Sunday, March 9, 2014

Struggling with Balance

Balance is something that has been on my mind for a few months now....
  work and life
  family and self
 one boob larger than the other...

It seems that for some reason I cannot have balance with any of these things. For instance, if I am dating someone and things are going well in my personal life, then work life may suffer. If I am single and not really looking around, then work is my life and I spend too much time in my office. It seems like I submerse myself in whatever is going on at the time and loose focus on the other half - either work or life.
Why does it have to be one or the other?

On December 3, 2013, I had my yearly mammogram - even though I have moved from the six-month exam to the twelve-month exam,  it still causes me to come close to a panic attack when I put on that hospital gown that opens in the front and never really covers you well. Once you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, there is nothing that compares to that feeling of going back to the mammogram machine. And, because "breast cancer" is on my medical history form, I have to set my mammogram appointments when there is a radiologist  on stand-by to immediately read my test results and decide whether they need more pictures or an ultrasound completed. I am very open with the person doing the mammogram about my nervousness and I generally try and make jokes (because that's just what I do). The time between the tech leaving me alone in the exam room, the radiologist reading it, making a decision and the tech coming back to me in the exam room feels like longest hours ever - but, it is really only about fifteen minutes.
I passed that test with an "all clear", but that leaves the now yearly breast MRI to be done. My last breast MRI was January 16, 2013 and I am overdue. Every time I have a breast MRI, there is wrangling between my surgeon's staff and my insurance company. The surgeon's office "wins" and my insurance approves it and within a week, I am boobs down in an MRI tube for about 40 minutes. The results for this take about two days, but it also comes with a huge bill from the hospital. My health insurance pays about half the cost and I get billed for approximately $1,200 for that one MRI.
And here we are at balance again, do I just take the mammogram at its word, not do the MRI and not have more dollars added on to my hospital tab or do I stay in debt and have the MRI?

It is not like I am going to forget I had breast cancer or get lackadaisical about exams - I have daily reminders since one boob is bigger than the other and I have scars, but when is there balance? When does the fear and the practical follow up, level out? 

On yet another balance brother and his wife have been the only family near me for the last six years. I now have an 11-month old nephew (who is amazing and I could not love more) which has made the recent change even more difficult. My brother and I have always been close and his wife has become like a sister to me, so when my brother got the "job offer of a lifetime" the end of November 2013 I could feel the scale tipping. My brother started his new job in January 2014 and flew back home every other weekend until he could find a home, etc. for my sister-in-law and nephew. I thought I had more time to balance things mentally and emotionally before they all moved, but that was not the case. They moved back South the first weekend in March 2014 and it has been very difficult and sad. I am happy for my brother and his family, but I am crushed that he is no longer an hour car ride away for the weekend visit, movie and hanging out time.
My brother got a house with enough bedrooms for one to be mine (or to be used as a guestroom). When he told me about the house, he was careful to explain that "my" bedroom was on the lower floor so I would have my own entrance and privacy. He and my sister-in-law were very clear that I was welcome to move in with them this month or down the road - as my brother said, "there will always be a room for you here".
I stayed. I am now a two-hour plane ride from them.  Some days I wonder what the hell am I still doing here and other days I think I should stay.
And there is that balance thing again, do I walk away from what I have here to be with family or do I stay and try to make a life for myself?

Balance in life, work, health, family and relationships is clearly something I am going to continue to struggle with.....I guess I would just like to see a balance in one area.....
but, I do not even know which area that would be.......or what balance may even look like.

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