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.