Testing…Testing……..

Tomorrow is another adventure in my story. More appointments and more testing has brought me to, well, tomorrow.

Music has been a huge part of my life. Playing it, writing it, listening to it, fostering the love of it for my children…. I can’t imagine not having music in my ears everyday. It’s the fuel to my fire. That thing that I use to express my feelings or to help me wallow in sadness. I have an endless soundtrack playing, but lately, the absence of ambient sound has become the new normal.

Imagine not hearing your children unless they are looking at you. Or whispers amongst each other. Not hearing people I work with or students because they are wearing a mask 😷. Today I realized there is an entire intro to the Raconteurs song, Help Me Stranger, that I had never heard until today when I watched the video.

I mean, I’ve always been the loudmouth. At the littles’ hockey games, you can hear me cheerleading the crew louder than any other hockey mom out there (this year, I bet I’ll have some stiff competition 🙌👏). I’m the first one to stand up and holler positive affirmations or yell at the refs missed penalty or endless offsides call. Sometimes, you’ll even hear me jabbing at an asshole parent in the stands…. depends on the day.

So all of these little stories lead me to tomorrow’s appointment. The two words I thought I wouldn’t have to say for another 20 years. I’m happy to report that it’s not brain cancer, like originally suspected (by me, not my dr. 😬) but! it is hearing aids.

Chemotherapy, as is well known, is a devastating poison. It kills multiplying DNA and seems to destroy everything in its wake. The intent is to kill everything in the body that reproduces quickly in order to, in a way, wipe the slate clean. In doing it’s job, the poison can sometimes cause debilitating effects that last forever.

I’ve mentioned neuropathy being a factor in survivors of chemotherapy. My neuropathy happens to be in my right side, my breasts and in my cochlea. As my hearing has gotten a bit worse in the last two years, the ringing has gotten intense. The very absence of sound is creating this loud situation in my ears. I’m told that if I chose not to wear hearing devices, the nerve is not being stimulated and will eventually die. This would be the end of hearing for me. No thanks.

So while I am very conscious that this is going to take a hit to my self-esteem, it’ll help me be able to hear the little things that I seem to have been missing. I’m scared and sad and all kinds of worried about all of it. But honestly, just get on with it already!

Testing…Testing……..

Tomorrow is another adventure in my story. More appointments and more testing has brought me to, well, tomorrow.

Music has been a huge part of my life. Playing it, writing it, listening to it, fostering the love of it for my children…. I can’t imagine not having music in my ears everyday. It’s the fuel to my fire. That thing that I use to express my feelings or to help me wallow in sadness. I have an endless soundtrack playing, but lately, the absence of ambient sound has become the new normal.

Imagine not hearing your children unless they are looking at you. Or whispers amongst each other. Not hearing people I work with or students because they are wearing a mask 😷. Today I realized there is an entire intro to the Raconteurs song, Help Me Stranger, that I had never heard until today when I watched the video.

I mean, I’ve always been the loudmouth. At the littles’ hockey games, you can hear me cheerleading the crew louder than any other hockey mom out there (this year, I bet I’ll have some stiff competition 🙌👏). I’m the first one to stand up and holler positive affirmations or yell at the refs missed penalty or endless offsides call. Sometimes, you’ll even hear me jabbing at an asshole parent in the stands…. depends on the day.

So all of these little stories lead me to tomorrow’s appointment. The two words I thought I wouldn’t have to say for another 20 years. I’m happy to report that it’s not brain cancer, like originally suspected (by me, not my dr. 😬) but! it is hearing aids.

Chemotherapy, as is well known, is a devastating poison. It kills multiplying DNA and seems to destroy everything in its wake. The intent is to kill everything in the body that reproduces quickly in order to, in a way, wipe the slate clean. I’m doing it’s job, the poison can sometimes cause debilitation effects that last forever.

I’ve mentioned neuropathy being a factor in survivors of chemotherapy. My neuropathy happens to be in my right side, my breasts and in my cochlea. As my hearing has gotten a bit worse in the last two years, the ringing has gotten intense. The very absence of sound is creating this loud situation in my ears. I’m told that if I chose not to wear hearing devices, the nerve is not being stimulated and will eventually die. This would be the end of hearing for me. No thanks.

So while I am very conscious that this is going to take a hit to my self-esteem, it’ll help me be able to hear the little things that I seem to have been missing. I’m scared and sad and all kinds of worried about all of it. But honestly, just get on with it already!

Instructions for Coping

It’s been two years since I was taking chemo. It’s only been one year since my last surgery. My memories have started to fade and my sense of self-worth is increasing. My choices are more select and with purpose, I want to have meaningful relationships and ones that don’t take so much damn effort. I want to smile more and appreciate the chaos that is raising two littles and one grown adult that currently hates my guts.

I need someone to tell me if I should grow out my hair again or keep cutting it. The former of which I’m terrified to do with the worry that the lasting change in my DNA from chemotherapy will be present in long locks of previously thick hair. The latter makes me really happy, but will I always wonder what it could look like if it had one more chance to grow out?

I wonder if I’m completely wasting my money when I put it in savings or retirement. It’d be real shame to have squirreled it all away and never have had a chance to do the things I wanted. Why shouldn’t I go on that vacation or buy that newer car (in this case it’s a beautiful SUV that I’ve been drooling over 🤤🤤🤤🤤).

In a week or so I am heading to the ear, nose and throat doctor to measure my hearing loss and need for potential hearing aids. Much like a lot of chemo patients have neuropathy on their hands, feet or other areas of the body, I have had a lot of nerve damage in my ears. I still have right arm nerve damage and I don’t have much sensation on my right side at all. It sucks, but what’s the alternative?

I still wake up everyday assessing my body. Am I sick today. Are there any new symptoms, am I dying again? When I see stories of children who’s mom or dad have died from cancer, I still wonder if my own will ever heal from those imminent death feelings about their mom. Currently, Beckham can’t talk about me catching a cold, coughing or sneezing without absolutely freaking out. He instantly panics and asks if I have cancer again. Or if I’m going to die. It’s devastating.

My social anxiety is still very present and accounted for. After talking with my doctor, I’m learning that all of the milestones I hit; anniversaries of chemo and surgeries showing up in my social media “memories” is sending my heart into the pit of my belly and my thoughts right back to cancer.

It’s all normal. My new normal. It’s getting easier. Kind of. Maybe.