Monday, November 23, 2015

MONDAY'S MUSINGS---THE THING ABOUT CANCER




The thing about having cancer is its tiring.

Oh, I don’t mean treatments, perse, but everything that comes with it. I get tired of thinking about it; planning or delaying my life because of it. Then there are my own fears and worries that creep in at odd times and bite deep. I’ve always been independent and while I can delegate I hate losing my independence due to lack of strength. I dislike the worry about getting to and from appointments if I unable to drive, of being a burden, or looking at and arranging finances.

Then there is dealing with people.

There are those that care and always try to be encouraging, in spite of what’s going on in their life; those that still want to have real conversations or share laughter and I appreciate them. Seriously these people, and not just close friends and family, make life good. 

But, then... there are those that haven’t a clue what to say or how to react or interact with me. They treat me as if the cancer zombiefied my brain and its broken or not working. You know, that over bright tone of voice one uses with a toddler or someone who is at death’s door. I am neither. 

Or that I’m some drama queen looking for the spotlight. 

Seriously? Who the hell would choose something as dangerous as cancer, which can go either way, for attention? I’d rather being doing anything but facing this. Then there are who just want to avoid me as if this cancer thing is catching, like cooties or the ‘flu.


The funny thing is I do understand people and the whys and hows of how they think. I do try to be patient and understanding but it does get wearying to the soul and I’m not even half way through my treatments. There are times I have little or no patience because I’m trying to deal with what’s inside me right now. I don’t have the energy to deal with others’…problems or attitudes. I fight hard, at times, to hold on to my patience and not rip into someone or have to call my brothers to help dispose of a body. Not a good thing. I don’t like me when I get that way.

I guess what's most frustrating in none of this is a quick fix. By that I mean nothing is going to get me through the next 3 months of radiation and chemo easy or fast--- or the 9 months beyond that with the final chemical phase of treatment. Each treatment is a necessary evil but it isn't going to make me feel better. Considering my reaction to most chemicals and meds, I suspect I'm going to be feeling like crap. I won't kid you, it all gets to me. The anticipation of what's coming...the unknown. Yeah, it gets to me on many levels.

I've spent considerable time, the past few months, at a hospital that deal exclusively with all sorts of cancer patients. I'm a natural people watcher and the story that peoples' faces tell...it's an eye opener. Sometimes it lifts you up and other times it breaks your heart.
The sights I've seen and the stories I've heard from people fighting this war...my God. It tends to put things into perspective when I'm facing my own fears and worries. 


So, when things get...frustrating or I get a bit down, I give myself a swift kick mentally and say, "Suck it up Buttercup! There are people with this same disease that would LOVE to be standing where you are now."

No matter what's going on in my life, I CAN'T lose sight of the long term. If everything goes right I get to live.

And that's big. 

Really big.




15 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia - so many people don't know what to say .. and I was there a few years ago - now I'd be different. I feel for you and I feel for those that haven't the foggiest and really should know better and look at the other side of life and help out ... but the wonderful world of people we live with, who are there to help, to just enjoy life with us ... at whatever level we're at - to understand us. My thoughts my girl! Well done Buttercup - it can't be easy ... take care and life is very big ... with lots of thoughts - Hilary

Natalie Aguirre said...

I so feel for you and what you are going through. Dark times and feeling bad are hard. I know. I've gone through my own hard times. But there are good times ahead. Have faith in that, take care of yourself when you're tired, and stay as positive as you can. We're always here to support you and listen to you as you go through your journey.

Kat Sheridan said...

I think this sort of thing is always hardest for folks like you: strong, independent, the one who is always the careGIVER, not the one being taken care of. You're still all those things. Cancer isn't changing that. It's giving others the opportunity to be strong, too, To take care of YOU. I can't begin to understand how that feels, and I suck at finding the right words, but just know that I'm here for you. Hugs.

~Sia McKye~ said...

HILARY--"Well done Buttercup." That cracked me up! I do understand that there are those who don't know what to say or how to act and so, for some, it's easier not to interact at all.

NATALIE--Thank you. :-) Dark times are dark times regardless of what 'tag' we attach to it. Another friend mentioned something similar and really whatever the 'tag' or reason we have for facing something like that it alters our daily life and that's hard.

KAT--yes, that's very true. It might be hard to let others take care of me but I recognize I need to do it. I've found opening myself to others and letting them know I need them has had some surprising and nice results. Or as my youngest sister says, allowing oneself to be vulnerable and without facades.

As for words...we're writers and we feel we should have the right words and get frustrated when we don't. But words have a great deal of power so saying what we can is a good thing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry, Sia.
Just avoid those who drain you. As you said, you don't have the energy to deal with them. And they'll only suck more of it.
Continuing to pray for you.

~Sia McKye~ said...

ALEX--I do avoid those that drain me as much as possible. Sometimes you can't but I didn't reach this age without learning how to smile pleasantly and beat feet, lol! I'll admit that there are those I see when I'm out and about and I will duck behind something and hope they didn't see me or ask hubs or the kid to run interference. Sheesh. And Thank you for the loving prayers. A lot of power there and I appreciate every ounce of it.

Karen Walker said...

Dearest Sia,
You know what? Maybe it's time to not worry about being nice. You are in the hardest battle you'll probably ever have to face. And no one can know what it is your feeling or going through unless they've been through it themselves. And even then, everyone is different. So rather than suck it up, Buttercup, get selfish. Say what you feel, even if it might make someone uncomfortable. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself while your body is doing battle with both the disease and the treatment of the disease. You are in my prayers. And I'm so glad you're writing about this experience. Perhaps it will be a book one day that can help others who have to face this. Many many blessings are sent your way.

~Sia McKye~ said...

KAREN--Your comments made me smile because I've heard variations of this from my family. I don't know about a book but the writing helps me put things into perspective. I've found my wanning patience has ah...loosened my mouth a bit more. I've never been one that suffer fools gladly but I manage to remain tactful. But yes, there was a particular instance where the gloves came off and I stated my mind and this was to what I thought was a friend. The negatives really hurt so I let her know it, but not abusively (not my style,) in a very straight forward manner that left little doubt as to how I felt about it. My family, husband and sisters in particular, are a LOT more up front with people and don't particularly care about tact, lol! My watchdogs. I've found it's much easier, lately, to simply say, "Look, I don't have the energy to deal with your issues right now" or stopping a'horror' story (and so many have one to tell--kind of like when you're pregnant) in it's tracks. Thank you for your caring and prayers.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Everything about this journey will suck. That's not to say that you won't find blessings along the way. I believe you will. It's taken me a long time, but I'm starting to understand that those people who drain us of our life energy should be exited to the door,after it's opened of course. Otherwise they would just crash and not leave.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I hope those around you remember that right now it's all about you. Their discomfort or not knowing what to say is about them. You sound so strong and my prayers are with you every day.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Whatever you need to take care of yourself and add to your healing is the #1 priority. Thank goodness for the good people in your life who recognize that and help with it. God bless you as you deal with this huge challenge.

Denise Covey said...

If everything goes right, I get to live!!! Keep that attitude Sia. I know it's a hard road but we don't get to choose, do we? Always thinking of you. X

oberongwonch said...

I'm loving your "Suck it up, Buttercup" mantra! I expect many, many more blog posts from you in the future, Sia.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Theresa, lol! There are times that crashing them through the closed doors would be...cathartic. Ah, bad Sia. Like you, I've learned to steer clear of the toxic and clinging vines; both will suck the energy right out of you. :-)

SUSAN--Good point and one my sister reminds me of regularly. And to be truthful, it has to be about me right now. :-)

KAREN--thank you! I'll take all the blessings I can get. :-) for sure the #1 priority is getting well.

DENISE--no, we don't get to choose all we get to choose is how we handle it. The fighting spirit takes a hit now and then but it's still very much in working order. :-) Thanks for the support and encouragement!

OBERON--lol! See, I can and do get tough with myself. Oh, no worries, the blog posts will continue. :-)

La Tahzen said...
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