It’s been a very introspective week. I blame my lack of activity due to the thorough drubbing the flu gave our family. I also will blame tamiflu which has listed as one of its side effects: anxiety. And, I will blame myself for fighting so hard to get back to the new normal that I didn’t give myself time to process and heal.
I finally worked myself up to researching the market for a memoir – after having written a few chapters. I typed in breast cancer memoir at amazon and got thousands of responses. The sad thing is, my story is not unique. My story is compelling but there are others even more so – the woman who emigrated from Liberia with one son only to discover she had breast cancer. The orthodox jew who struggled with her religious beliefs even as she struggled through rounds of chemo and surgery with young children.
On the one hand, it’s comforting to know I’m not alone – but I’ve always known that. On the other, my dreams of a Julie and Julia moment got a lot harder to reach. I even talked with a publisher on Friday. He likes me, likes my writing, but basically said I need an angle – something to make 15,000 people want to buy my book, my reflections. His comment – unless you’re famous bookstores won’t even buy memoirs at all.
Which leaves me with a sigh of relief . The pressure to do something so big that it triumphed this last year’s adversity has been a pressure I have felt throughout. I know I have not been idle. I know I can publish a book. But until I decide what I want to say and how I want to say it, I can focus back on what matters: my family, my self.
To that end, I have now had three straight days of green smoothies – I have discovered that banana and kale and a little juice makes a banana smoothie that happens to be green. Even the kids drank it. I have been sleeping like a rock – and no longer have such a crash in the afternoons (but maybe that’s because I stopped drinking 23 Diet Cokes a day).
But, there is still a knot of anxiety. Will it be enough to help me on my journey to getting well? And what happens when I have my surgery in April? How will that effect my recovery?
I had a friend tell me recently that when we are confronted with a new reality it’s almost like we have to build a new way for our mind to handle it. Like a filing cabinet. When confronted with a new issue – oh, we have to decide on summer camps, it gets a file. But when confronted by cancer, the after effects, the finances, you get a whole new filing system. I now have tabs for health/wellness, family, finances, oh-god-will-it-come-back, and the good things that came out of this.
Each day I work to put my thoughts into their space and some days I do it better than others.