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Things Are Not Working As Planned

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:30
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Sometimes, things just don't go as you wanted or expected. Its a fact of life and we need to learn to cope, change directions, and move on.

In the grand scheme of things, my original plans were that would I grow up, go to college, get a job, a career, married, kids, retire to a life of happiness and world travel. Well, we know what happened to that. I got as far as 'go to college' when my health started taking over my life. One little cancer diagnosis has a big emotional impact and it took time to get my life back together.

So I regrouped and started over at college, etc. The job and career went okay. I did eventually got married but it was too late for kids. (We didn't even meet until we were in our forties.) That's fine. We bought a house, traveled, had fun. But then my health took over.

I did get laid off just before my breast cancer diagnosis, and I had already had a hysterectomy because of other health issues since getting married two years before. (And no, getting married did not cause my health to fall apart.)

I regrouped again and started working part time. I got better and got up to two part time jobs that kept me busy between 35-40 hours each week. I was enjoying myself with some travel, some crafts, and mostly keeping my health in check… But not completely. My back was bothering me more and more. That went on for about five years. But I was doing okay.

Then, I was diagnosed with both rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Both of which are responsible for pain and fatigue and greatly limited my abilities to do much. Neither of which have a cure and rheumatoid is definitely progressive. In six months from diagnosis, I had cut back working to one job at about 15-20 hours each week. Over the next three years, I cut back more and more until I finally reached the decision that I really physically could not work any more.

That was a financial hit that was hard for us. When we purchased our house, we did it based on what we needed at the time and could afford. Our house was going to be our forever house. But because I wasn't working in Boston, never mind at all, it was clear that we did not need to nor afford to live in such an expensive area. And I really needed fewer stairs in my life. Our house was a Cape Cod with bedrooms on the second floor, kitchen etc on the main floor and laundry in the basement. I would sit in the living room and ask myself 'if I went upstairs, how to could I limit the number of times I needed to go back up stairs, maybe not back up stairs until bed time.'

So we came up with the idea that we would move to a one floor house and cut our expenses. That would solve two problems at the same time. It would allow me better quality of life and loosen up our finances.

While we were house hunting, I realized that I needed a plan for my life after we moved. I needed a way to transition from working to being more home bound that I needed to figure out what I was going to do. Our new house is probably 25 minutes away from 'everything' – doctors, gym, family, etc. I decided I could work with that provided I had a plan.

I came up with a plan. Three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, would be my 'gym, doctor appointments, family visit days'. The other two days, Tuesday and Thursday, I would not drive down to our old neighborhood and do other things in the new neighborhood. I also wanted to see if I could find a cancer support center to volunteer, allowing me to feel like I was 'giving back' and filling my time. I did find a place and started a knitting group. I go every Thursday afternoon and have made new friends. Tuesdays are my day at home and when I can meet friends for lunch or other adventures.

I like my life for the most part now. It works pretty well. I go to the gym three days a week and to my knitting group. I see other friends for lunch. I go to the library and am learning my way around our new neighborhood. But somethings are not working as planned.
[Part 2 is coming]

Caroline\’s Breast Cancer Blog



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