The Next Chapter

After a summer of many fun adventures time has been creeping up on me. The little voice that kept asking me about work, whether I can do my job, the one where I worked so hard to get where I am, and be happy with my output if I did – the voice needed a decision (yes, I am hearing voices again).

I am working out. My pain is in a better place, but I am not physically up to 9:00 to 5:00 (plus evenings, weekends and all the fun that comes with what I do). Normally, I love the challenge of managing an amazing online marketing team, the normalcy of sitting in the office, my work friends, but right now there isn’t an end game in site to plod toward.

No one can cure my cancer.

So my inner battle has raged on.

When you find rest, sometimes you find peace with that place that tells you that you need to take care of YOU. As hard as it is, you need to do the things that help your health and sanity. The stress, tight deadlines and world of constant need to push push push and be the best marketer out there no longer holds as big of a place in my heart as it once did.

I went to the office last week. Up until the moment I spoke with my bosses I was not entirely sure what I was going to say except that I wouldn’t be back this week and that I am not entirely sure I will be able to work full time and be successful when I got back from Europe in September. I let them know that I had decided to roll into long term disability. This was where I was leaning after several discussions with my doctor, medical team, and family. The conversation went as well as it can. I didn’t cry, I don’t think what I was saying really hit me.

I gave up the job I have had for the last 9 years, right before my 9 year work anniversary. The job that has been a pivotal point in defining who I have become. I started working there when I was 26 years old, I hadn’t married Mike just yet and I am now 35. Many of my coworkers have literally watched me “grow up.”

I offered to help interview and select my replacement once they decided how they wanted to format the team with me no longer officially in my role. Pretty much everything is up in the air. If we can find a way for me to work some towards my salary with long term disability in place, that could happen, there is a chance too that I may just “medically retire.” Right now I have decided not to decide, and I will see what my company has in mind when I get back from Europe and settled back into this time zone.

This does not mean I am giving up, it just means I am focusing my time on my family and friends rather than money. I am blessed to have good long term disability, I will soon have to learn to navigate the land of social security and figure out the ramifications if I do stay home and knit dog sweaters to sell on Etsy (my long standing stay at home dog-mom joke is still alive 😉 ).

I didn’t really tell everyone at work goodbye, because I am just not sure what kind of goodbye it is. I don’t know what my health will allow me to accomplish the next bit, but I will certainly make the most of whatever is ahead of me. I am trying to convince myself that cancer didn’t take this away from me, but it did. I wish it would stop stealing from me.

I hate cancer.

I drove home with my office packed into the back of my car today, the street was blurred by tears the whole way home.

Hopefully this will be the beginning of more amazing things and happy times. Today I start the next chapter of my life.

My friend took this at Palisades while we were camping this weekend

My friend Lacey took this at Palisades while we were camping this weekend

Author: Mandi

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