Having my daughter diagnosed with stage two breast cancer when she was thirty-one and helping to care for her during the pain, anxiety, and illness due to chemotherapy all while living about one hour away from her is exhausting. She has a seven-year old child that needs to feel security during these times and not be overwhelmed with the chaos (behind the scenes). We also have the daunting task of traveling close to two hours one way from my daughter’s house for her treatments, and these are tiring days. And as a mother and former Registered Nurse, I am aware of the personal care and the help that is needed after these treatments. I want to be there to help her during these times emotionally and physically, while also helping her with her care and daily chores, and spiritually, offering love and hope.
I also have my own illness with Bipolar, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD that I have to manage on a daily basis, and keep myself healthy so that I am able to do all that I want to do, in order to care for her while keeping my own affairs in order. I am fortunate that I have a supportive husband and support team that I can count on when I need them, though reaching out when I am having trouble is essential. Part of my support team is my psychiatrist who is compassionate and knowledgable and my counselor who I trust completely and am honest with and lean on when times are hard. She has become a valued part of my team and I am so blessed to have found her. And though mental illness is a battle to manage at times. I have a greater understanding of those that suffer from anxiety not only in mental illness, but also with others who suffer from the fear and disruption due to a physical illness.
It’s amazing how life brings us down different paths and that the journey is so unpredictable. Having to give up practicing as a nurse was a devastating blow to me. I knew that I was meant to be a caregiver and I was knowledgable at my skill. I love to help people and bring them comfort and joy. So leaving my profession due to a disability of mental illness was crushing. I admitted in despair one day to my mother that what I worked for was all a waste. She adamantly told me that I would always use the skills that I have learned and to never think that anything in the past is ever a waste. I have come to understand that statement well. I not only cared for my mother and father, I also advocate care for my husband and myself, and now for my daughter.
Also, being divorced from my children’s father was a devastating end to a long relationship that I fought to maintain, but ultimately we parted. I can see the blessings in regard to that separation as well. We both are better people apart from one another. I now have a partner and husband that I truly believe is my soul mate. We were meant for our paths to cross, and he lifts me in a way no man ever has. And though our paths are extremely different, our hearts are similar. It’s a nice feeling. During these trials he is my main support, and it is when we are at odds that I truly have to reach out to others in my support team. My husband is my rock.
So although life though it twists and turns, and is currently difficult and draining at times, it worked out exactly as planned. There is meaning in everything. There is a reason for everything and having trust and faith is essential. It will all make sense eventually. Focusing on the positive aspects of everyday and what I am thankful for is my goal. Moving forward with determination and strength in all that I do and looking for the beauty and the things to be grateful for is what keeps me going.