...I'm starting to suspect there isn't one. But then, when is there ever? Still, I'm finally through the withdrawal and am feeling as close to normal as I have in a very long time. Thank you all for the concern about the drug issues. I didn't do my research before trying to stop taking the narcotics (turns out they're addictive. who knew?) and my doctor's office didn't give me a lot of information about weaning myself off of them (i suspect that they didn't think i'd really be off the drugs so quickly. ha!) and I pretty much just cut my doses down too far too fast. By the time I realized how bad it was, I spoke to my doctor and was told to just keep on keepin' on, that the only thing to really do was to finish getting the drug out of my system. And then, I ran out of pills (for narcotics, you have to have a paper prescription and the post office brough mine a few days too late). Let me just tell you, mostly cold turkey is not the way to go. Hopefully you'll never need to know that, though. One thing this taught me is that there's a world of difference between physical dependence and mental addiction. I didn't crave the pills, and didn't mentally notice their absence. But my, oh my, the body surely did. I will never again judge a person who's trying to break an addiction. Turns out, it's not just a matter of willpower. (eta for the people at americanmuscle.com: i had chest surgery in june, the narcotics that i was coming off of were prescription painkillers that were given to me by a doctor. i had a tough time coming off of them because i have never had to take anything so strong before, and i was on them for over a month.)
For the first time since February (and gods, that feels like a lifetime ago already), I feel more like me. I'm Emily, not just a person with a huge tumor, not a recovering patient. Just me, plain and simple. I still get tired more easily than I like, and I run out of breath faster than pleases me, but I look in the mirror and the only person looking back is me. I'm starting to feel restless, like I need to get out of the house and do things and see people and have adventures and start to live again... Just in time to go back to work in a week.
On the bright side, though, I will only be with the Pep Boys for two weeks. *drums roll, trumpets blare, and angels sing happily* As of August 24, 2009, I am an employee of americanmuscle.com, the same company that employs Jim. I'll work 10:30-7 M-F. No weekends, no holidays, no crazy early mornings. As far as jobs go, it's practically perfect. I can wear jeans and t-shirts and flip-flops to work. I get a regular, scheduled break every day. My schedule won't change at a moment's notice. The customers are, by and large, happy and easy to deal with (jim's biggest gripe is that his canadian customers are too nice. i feel for him). I'm so happy, I could dance and sing and giggle. Which, actually, has already been done in profusion.
For the first time in half a year, things feel like they're starting to fall into place. Unbelievably, we've made it. Through the uncertainty and fear and worry and heartache and frustration, I have never been alone. There is not one step of this journey that I've had to take by myself; you've been standing behind me, cheering me on and picking me up and dusting me off when I needed it. Looking back through old blog entries, I realized that I wrapped up just about every blog by mentioning how amazing you guys, my blog friends, are. I can't really say I made it, because this isn't something I would have been able to handle with any grace or steadiness by myself. I'm used to being the rock, the foundation. I'm not so used to leaning on others, using someone else as a touchstone. And I thank all the powers that be that, when I finally needed some good, strong pillars of my own, I had so very many to lean on. The worst is finally over, and I'm a little dented and scuffed around the edges. The remarkable thing, though, is that I am not broken. So, from the bottom of my little heart, thank you. For the love, support, laughter, care packages, unflagging positivity, and the continual comfort. You're fabulous, and I couldn't have made it through this insane year without you ladies.