Bring on the funk

To cut to the chase – the funk continues. My meds have kicked in and I definitely feel better than I did before, but I am not myself yet. Finishing treatment is hard. I think this is true for most people and I don’t know if I’ve made it harder on myself by my lack of ability to cry over things or if this is just the way it will be for me. I think that during treatment we go into warrior mode. Dealing with things isn’t as important as being active in the fight, beating it. There are so many tests and treatments that are painful and I’ve been telling myself for a year to suck it up. No matter what things will feel like when they are happening or afterwards, don’t complain, don’t make a face, just take it. I don’t have any option so just deal. You can’t be a wussy when you’re facing cancer. It’s just a fact. And now that is supposed to just be over. I can go back to “regular” life. I’ve realized that at this point, I don’t know what that is. And I think that is the crux of the problem. I know that I am a different person than I was before cancer. But that’s the rub. In normal life, most people don’t ever have to become a different person. We don’t change easily. We can adapt over time, but in the scheme of things, a year is not a lot of time. And the changes are drastic. They happen so quickly that the world around us isn’t aware of the changes and expects us to go back to the person we were before. But that can’t be. That person is gone. So here I am, unsure of what I even am at this point. Trying to go through my everyday life in many ways like nothing has happened. It just doesn’t work inside my head. I know it will take time to figure things out. I feel a bit like a teenager without the benefit of being able to lock myself in my room for months on end brooding and writing bad poetry. I get to figure it all out while participating in life to the greatest extent that I can. So my body is going through the motions while my brain tries to wrestle with huge issues. Saying all that, my brain is also experiencing a huge handicap from treatment so I am still unable to remember anything which is super frustrating. It really is like going through the motions without a brain. I forget the most basic things, I can’t introduce friends to each other because I can’t remember names of people I’ve known for years. It’s not good.

Aside from my inner turmoil, lots has been going on. Eric started work last week which is great. But we found out that they only pay once a month so that puts quite a squeeze on us waiting for a check. He filed for unemployment when he lost his job but it is still “pending” so we have no idea when any of that money will (or if it will) come to us. At this point we don’t know how we will pay the mortgage this month. It’s scary.

The kids have both been doing well. Fletcher learned how to ride his skateboard standing up last week and has been working on dropping in on small transitions at the park. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree there. Evelyn has been working on potty training and is a champ, she’s still wearing pull ups for the fashion of them (at least until the package is empty), but is using the potty all the time. Our kids are awesome.

Hope for Young Adults with Cancer had our first fundraiser last weekend. Trivia with Geeks Who Drink. We ended up making $477 which is fabulous for an event we didn’t even have to do any work for! We had a lot of people come out and it was really a good time. I was super happy with the event.

Saturday and Sunday I went to a First Decents event here locally, they called it a Floatilla. We camped overnight in the mountains and floated the river (which included rapids, but was mostly floating) Sunday morning. It was a really fun trip and nice opportunity for a getaway. FD does adventure trips for young adult survivors so it was nice to see some people I had been able to visit with at Stupid Cancer meetups and meet some new survivors. Unfortunately it rained almost the entire trip, and it was cold, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. It is always nice to be around other people who have had similar experiences. We were worried about the cold water in the rafts but they told us something like “You just go numb and it’s fine”. Not only was this true in the cold river, it’s kind of how I’m getting through life these days.

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6 Responses to Bring on the funk

  1. Laura says:

    Yikes! A tricky weekend to spend outdoors: lots of rain in the area! It’s wonderful that you still enjoyed it and saw people you had met at previous events. I can appreciate the “funk” you describe. It’s a tricky thing to shake off…sit with…etc. Hang on for the ride, Jenn. There’s so many people that love you, care about you, and want the best for you. And when you’re down in the dumps, reach for help. 🙂

  2. says:

    Your memory isn’t totally gone, I completely forgot about Fletch doing drop ins at the skatepark. And I’m the *only* person who skates with Fletcher. I agree with the before and after “who you are”. We’ve gone through a lot and it feels like a good bit of the battle is behind us, but now what do we do?

    Just remember that you were on the IR for a solid year and it takes time to get your full groove back.

    *Eric Fickes *

  3. jdolce27 says:

    Jenn, I absolutely understand what you’re going through. I’m feeling a lot of the same things myself right now. I am forgetting the most random things and it’s especially embarrassing when you can’t remember the names of people you’ve known for a long time. I feel like I should be happier than I am that I am done with treatment and in remission but I feel different in ways I can’t describe and somehow I’m just not as happy as I thought I would be.

    I also completely went into battle mode and shut down emotionally in a lot of ways and it’s difficult to turn that on again. I think we will both get there eventually and figure out what the “new normal” is but it’s going to take time.


    • Sue Joyce says:

      Do you think you need a “mental health break” from being a support person for other people going through treatment? Just until you find some peace for yourself? I admire all you give to others…maybe the time for that isn’t right now though. Maybe that’s a few months from now. Just something to consider.

  4. Jayna Martin says:

    Miss Jenn,
    Stop beating yourself up!!! It is called a New Normal for a reason. I recently was told that what you and my Ashley and others have been through has similar effects as PTSD. You have been through a Very Traumatic experience. You have forever been changed & your purpose is to help the rest of us to realize that we must also learn to ‘change’ with you and with the warriors of this most difficult disease that is on the rise. Let us all take note of how fragile our bodies are and how precious life is. Let us Get Busy Living, but not forgetting that you are a beautiful metamorphosis
    of the Jenn Fickes before cancer…you are the butterfly that has just emerged on the other side and you will need time to let your wings expand and explore who you’ve become and learn that while walking seemed so normal before now turns into flight with these new and amazing wings that seem so foreign. Give yourself time & explore all of whom you’ve become…Beautifully transformed, Delicate yet Strong.
    noun, plural met·a·mor·pho·ses [met-uh-mawr-fuh-seez] .
    1.Biology . a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly. Compare complete metamorphosis.
    2.a complete change of form, structure, or substance, such as a transformation in appearance, character or circumstances.

  5. Christina Cullinane says:

    Have resources around specializing in counseling Veterans with PTSD? Major life changes and traumas in a short period of time… I had not really thought of the connection before reading your last 2 posts. Just trying to think beyond the traditional lines drawn…

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