Initially, my response to this question was cancer, but that’s not accurate. I’d been living with the pain from my cancer for a few months by the time I received my diagnosis: adjusting my daily routine to accomodate pain and subtle, but lingering fatigue, etc. The biggest change is being sick. I was diagnosed on a Wednesday and by that Friday I had met 1 of my 2 oncologists and had a treatment plan. That was followed by test upon test upon test and as complicated and worrisome as they were — everyday for more than 2 weeks, I was at the hospital for a procedure, it seemed — nothing prepared me for how quickly I was fall ill during treatment. Within 1 week of starting chemo and radiation, I was too sick to fully care for myself – cooking, navigating, focusing on work-related tasks. My mother insisted on coming for 2 weeks starting with my first day of chemo. I didn’t agree. I thought she should come at the end of my treatment. She didn’t listen. She didn’t want me doing chemo alone. She was right. Her 2 week visit has turned into 2 months and she will be here through xmas. I thank God for her. I never imagined I would need so much help just to exist day to day. My mom has allowed me to be sick. That may sound ridiculous, but it’s true. I sleep when I need to, I eat regular small meals because my mom makes sure I have food prepared to eat. She has even bathed me during times I am too tired or in pain to do so myself. Today is the first day I didn’t have to take pain pills. Two weeks ago was my last radiation and chemo treatment. I am slowly getting back to myself, but I’m still sick. And my mama is still here allowing me to be what I need.