Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you or in Swedish, God Jul. Praying that you are all able to spend time with loved ones, whether friends or family and are able to find some blessing in this holiday season.

As this Christmas season is here, I am grateful for so many things but am most grateful for just another day to spend with the people I care about. I’m thankful for one of the most memorable holiday seasons in my life which I was able to share with my significant other and our families and friends. I am grateful for medical doctors who can tell us we’re seriously ill before it becomes terminal. I’m thankful for the small little ways that our friends and family show us that they love us and the medical treatments that prolong the lives of cancer patients no matter how difficult they are.

And though my focus has been on myself and trying to meet my own needs since getting the cancer diagnosis, I hope to be able to return to blogging every day to every other day once I get my energy level back. But plus know, I am choosing gratitude as my outlook. I have so many things to be grateful for. Housing, a job, Al (my dog), my significant other who is amazing, my friends and family, the people I work with, etc. ,and all of you.

What are you most grateful for? Please understand that I may not be able to to post much on my blog until I gain some strength and energy.

Love Wendy

Recent events

I have not felt well since I had bronchitis for six to eight weeks this August and September. I remained exhausted after my lung x-ray cleared and still was fighting a nasty cough that would not go away. My lymph nodes have been swollen since this summer. I sleep as soon as I get done eating dinner. I finally started to push the doctor on why I felt so bad and the answer has been a little overwhelming. It is the reason I have not been blogging. I am looking at a lymphoma diagnosis that appears to be spread throughout my body. I have been in a lot of pain and discomfort especially in the bones Ive broken before. I am not one to complain about pain but this has been intense at times and unlike anything I be ever gone through. I have tests scheduled for tomorrow and next week for an MRI, Bone Scan, and pet scan. Because of all the appointments and such I reduced my work schedule to four days a week. I was having difficulty making it through a complete work week. I now take a day off towards the middle of the week to rest and rejuvenate to finish the week out with.

There is a tumor on my adrenal gland and another on my pituitary gland. It makes for crazy hormone levels.

But one of my strengths is resiliency. I am a fighter. I have managed to tell most people around me and start accepting their help. That’s a tad bit more difficult for me to do.

So bear with me as I go through the next few weeks.

W L.

Celebrating 100+

Thank you all so much. I now have over 100 followers on my blog. I couldn’t have done this without you!!!!

You inspire me to keep going and sharing even when things are difficult. I appreciate your feedback and support and kind words of encouragement.

Thanks for helping me making this milestone happen.

W.L.

Tonight’s quote

“You are worth more than your darkness.”

I am using the above quote to remind myself that I have more to offer life than my level of depression. So often when we get depressed we feel paralyzed by it and stop moving which in turn leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. I need to push past these feelings as best as I can to try to shake off the depressive funk I am in or to see if I am having a paradoxical reaction to the Prozac which the psychiatrist gave me to life my mood and help with OCD symptoms. Before I started the Prozac I was obsessively ruminating on certain thoughts and issues continuously and never relaxing. Since starting the Prozac I have been able to let some to most of the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors go. This in turn has allowed me to relax enough to, according to my therapist to feel the level of depression that I have had all along but was masked by the severity of the OCD symptoms. Feeling as depressed as I have this week has been scary for me to admit to anyone especially when you were just given a med to help relieve it. I have three more days on this new dose for it to improve or the doctor said she will discontinue it if it is worse or not better.

It is so hard when we fall into the abyss of depression to remember that you have more to offer than the darkness around you because that is all you feel. I have to work hard to remember the qualities and talents and skills that I have to offer when I get down this low. It is hard for me to even recognize them at times when struggling. But the truth is I am a good clinician, caring and compassionate, loving, kind and loyal. I usually work hard to get my work done and make sure it’s done right the first time. I’m smart with a sense of humor that most of close friends get to see. I am determined to work despite several set backs both physically and emotionally. I have survived 100 o/o of my worst days and there have been some pretty crappy ones along the way. So despite my feelings, I am doing better than I thought.

W.L.

One week later…

I started my new medication one week ago today. I have been fighting nausea every morning after I take it for a couple of hours. It is helping with the OCD and compulsive/intrusive thoughts regarding death but I actually have felt more depressed the last few days. I am not sure if it is because my thinking has cleared enough to allow me to think about other things that I have been avoiding. All I know is that it is scary and I am not sure if I am comfortable with the idea of continuing to feel this level of depression. My meds are being doled out a few days at a time and I don’t have access to them between times for safety reasons. Giving up control is never easy but sometimes necessary. I have been really quiet which makes people around me uneasy I think but talking is hard and makes me feel worse most of the time. The psychiatrist said I might not notice a change in my mood for up to four weeks. That feels like an eternity right now.

Returning to rational thinking

The new meds are starting to kick in and my thoughts have been less obsessive and no more active suicidal ideation. My mood seems like it is more dysthymic on a steady basis which has left me quieter than usual and making others around me more concerned. Treating the OCD symptoms has had the added benefit of reducing my overall anxiety level. I never really thought much about my OCD symptoms until I started my relationship with my partner this summer. I hadn’t really considered how much it was impacting my life and manifesting itself as other things such as anxiety and ADHD without the hyperactivity. I actually have felt more relaxed since starting the med to treat the OCD than I have in in a very, very long time. It comes with a small price though…the med is causing me to get pretty sick after I take it every morning for a few hours. This is a historic problem that I have had with this class of medications. I know it will eventually go away. If it continues to work and eventually lifts my mood as well l think that it will be worth it in the end.

Swedish proverb 2.2

When struggling with depression, I find my mind does not remember details or events as well as well as it usuall does.

That being said, I get stressed like the last couple of weeks, it becomes harder and harder to remember everything I should be keeping track of. Despite that I am grateful to be forgetful right now verses flooded with bad memories from PTSD.

Wendy