We have been following B4BC Wellness Ambassador Megan Pischke’s battle with breast cancer over the past year through diagnosis, treatment and emotional tolls. Here is her latest blog update as she reflects and struggles with “a long year of chemo, surgery, radiation, tragedy, therapies on a daily basis, tears, oh so many tears, and a shit ton of magic.”
This is her story.
I am settling into a new normal these days. Actually, at times I try to “be” normal, but I keep discovering there is no such thing anymore, and I although love discovering the new me (my house is a mess, and I am OK with it), at times I feel confused. What is my place? Whats my job? What was I just talking about? I am just a couple months past a long year of chemo, surgery, radiation, tragedy, therapies on a daily basis, tears, oh so many tears, and a shit ton of magic.
Part of me feels like “OK; I’ve grown, my heart has expanded, I’ve been touched,” and another part of me feels like “How much time has to go by until I feel whole again?”
It’s a mixed up bag of emotions. And that could also have to do with the hormonal drugs I now take for the next 10 years. But that’s not a complaint—it’s all better than the alternative.
Recently, my whole family went through what I like to call a huge “emotional detox.” I ended radiation, and immediately hopped on a plane with my family to Costa Rica for some sunshine. It was beautiful, and of course we were all so happy and grateful to be there. But, there was a lot of emotions spilling out, from all of us. Crying, yelling, tensions; I kept thinking, “My God, we are damaged goods, in this beautiful magic place, we are a mess,” and then David and I would argue about who needed therapy more, myself or him. Then I imagined us all, like the Simpsons, in family therapy, zombies crying and yelling. My little guy Reef (two years old) just followed suit: “Moms crying, I think I will have a tear too…Dads frustrated, I think I will throw something around the room…now we are all at the beach laughing! I think I will run around naked with a big grin!…” I think we just needed to experience some fear that we didn’t make enough time for during the last year. And when I say “we” I mean David and I. There had to be a lot of focus and attention to detail with the therapy route I had chosen, and at the same time be open to whatever comes next, and at the same time keeping my eye on the prize. Ridding my body of cancer and protecting my spirit from going over the fearful edge. I learned it’s OK to be scared, but what you do with that fear is what will create a story, and perhaps even lend to your outcome.
I have found a new space for GRATITUDE. Oh yes, I have always been thankful, grateful, and appreciated the many gifts I have been handed in this life so far. Now, I can’t even put my feet on the floor in the morning without being grateful. A day, and many moments in that day, do not go by without picturing someone in my head who contributed to the B4BC4MEGS event and has been a part of my journey in some special way, however slight, I feel them and that energy. I know every single person, if they aren’t family or close friends, I have met them somewhere, sometime. It’s not about the money, it’s about the power of love that was the governing force behind all of it. It makes me feel like I can do anything with friends and family like that. That foundation that had been ripped out upon being diagnosed, is built up again. So getting up each day is easy, and I honestly feel light on my feet again.
The tragic loss of our brother-in-law halfway through chemo still rocks us. It’s odd, but I seem to think of chemo as no biggie compared to this tragedy, and well, maybe that’s a good thing. Although chemo sucked, and I still am experiencing some side effects, I am here on this earth. Having my sister try to find meaning without her husband is a hard one for me to swallow, but I have to continue to heal, and know that’s what we are all here for, even in the end. Healing. And so this conversation of life and death, we keep it going, with our kids and with ourselves. We allow our daughter to express her fears of loss that have stemmed from this experience, and we have had some really cool conversations with this amazing 7 year old about all that. We encourage both our kids to find magic in everyday experiences, and we also continue to practice the same, and see our beloved Joe in so much sparkle around us.
With love and MASSIVE gratitude always,