Lately I have been wading in the depths of anxiety and depression that I just don’t know how to get out of. I don’t feel fully myself. Less smiles, less laughs, more grumpy, more tired…
I know this is possible side effects of brain mets and heck, side effects of having terminal cancer. Life is more enjoyable when you can actively enjoy it. I have good moments and I have bad moments and I want to find my way back into a lot more good moments. When treatment is possibly not working, and it is making you sick, it is hard.
It was super lovely going to the LBBC metastatic breast cancer conference in Philadelphia this past weekend. I enjoyed seeing the faces of women I met last year and making many new friends this year. The day before the conference Diane wanted to go to see Amish country, Josie and her hubby opted to tag along on the adventure. I picked a random town that looked like it had the buggy rides and shopping we were looking for and off we went!
The diner in the area turned out to be a railcar diner which was on my list, so I was kind of excited about that. They also had hotel rooms that were cabooses, which were pretty neat (they would have let us look in one, but we opted not to). We had lunch (I chose a Philly cheesesteak… probably should have gotten that one in Philadelphia, but it was tasty). We then bought some Amish jams and Diane bought us both bonnets, she is obsessed with the Amish just a little bit. I wore mine during the buggy ride, but I felt silly wearing it in front of the Amish folk at the dairy and woodworking shop we visited. It was a really cold day, so luckily the buggy had sides and we could stay mostly warm. We got to do some more Amish shopping before we raced back to make it to the hotel for the conference opening stuff.
This year they had a meet and greet for younger women, which was kind of nice because last year when I went to the main meet and greet I felt really young. I had Judit from The Life I Didn’t Expect with me to protect me from feeling too young (because you need protection from that…). It is really weird trying to connect on topics with much much older women sometimes though, as sweet as they are.
We mosied around both for a bit and then wandered off and chattered with various groups of women we knew. We ate a delightful Italian dinner and stayed up late making each other’s belly’s hurt from laughter.
It was fun rooming with Judit, she is truly the spitfire she comes across as from her blog, and a really sweet soul. We participated in the die-in the next day (I have some video I need to edit and add). The whole conference experience was fun, but emotional at the same time (Beth covers it well on her blog post An Anniversary). You are surrounded by all of these women that you come to truly care about and you know that they are all living on limited time. Everyone is trying to figure out how to make the best use of that time. Many, like me, are furiously looking for the next great treatment that will keep them alive and you have the deep down belly fear that you know some of the women won’t be back next year.
You never know if you are going to be that one, or if it is going to be one or your dear friends and we are all tired of watching each other die.
We also all seem to schedule our scans right after the conference. So news tends to be all over the place when everyone gets home. I am patiently starving and waiting for my mom to pick me up for my PET-CT.
Ugh. I hate cancer.
I do love Amish jam (that I can’t eat because NO FOOD before my scan)!