Cancer and Depression
I didn’t want to write this post. I’m not even sure if I should. I was warned that Cancer and depression go hand in hand, but I didn’t think it would for me.
My blog is supposed to be all about my three wonderful daughters. It’s supposed to full of my natural positivity, happy anecdotes, photos, poetry, love.
I feel selfish when I write about me… or my cancer.
I have become well known for how strong and upbeat and positive I am, in the face of everything life throws at me. Cancer included. I have blogged in the past, a few odd posts on down days, but mostly my upbeat, cheerful self.
But the down days have recently sunk lower, and as the weather outside gets darker, so does my motivation for doing anything useful around the house.
I have SO MUCH in my life to be thankful for and so many reasons to be happy. There are so many people in the world far worse off than me. I appreciate everything in my life, from my family, to the feeling of air in my lungs.
So why is it now, that I’m struggling? My optimism and enthusiasm for anything except cuddling my children, is waning. And soon I won’t be able to do that.
Today was day 5 of the low iodine diet. I struggled with it before. People tell me “it’s just food” or “it’s only for 14 days”, but when you struggle to find anything you want to eat, (and even then it doesn’t satisfy you), it becomes more than just a horrid diet. When the diet is over, I will again be given radioactive iodine, and be unable to cuddle my children.
I will be “Radioactive Mum” again (Google it – it’s all me – the whole first page of Google).
I went to bed at 7:30pm tonight, because I’ve had a long weekend travelling and I was so very tired. I read for a bit. Then I started thinking. I have so many friends and family around me who want to be supportive, yet I feel totally and utterly alone.
I’ve been feeling like this for about a week, and it shames me terribly, to say I’ve spent a lot of the last week crying. I try my best not to cry in front of the children.
I’m frightened. Frightened of my results, when I have my full body scan, to see if my radiotherapy has worked.
I’m frightened of asking for help, because I feel so low.
I’m frightened of peoples reactions, who tell me I’m being silly or over-reacting or that I should be thankful for all the incredible things I have in my life. I know. And I am thankful. Incredibly. But I’m still finding it hard.
I’ve been feeling unwell, both physically and emotionally, and I can’t put my finger on a reason.
We have other worries too. I’ve been inadvertently sacked from my job, with no notice or cause. Hubs is working his ass off in a new job to support us, but we are slipping into a financial black hole. But that seems to neither here nor there, in the grand scheme of my mind.
I’ve not had depression, since my teenage years, with the exception of a few winters of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in my pre-parenting years. Even then, as a teenager, I dealt with it by myself. I fixed myself with words and poetry, instead of a doctor.
I don’t want to admit that this could be the early stages of depression. It’s only been a week. Maybe two. There are good days and bad days. I’m good at hiding it too. It might not go as far as depression, but this low iodine diet, sure isn’t helping. It’s nearly day 6. Day 7 will be halfway there. Perhaps I could just live off smoothies for while and put the weight back on after?
Not really logical thinking is it.
Tomorrow I want to have the courage, to pick up the phone and make an appointment with the lovely psychologist at Maggies Cancer Centre. I want to. But I don’t see how sobbing in his office, instead of at home, is going to make much difference. Wanting to do something, and doing it, are two very different things.
I’m not used to pessimism. It doesn’t suit me. But right now, I can stand in a room full of people who love me and still feel like I’m alone. I don’t want to feel like that.