One of the things that my cancer diagnosis has done is remind me of my own mortality. I have to admit, prior to being diagnosed I would think about it from time to time, but then something would come along and distract me from it.
With the diagnosis, I am constantly reminded of my mortality. Every time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, with my bald head and lack of eye brows I am reminded. Every morning when I ingest the handful of pills I am taking I am reminded. Every time I look at my calendar to schedule any kind of appointment and I see all my doctor appointments, I am reminded, Any time there is a commercial on television for a cancer treatment drug or for ovarian cancer talcum powder lawsuits, I am reminded. Any time I feel an unfamiliar twinge of discomfort or pain, I am reminded.
Each time I am reminded of my mortality, I worry. I worry about whether the chemotherapy "treatments" that are making me so sick are doing what they are supposed to be doing (getting rid of the cancer). I worry about the cancer coming back. I worry about what the cost of my treatments is doing to my family's finances. I worry about my children, and how they will get along after I die.
Everything I have read says these feelings are "normal" for someone with a cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the only coping mechanism that has worked for me: running. I always said that "running kills the crazy." I meditate daily, I am journalling, and I am trying to "listen to my body" when it comes to physical activity.
Yes, I am depressed. I expected the physical pain of my treatments, but the emotional pain has been far greater for me lately. I only hope that my regular visits to my counselor, completing my treatments and getting some good news after my treatments are completed will help me get past this darkness that I feel. In the meantime, I am grateful I am able to get to work every day, because it's hard to be depressed when you are in a classroom full of students. I am also grateful that I met a social worker last night who specializes in working with cancer patients.