As personal as I get on my blog, I don’t get as personal as I could. There are little details of my life I certainly don’t share here. My finances, my lack of checking up on my ovaries since getting the clear after my treatment over a year ago…. (I don’t talk about that one to avoid the lectures. Give me medical insurance and I’ll go every 60 days like I’m supposed to)
The lyrics from The Goo Goo Dolls song “Iris” comes to mind every time I consider writing about some of my financial and health woes. “and I don’t want the world to see me, cause I don’t think that they’d understand.”
Life is a constant test of our strength, our determination, our will power. We are always being tested, and I feel like after 23 years of getting by easier than a lot of people in this world, life has decided that 2012 is the year it will push me to my limits and test me as hard and for as long as it can.
I thought I finally made it out of the darkness. I was moving past the loss of my brother. You know, I’ve even gotten to the point where I can smile and even laugh at the pictures and videos of him that I have. (sometimes) It is absolutely amazing to me the healing power of time. I’ll always be devastated of our loss of Matthew, but over time it gets both harder and easier. I’m moving forward every day, and was starting to see the sunshine through the clouds. I don’t talk about it much, but his loss put me in one of the darkest corners I’ve ever been in during my lifetime.
But, true to form this year — if it isn’t one thing it’s another….
Next Friday I am being forced to move to our home town. Our lease is up at the end of the month (wow, a year already?) and resigning our lease is agreeing to $200 extra a month for rent. Which is doable right this very second, if we never rented a movie, never had an ounce of fun, never did anything but go to work and come home. But next month Zack goes back to university and his hours at work will drop to less than half what he is getting now. The apartments in our area are even more expensive. Sure, I can move into a crack neighborhood that gets shot up every other day in downtown Baltimore for less than we’re paying now, but I’m not willing to put my safety at risk like that. Not to mention we have one car and getting to Owings Mills everyday for work and Green Spring every day for Zack’s classes is impossible. GS and OM aren’t on the light rail line…
I do everything I can. I work full-time. I’ve put off going back to school several semesters in a row because, if I spend my time in a classroom those are less hours I have to be working and making money. I work 40-50 hours every week and still don’t have health insurance, still struggle to put a roof over our heads and food in our stomach.
It isn’t fair. I see people who literally sit on their asses all day, doing practically nothing and making a fortune. I see people abusing drugs and getting help from the state. But me, who works on her feet 40+ hours a week, watches what she eats, doesn’t do drugs, barely drinks… I get no help, I struggle and am forced to be ripped away from my fiance.
Yeah, I forgot to mention that Zack will not be coming with me. He has one year of college left and I refuse to let him put it on hold because of this. He has grandparents here that he can stay with. His grandparents won’t let us stay there together before we’re married, and I can understand their decision. Does that make it easier? No. But I can understand and respect their wishes.
So, back to NY I go with my tail between my legs. I’m terrified, and angry, and so upset that words don’t even do it justice. I was a different person last time I lived in Jamestown. I was completely different. Falling in love with running and a healthy lifestyle completely changed me. I have grown, I have matured, I have changed truly and completely. All of my friends are still abusing alcohol and drugs, still staying up on the weekends until 4am drinking, still making excuses for themselves. I love them to pieces, but I have evolved. I have grown to hate the girl I used to be and the last thing I want to do is take a million steps backwards and become her again. Yes, I know that the place I live can’t dictate the person I am, but the people I surround myself with CAN. When I surround myself with inspirational people I grow, when I surround myself with people doing the same things every day of their life, I come to a stand still. “you are the average of your 5 closest friends”
It doesn’t end there, though. How could it? One major, heart-breaking life change couldn’t possibly be enough. No, of course not.
You see, the last few weeks I have felt pressure in my lower abdomen. I thought nothing of it at first, but as time goes on the pressure is getting worse. Last night in bed I found the pressure to be worse than its been so I kept running my hand back and forth over my lower abdomen. I noticed a slight raise on the right side. It all clicked. All of the pieces to the puzzle clicked and I started to panic.
Pressure of the lower abdomen, slight pain above the pelvic bone, the raising of one side, bloating, messed up menstrual cycles, CRIPPLING BED-RIDDEN cramps during that time of the month…. These are all things I’ve been experiencing lately and they are all key symptoms of ovarian cysts.
Ovarian cysts to the average woman isn’t very scary. But 2 years ago I had an ovarian cyst ruptur. After 12 hours of bleeding internally in the ER, hey took out 80% of my right ovary and biopsied it. The cysts were cancerous. I went through treatment and surgery and finally in the beginning of 2011 I was cancer-free. If my cysts are back, there is an insanely high chance that they are cancerous again. But the worst part is I don’t have insurance. I don’t have money. I can’t just walk into the doctors office and have an appointment to get checked out. No doctor will take a patient who doesn’t have the money OR insurance… The messed up part of our damn health care system is that I don’t make enough money to afford health care on my own, but I make too much money to receive medical assistance (plus I have a pre-existing condition. They wouldn’t help me anyway) OR be able to get a free appointment at Planned Parenthood. The only way I can see a doctor right now is if I wait until it becomes an emergency situation and have to go to the ER.
I try so hard to stay positive. I try so hard to smile at every person I see and laugh whenever I can, but this is all too much right now. This isn’t a cry for help. This isn’t where I want you to all comment how sorry you are.
No, this is just me, letting it all out. I can’t talk to my mom about this — she just lost her only son… I can’t talk to her about how terrified i am that I’m next. That if I can’t figure out a way to make 20 grand and cover what surely will be very expensive medical bills that I’m going to be the next one gone.
I’m just terrified. Every moment of every day lately. It’s crippling. I used to pride myself on never being afraid. But I’m afraid every day since Matthew passed on. I’m afraid for myself, my family, my mother recovering from it…
I just needed to let it all out. Talk about it someplace. I already feel better just letting these things out. It’s hard bottling everything up. I’m a very open book, and its freeing to be so open. It can be scary, but the sense of relief is incredible. Not to mention the tightness in my chest is fading.