that you are having a hard time. To ask for help, especially help of the emotionally supportive kind. My natural instinct is to default to happy. And like 98% of the time I am.

Here's the thing. I have cancer. Real cancer. I have a 6cm tumor in my body and doctors who want to rip my body to shreds and build it back up again. All my "ultimate detox" jokes aside, I am about to basically be destroyed from the inside out and then hopefully, put back together again better than before.

I will have 8 cycles of chemotherapy. The 2nd cycle is notorious for causing extreme bone pain. I will need injections every 3 weeks for a year. I will have yy third surgery in a year**. Also, countless painful biopsies for the rest of my life and 6 weeks of radiation.

Yes, I am strong. But I am also freaking terrified. Rarely a night goes by that I don't have nightmares. I hover somewhere at about a 4 on the pain scale everyday since I was diagnosed (first from the biopsies,  now from my healing arm and my poor, overworked lady parts) I am not OK.

I mean I am OK. I wake up in the morning, I walk my dog (or beg handsome boyfriend to walk the dog if I didn't sleep well the night before), I brush my teeth. I only cry about once a week, and that's usually because of a sad movie I make myself watch because I feel this giant lump of sadness in my belly and frankly, I've had enough lumps to last me a lifetime, so I force myself to cry it out.

But then I go to a doctor's appointment, or I call the doctor, or I curl up in a little ball with an ice/cold pack.  I hoard items that I have been told/read will help alleviate the most painful/uncomfortable symptoms of chemo. I make plans, and more plans, and plans on top of that, in hopes of making what's about to come less painful, less disruptive to my life and the life of Fenway and handsome boyfriend and my mom.

I am really OK but like, in a way that is less OK than I was a month ago when hurricane breast cancer torpedoed my life. My life is not normal. I miss my life before.

I might be the most prepared girl ever to undergo chemo (I title I proudly elicit from my nurses and doctors) but I am also just a freaking girl who is scared out of her mind.

The thing is that my natural inclination is to be positive. To look for the silver lining on every freaking cloud. To be "STRONG." But I am already freaking exhausted and I have no idea how I am going to get through the next 8 months.

Being alone gives me horrific panic attacks. I faint from IVs. I faint from panic attacks. I have a recurring nightmare that the doctor finds cancer in my cheek and tells me he has to cut through my mouth to get it, with only general anesthesia, while I am wide awake. I can't find a comfortable way to sleep because so many different parts of my body hurt all the time.

I have stopped writing on my blog because I have such a severe case of "medicine head" from the hormones that today I had to use a calculator to subtract 8 from 15. I can't retain information. I try to read articles and I know that I recognize the words but I can't remember what they mean. I sit and listen to conversations with my friends and I can barely keep up because I find it hard to follow them. And this is just from the hormones - imagine what "chemo brain" is going to be like. I miss my mind.

I am scared of missing out on 8 months of my life, of the pain, the horrible side effects, of my friends moving on from me, of over-using the friends I have because I feel like I need so much right now and never what they want to give me.

Yes, I am strong, yes I am so freaking lucky and SO grateful, yes I am going to be OK, but right now things kind of suck.

That's right - I admitted it. This SUCKS.

Usually when I write something I try to take something positive from it, something that will make me feel better about publicly ranting about my situation. Something warm and uplifting. But today all I can say is that sometimes it's OK to not be OK. Now I'm going to watch a movie to make myself cry on purpose and tomorrow I'm sure I will be back to my normal, perky self.





**
#1 Lymph Node Biopsy - where they cut through my arm muscle to remove two lymph nodes
#2 Egg Retrieval - where they extract somewhere around 40 eggs from my ovaries
#3 Lumpectomy - to remove the tumor (even if chemo shrinks it down to nothing, they will still cut out the clip they inserted during my first biopsy)