My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue with laughter and optimism on my journey...

Hang in There!


This is me...
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... this is how I feel 95% of the time.

The other 5% is full of great moments and hot-mess moments. Yet, most of my days consists of hanging on.

Sure, most people are doing the same thing. They are fumbling their way through life. I have yet to meet a person who doesn't have some issue or life problem or illness. We all have something!

We are either following very defined paths or spontaneously deciding what to do next. Just making it through the day and all the difficulties life brings as you attempt to be "responsible". I tend to fall between the two. I have a plan, but often spontaneously do something different. However, I am also coping with a thousand problematic issues making daily living... well... challenging.

Challenging is a nice way of saying, it sucks. Things most people do without even thinking. Chopping vegetables. I mean when did carrots get so hard or even green peppers? Carrying groceries. What happened to the good ole' days of carrying all bags in at one time? Now even one bag at a time taking 20 trips is hard. And my back hates picking up the 5 billionth sock left in the den; like kids is it really hard to take your socks off in your own room or actually put it in the hamper?

Forget the other daily responsibilities like going to the grocery store, cooking, vacuuming, cleaning, dishes, mowing the grass, yard work, parenting, thinking... even using the bathroom. Heck, almost all normal daily functions are now minor (or major) obstacles. I am juggling them and failing at them daily. I would say I am failing the majority of the time... maybe even 95% of the time!

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Any repetitious act or lifting... anything physical or non-physical... or mental... is just plain hard. When did the act of living become so extremely difficult? Of course, I know when it did for me. Somewhere during that 3rd month of chemo treatment. The collective and continuous treatments did a whammy on my body. And my body just never bounced back.

I am not special. I am not the only one. I know so many people just hanging in there... holding on like I am to face each sucky moment. Trying to cope with the fact that it is so sucky while dealing with or post cancer.

And we do this, while trying to really live like there is a limited tomorrow. Because there is a limited tomorrow looming over our heads. We know this in a way that is only understood by someone who has had to face their mortality in a very up-close and personal way.

It is a conundrum. Reconciling appreciating life with the fact that life is not what you hoped. Not hoped like my dreams didn't come true hope... hope like how the heck am I 43-year-old women stuck dealing with ailments I should have at friggin' 70... and what does that mean if I make it to 70... how horrible will my body feel then? It is not being able to physically play with your kids like you used to... not to teach the sports you love... to ride the theme park rides... to pass on things you would have done in a heartbeat only a few years ago... to miss outing with friends. Hope like I just hope to be a healthy version of myself (then I could worry about my dreams not coming true... right now I just hope to feel decent).

It means planning moments and wondering if your body will cooperate. It means finding loopholes in your new normal... trying to create memories where you appear to be actively participating, so your kids have memories of you other than always sick. It means realizing that you are not the self you could be if you were healthy. And no matter how many or how little issues you get from cancer... it still sucks.

Sharing my journey has been sharing the good with the bad. It has been about finding the positives despite the negatives. About the happy despite the sucky. And, I guess it is about embracing failures, hoping for better, and just finding a way to hold on. A way to survive the sucky stuff... and to really enjoy the wonderful great moments.

Hold on to those amazing moments as a way to endure the other 95% of suck.

Hanging in there is hard. Tie a few knots in your rope. Maybe add some more rope. Ask a friend to hold you up on the rope. Jump to another rope. But, no matter what you do... just hang on!

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About Amy Brock

Amy Brock is a cancer fighter and survivor. Diagnosed with Infiltrating Breast Cancer at 38 she has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and other procedures since 2013. Post treatment she has been diagnosed with lymphedema, chemo-induced neuropathy and bone degeneration in her back, as well as other issues including dysphagia, bilateral hearing loss, and arthritis. From being completely healthy, to having a variety of issues, Amy began blogging about her experiences as a way to help others. Read more about finding humor in the craziness of cancer at her blog www.tatawarrior.com Amy is the mother of two children and has worked for various non-profit agencies. In addition, she is a fine artist creating works in multiple mediums which can be seen at www.amybrock.com

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