June is a particularly pensive month for me. This year June is hitting me harder than it has hit me in previous years. June 12, 2014 was when I first heard the words ‘you have breast cancer‘. Last year, in June I had heard that mom’s cancer had progressed very quickly. It is hard to believe that was a whole year ago. It feels like both yesterday and forever ago.
One reason I think I’m struggling right now is that I normally would share this particular struggle with my mom. I often would talk to her about how one of the hardest things I ever did was have to tell her I had breast cancer. This year she isn’t with me to share this memory. It wasn’t a pleasant memory, rather it was a memory of shared pain. We each felt the gut-punch at the saying of those words. I could not say it without breaking down into tears.
I didn’t struggle so much with my mom’s birthday because we were on vacation. I didn’t struggle so much with Mother’s Day this year because we were again on vacation. Now it is Father’s day. I see the advertisements constantly. Everywhere I go there are ideas and things you can do with dad. It is hard, because again I cannot share that loss with mom.
And so it is Father’s Day and the month of June in general that makes me feel down. I am struggling. I’d say I was putting one foot in front of the other, but I’m not really doing a whole lot of walking – my back is still not cooperating with me on that front. When my back hurts, it also reminds me of mom. She had back issues for a long time. Some of the symptoms I’m having now are echos of the early symptoms she had. I find myself having to remind myself “I am not my mother”, in much the same way I had to remind myself that “I am not my father” after finding out that I have celiac disease.
And so I am trying to figure out some new coping mechanisms – and I’m going to try to get back into regular writing – and regular creating. I’m enjoying the classes that I’m teaching. I’m making progress on my dissertation again. These are things that would benefit from me getting back into regular writing – and regular blogging. I’m going to try because often just putting it down in writing helps. It helps me to acknowledge what is going on in my mind.
I’m not just remembering my diagnosis five year ago, I’m also grieving the loss of my parents. Love you mom and dad.