I am literally paralyzed with anxiety and depression. Writing this sentence is taking all of the strength and courage that I have left in me today. My fingers are throbbing from the nerve damage that the chemotherapy has left behind, and the drugs that the doctors have prescribed to ease the pain impair my cognitive function. Yet I gingerly and slowly type these words, because to not do so would take away what little power I have left. One more word written, one more step towards recovery. I command myself to move forward; otherwise the nervous breakdown that is waiting for me behind the prescription bottles that are neatly lined up on my bed side table will win this war. I am in mourning. I am grieving the current loss of my healthy body that has always been strong enough to conquer any challenge that lay before me. I am grieving the loss of my position at a world class pharmaceutical company that I am not healthy enough to return to, and that they are no longer willing to hold open for me while I finish treatment. I am grieving the happiness that I used to feel. I am grieving the laughter that used to burst from my mouth easily. I am grieving the optimism that I just can’t seem to find today. I am grieving the loss of my hair, my eyebrows, my eyelashes and my fingernails which have or are in the process of jumping ship, knowing that this vessel is toxic. My right breast aches with pain from a recent surgery, and that requires a different pain medication that I swallow thru tears. Then there is the Prozac for the depression, but that doesn’t seem to be helping and my doctor has prescribed Wellbutrin to add onto it. When my heart races and I can’t catch my breath because of the large anxious pit in my stomach I nibble on a low dose of Xanax to keep the mental breakdown at bay. “Is this my new normal? Is this the quality of my life from now on?” I ask my dear friend John who is a physician and married to my best friend Reina. “No sweetie, this is the quality of your battle” he replies.