Monthly Archives: June 2015

Foot In Mouth

Something new happened to me in one of my groups the other day. I was new to this group at the cancer centre I go to, so I had to introduce myself, and then in turn they all did the same. I am so used to telling people that I haven’t met my story, that I can sum it up in under two minutes. I remember before it would take me so long to tell it, going through every detail. Then I realized that all the details were not needed and I could just skip to the main event. 

I have stage 4 colon cancer, I have had 3 surgeries and 12 rounds of chemo, I am now waiting on a scan coming up to tell me if I am cancer free or not. Actually, that is probably under two minutes. 

The social worker leading the group asked me to explain a little more about my surgeries and chemo. I let everyone know that the first two surgeries were extremely hard, and I am still recovering from them. My abdonimal section will probably never work the same again. I am in discomfort daily. I then explained how I had 4 rounds of chemo, then surgery, then another 9 and had to stop. The chemo was horrible and was hurting me more than it was helping so I chose to stop. 

After my complaining was over, the man next to me introduced himself. He was 33, stage 4 colon cancer as well. Then he went on to say he was diagnosed a year ago, still had not had a single surgery, and as had 26 chemo treatments so far. 

“Shit.” I said out loud. “I should not have been complaining.” He won the poker hand.

You may be wondering how he can have 26 rounds and still be out and about. Well when they give you chemotheraphy in order to help your cancer stay at bay, and know you will be on it for a long time, your dose is not as strong. It is still horrible, don’t get me wrong, but it is not the heavy dose that would happen if they knew the number of rounds you would be having. 

When I asked him who is surgeon was he let me know he didn’t really have one. He met a man when he was first diagnosed who told him he was inoperable, and that was it. He took that response and just moved on. He never got a second opinion……

I quickly grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled down the name and number of my surgeon.

“I’m not saying he will be able to do anything, but he worked miracles on me. The worst he can say is no, and then you are no better off than you are now.”

Last I saw him he had just had a CT scan, and him and his oncologist were speaking about sending it to my surgeon. 

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Bored

Sitting at home everyday is no where close to fun. I have no idea how other people do it. Mothers I get – you have kids that you are looking after. But the people who scam the system – living on welfare or abusing their disability because they don’t feel like working – these are the people I do not understand. Until July 9th I have to rest and relax. I cannot do anything that would take my breathing up to a “pant” level. Running up the stairs after my cat could cause me to pop my lung. So I just walk around dragging my feet. So boring. I would have taken another course from school but there wasn’t one being offered that would go towards my certificate. So here I sit. Watching endless hours of Netflix in bed while drinking coffee. It is what a lot of people who wake up early to go to work dream about. Just staying in bed all day and only getting up to eat. Yes sure, maybe once in a while it would be nice. But nothing is fun when it is forced upon you. Like sex. (Did I just make a rape joke?)

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Relating

Try as you must, no one will ever truly understand what I went through and am continuing to go through. You can try to relate to me, and some lines may cross, but at the end of it all it is not the same. Even for myself, my particular experience is not the same as another’s with the same type of cancer.

When people say to me, “I can’t imagine what you have been through.” – my initial response in my head is you are right, you can’t imagine. If you think you can try, you will still not even be close. As hard as you think it has been for me, trust me when I say it has been harder than that.

It is ok though. I do not expect any one to fully understand my struggle. They are not me. Even if you were with me 24 hours a day, you would still not feel the pain of it all.

I also cannot begin to understand what it feels like to lose a parent or a sibling. I do not know how it feels when your child is sick. I cannot grasp the heartache of your spouse of many years leaving you.

This is how we can learn from each other.

Being open and honest about it all. Sharing and leaning on those around you. A small glimpse into my life my help you in some way, and a glimpse into yours may help me.

 

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Cancer Snob – The Sequel

I am not one to read my own posts. I am sure eventually I will start from the beginning and read every single one. It will be very interesting to listen to how I was feeling at the time. This past year I have had many ups and downs – and I am sure my blog accurately reflects that. One post however I have always thought of is my “cancer snob” post (If you have not read this post, it is one of my early ones so get scrolling!). My attitude towards others and life in general has changed so much since then – that I have considered deleting it. I hated the thought of someone stumbling upon my blog, and having that as the first thing they read. What the heck would they think about me? I have evolved so much as a person since then. The funny thing is, without telling anyone – I have had many people tell me that my “cancer snob” post is actually their favourite. Why? Maybe it is because people love a good bitch. 

I have decided not to delete it. It is part of my story and it is important to see how crazy the highs and lows can be. Now do not go getting all upset – I can still have my bitch moments. They are just on a whole other level now. 

                                                        

                                                            

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