Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Off The Train Please

** As a child I made it through each day by looking ahead to something else. It was like living in perpetual limbo. That's what I feel like I am doing these days while waiting to hear what comes next in the cancer journey.

** Had another bit of fluid drained off my chest yesterday. I keep wanting to write breast instead of chest but it's not a breast any more so what do I call it? You know, that place where my breast used to be? It's a bit disconcerting to have a huge honking needle stuck in there and to not feel it in the least. When the doctor asked if he could use a bigger bore needle to suck out the fluid I was like, um, I can't feel anything there anyway so do what you need to do. I told Dearest One the other day that that side of my chest looks like a toad. A squished toad. I want flat, totally flat like it was before complications set in. I feel like I'm being hard to please. Jeepers, they removed the cancer, what more do you want, Hope?

** Got a copy of my latest CT scan report today. It reported not only the size of suspicious nodes elsewhere in the body - dear God please no more biopsies - but that the back pain I've been having for months is explained by a degenerating disc in my back. One less doctor's appointment needed now.

** the doctor I saw today was incredibly kind, compassionate and just plain decent. I told him how much I appreciated the way he practised medicine and how much difference it made from this patient's point of view. He told me how he has worried about my unexplained weight loss in case they are missing something. The doctors all confer that the tumour in my breast doesn't explain it.

He explained exactly what was happening in my body with the new drug from the oncologist and that it would take three months for my body to adjust. I told him I could handle anything for three months. It was the five years of drugs that was hard. Then I said, "Oh, hell, I can do anything for five years, one day at a time." I just don't want to.

For the second time in a week a medical professional suggested anti-depressants to help me get over this hump. We'll see. Hopefully all my posts for the next three months won't be estrogen starved brain cell induced writings.

** Yesterday I tried on winter jackets and was disturbed that the size I tried on was just about too loose. Not being in control of my weight loss is the most vulnerable feeling. And I feel guilty every time I write or talk about it because it is many a woman's dream to lose weight without effort. Millions have been spent in hopes of that promise.

** I can't believe how much I am hankering after certainty. Every time there is a new bit of medical information that leads to more questions than answers I can hardly stand it. Off the train. I just want off the train.

** Today someone, in response to my sharing the grief I am feeling at losing my breast, tried to tell me all the reasons I should be thankful instead. I just looked at her and said I need to go through the grieving and that none of her suggestions changed that. She tried to explain how I should have perspective in different words. I had to tell her that it didn't change the grief process. I could, to ease my own pain, and to make it easier for others, shove that grief way down deep, put on my happy face and pretend otherwise. But I'm not going to do it. I told my friend that I wasn't going to get stuck in the grief but I was going to go through it.

I don't know how to explain to people that just because I am feeling grief and expressing it doesn't mean I have no perspective, know no gratitude. It's not an either or scenario but a both and one. I feel intense grief and I feel grateful that what I'm facing is much less serious than some other people's. But dammit, I have to live through it and for once in my life I'm going straight through it and not try to sneak my way around it. Why is that so hard for people to accept? Why can't they celebrate that I am going through it instead of around it?

There's part of me that would love to pretend I am fine. But man, pretending my feelings are not my feelings has bitten me in the butt more times than I can count. I told my sponsor the other day that the only way I'm getting through this right now is knowing that feelings aren't permanent. And knowing that God is with me in it whether I feel his presence or not.

** Today in a parking lot I was driving behind a young woman who was walking arm in arm with a woman my age. They were so engrossed in their conversation that they didn't see me behind them. I watched their body language and it was so evident how fond of one another they were. I just about rolled my passenger window down, when they moved off to the side so I could pass them, to tell them how much pleasure I felt watching them so thoroughly enjoy each other's company.

And because it's all about me I longed for someone to walk like that through this journey with me.


Erin Wilson said...

"Why is that so hard for people to accept? Why can't they celebrate that I am going through it instead of around it?"

Luv, you're doing something they're no more capable of than breathing on Mars. All of the hard internal work you've done over the years has completely set you apart.

I'm so grateful for your non-dualistic approach to the world. xoxo

Rebekah Grace said...

I hear you. I appreciate this. We're so damned afraid of another's pains and griefs and brokenness because we have yet to face, I mean REALLy face our own. Thank you! ~ Rebekah

Beth said...

I would walk, arm in arm with you, and look at the sky.

I wish I lived close enough to hug you and BE with you, dear friend-I've-never-met.

Thank you for sharing your journey so openly and with such vulnerability. It matters.


Daisy said...

You gotta grieve the way you gotta grieve, my friend. You're so right about that. I'm glad that you're writing.

I was going through some photos the other day and I found the ones of you and me in front of Timmies. Made me smile.

I wish I could say that I'd be a great compassionate friend but to be honest, I usually open my mouth just long enough to change feet. But in my heart, I got my arm around you.

Robin said...

"Why is that so hard for people to accept? Why can't they celebrate that I am going through it instead of around it?"

Because they don't want to know that something like this can happen to them and that, if it does, they will NOT be saying cheerily, "I'm so grateful!"

We live in a culture very much dedicated to avoidance and frightened of "going through."

You go, girl.

annie said...

I read this earlier and have been thinking about it. It is so hard, being so far away. We can't reach out and hug you, we can't totally sit in in silence with you, so we have to use words to say "we're here with you, in the darkness."

Peter said...

Then I said, "Oh, hell, I can do anything for five years, one day at a time." I just don't want to.

Amen and amen.

Dontya just hate spiritual journeys disguised as medical recovery?

Jim said...

You leave me speechless, ma'am, no words to offer other than I am "with you" here in the silence even as you are "with me" in my prayers.......

Gretel said...

Oh, I do wish I were closer to walk arm in arm with you. But I am sending my prayers and love!

Mary Christine said...

Would you please send me the name of the person who told you that crap? I would like to personally kick their ass. Sorry, that's just the truth.

Also, I can't read the word verification and have you ever tried to HEAR them? So far, three attempts.