I have the angry music playing today. The heart-pounding, I would like to scream, but I’m at work so I can’t kind of music. The kind that dries my angry tears and lets me get back to business.
Specifically, I have an earworm from Linkin Park.
“In the end, nothing really matters.”
I have been fighting an uphill battle lately with anxiety and panic attacks. Just when I think I have a handle on it, BAM, it smacks me again out of nowhere. I can’t identify my triggers, none of my coping mechanisms work consistently, and it wears me out.
But today, this is different. This is real. A dear sister from my support group entered hospice. Someone I have talked to, laughed with, cried with, and shared our stories. And now she is at the end. And I want to cry and scream at the unfairness, the wastefulness of it all.
I weep for her and what she is facing. I’m trying to imagine what is in her head and I know that I probably can only conjure half of it. Who can really know what they will feel at this moment?
I hurt for her family. I know the pain they suffer because I have been there myself. The hurt and sadness never really go away. The path to emotional healing is long.
I worry for so many of my other sisters. Some are early stage, some are stage 4. But we all know it can be one of us. If it can take Kelly, with her optimism and fighting spirit, it can come back for any of us. That is the reality that we try to forget until something like this pops up to remind us.
I fear for myself. That is selfish, I know. But what happens to me? I sit here every day, with the cold, dark fingers of anxiety tightening in my chest until I can’t breathe. How can I ever go back to a sane life? If it is all going to end way to soon?
But then I realize – life is life, no matter how crazy or sane. It does matter. Kelly siphoned out all the life she could, even after being diagnosed as terminal. She never thought of herself that way. That’s why we will remember her as a force to be reckoned with. There is no shame in the end of her journey, only an acceptance that our bodies can only endure so much.
So I will do the things in life that make me whole. And I will think of Kelly when I visit my happy place, Disney, which was also her happy place. I will continue to befriend the courageous women fighting this damned disease. We will share our stories, and we will be heard. We will be remembered.
In the end, we will MAKE it all matter.
For more info on navigating breast cancer, see our website, www.driventosurvive.org.