Today I am Different and this is not when I need to be!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

This is a far different set of emotions for me today hence Blog than I normally do. That's because I feel so differently today than I felt even yesterday this time. Sometimes it amazes me how emotional I can get now but in all honesty there have been two events in the last 24 hours that have shook me to the core.

First, those of you who support me, realize that I have a harder time with the unknown more so than the known. I have known since Monday that chemo is very near. But yesterday when the hospital called to set up the surgery for the port, they made it abundantly clear that my oncologist said that I had to have it this week. OK, what does that mean. . . . that I don't know???

And second, I received an email while this was going on, that was really asking that I prep for some things if other things happened....I took it like somebody saying “The End”. In other times I would have fired right back and said “don't you dare bury me!”.

Thus this morning, I decided on an entirely different Blog as there may be no better time than now to share some of the things that I have wanted to say since I first found out last year!

I will remember also that I have learned that if you or someone close to you hasn't had cancer, people are often afraid to talk to you. For myself, the email yesterday taught me why! So I want to share some things that I have learned the hard way!

Fear is a part of life. It is part of the range of feelings that humans experience on a daily basis. In our American culture, fear has come to be experienced as negative. However, the truth is that fear is a perfectly normal feeling to experience and we would all feel a lot better if we simply allowed ourselves to feel it fully. If we do not, we will have physical symptoms of fear that are much more painful than simply allowing the feeling to be felt.

Cancer is hard
it is always unexpected
you are never prepared
it breaks your heart
and takes away who you love
it makes you suffer
and your family suffer

The very word “cancer” inspires a degree of fear that “heart attack,” “stroke” or even “kidney failure” do not. Any of these conditions can kill. Even worse, in rare cases, a stroke can leave a patient “locked in” — conscious and able to think, but unable to speak or move. Yet, somehow, to many of us, the idea of cancer seems more horrifying.  Perhaps it is because the word calls up an image of something evil invading the body, and then spreading as a growing, living thing.

With this said, how do you say what you really feel at these “different” times as each of us has our own way of gaining positive energy to get through the day. So there are no rules. When faced with a diagnosis of cancer, the little things become even more important. It could be your favorite music, a comfortable chair, your best friend, a pet that keeps you company or the sunshine streaming in through the window.  Poetry can seem like a simple collection of words, but it expresses deep emotions and complex thoughts. Some I am going to share would be “dog-eared” if they were in a book. Very few days go by that I don't look at least one of them!

This poem is written by a 17 year old and I don't know name, where I got it. Or when...

ONLY ? YEARS TO LIVE (still alive)

I am a teen and I'm seventeen
I wish I could speak and all of you would hear
I have a terrible disease referred to as cancer
by all means is painful and it makes me weak
I cry daily or better said I weep
I don't want your pity or any kind of sympathy
I'd just simply liked to express a peace of mind
I love my life and love my family it hurts me more to see how they suffer
than to be sick I pray to god for I have only but 2 years to live
How I wish I could be once again a healthy kid
to run and kick to play and fall and scrape my knees
But cruel reality is I can't do anything but dream
I know that all of us cancer patients are in a constant war
we all wish our red cells and white cells could live in peace
but since they don't all we can do is wish
so as I wait here on my bed to show up for treatment this very next day
I'm very thankful for each day,
every breath and every kiss received from all the people who care.
My doctor has become like my second dad
he said to me that life is only the start,
to meet paradise except that some people meet it faster than others
and he cried when he told me that soon morphine wouldn't be the only thing to calm my pain
and that soon when I'm with god cancer I will no longer fear.

Please if you know any one that is cancer sick please love them
and say it loud enough to make it clear,
there is no better treatment for any disease
but the love received while they are crying.
Maybe they wont all show it but believe me
I tell you from my heart their heart is weeping

I have made a great many friends on my cancer journey and some of them have been outstanding people. I would not have met them and they would not have become my friends if I had not got this disease.

We, The Chemotherapied  by Natalie Miller

We, the chemotherapied
Know that
Although we look OK,
And people tell us
We look well,
We are but swans,
Floating gracefully
Over chaos.
Paddling like mad
All the time,
Just to appear 

Hold your head high!
Nobody can take you down
If you hold your head high above the ground
Nobody can despise your act
If you believe in yourself and hold your head
Nobody can make you feel depressed
If you hold your head high above
Nobody can make you suffer
If you hold your head high forever
So, in life don't ever forget
To hold your head high above! 

I’m Going To Fight
I’m going to fight to smell the flowers in summer
I’m going to fight to see the autumn leaves fall
I’m going to fight to feel the cold winds of winter
But spring is the season I’ll fight for most of all
So come throw what you want at me
Do you think I’ll crumble and fall
I’m going to show that my life’s worth living
I’m going to fight and give it all of my all
Spring brings with it new life’s beginnings
Spring brings flowers that bloom from their seed
And I’m going to fight this demon inside me
Cause I have many more seasons in me
So come throw what you want at me
Do you think I’ll crumble and fall
I’m going to show that my life’s worth living
I’m going to fight and give it all of my all!

And finally most patients, families, and caregivers face some degree of depression, anxiety, and fear when cancer becomes part of their lives. These feelings are normal responses to such a life-changing experience.

In people with cancer, these feelings may be caused by many things, including changes in how they are able to fill family or work roles. A person with cancer might feel the loss of control over life events, and have to deal with changes in body image. They might fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead.

Family members may have these feelings because they are afraid of losing their loved one. They may also feel angry because someone they love has cancer, frustrated that they cannot do enough, or stressed because they have to do more at home.

It’s important to remember that people can feel distress about these things at any time after being diagnosed with cancer, even many years after the cancer is treated. As their health situations change, people with cancer must cope with new stressors along with the old, and their feelings often change, too. For instance, people with advanced cancer may have more emotional distress than those with early-stage cancers. People who have physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or extreme tiredness (fatigue) also seem more likely to have emotional distress.

After all is and done though we just need your love! We need to know that you are there! Maybe it is unfair that your support equates to my pain but in the end we will both be better for the effort.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CAROL102030
    Hi Jean,
    Add me to your blog.
    1933 days ago
    praying for you all the best HUGS
    1935 days ago
    I now how bad cancer can Be I have a daughter who is recovering from cancer and one who is having her Thyroid removed That and mental illness is another Some Christians say the devil is in them The brain can be Damaged It can get cancer Dementia I even heard some say if they prayed harder God will remove it.We go to many stages of grief We can feel fear anger hopelessness loss of our health And everyone is afraid of pain God be with you in the coming times and his love peace be with you
    1935 days ago
    I can relate with your blog. I have seen cancer from both sides. My brother passed away from brain cancer only 10 months after being diagnosed. For me it seem harder being the family member watching there loved one deal with cancer and it' effects on there lives was harder then being the patient. Several of my brothers friends quit visiting because they could handle seeing him the way he was. Then several others stepped up and did everything to make his final months happy1

    Going into my own treatments the worse part was waiting to find out what my treatment was going to be.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1936 days ago
    Dear Jean:

    You can talk to me about anything, anything you want: fear, death, anger, pain, hope, joy, depression, etc., etc. I feel like I have known you a long time. When you feel afraid and lost, print out all that your friends write to you here, and read them by your bedside. You are not alone in this earthly journey. I pray for inner peace for you that no matter what, your center will remain healed and well. Love, Chelsea emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1936 days ago
    Dear Jean:

    You can talk to me about anything, anything you want: fear, death, anger, joy, hope, depression, etc., etc. Like you said, feelings are all part of our journey here on earth. I feel like I have known you a long time, for some reason, and I just wanted you to know that. May you find inner peace in all that's happening in your life now. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Love, Chelsea
    1936 days ago
    What a beautiful, thoughtful, loving post! The ideas and thoughts you've shared here are enlightening to those of us who may not have had close experience with cancer. I wish you many Springs, my dear, and if that is not part of God's plan, may you delight and find joy in the pain-free glory of Heaven!

    I try every day to be grateful for the little things, observing the birds at the feeders, the wind in the trees, the raindrops glistening on the leaves. I'm 64 and working at becoming healthy for my grandkids and for a long, long life. Thank you, again, for sharing today. I'll keep you in my prayers and check in on you to see how you're doing.

    Stay strong and NEGU, Never Ever Give Up!
    1936 days ago
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    1936 days ago
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    1936 days ago
    On my husband side of the family we have his mother, father, sister and my husband himself who all had cancer. I am very aware of all the emotions that everyone goes through. For me,myself it was extremely painful to watch their pain, illness and finally death of three of them. My husband has been cancer free for five years and with each test we wonder if it will come back. It is in God's Hands. I HATE that you have to go through this dear friend. I hope that the love you feel here helps you through. I do not have magical words to make it easier or better but I can say I am here 100 percent for you all the way. After you read this, close your eyes and feel God's love surround you and mine too. Pat emoticon
    1936 days ago
    You are blessed to have such an insight about your disease and you have a tremendously healthy outlook. I wish you sunshine and flowers and of the wonderful new beginnings that spring will bring. God bless and keep you in his care and know that you are loved emoticon emoticon emoticon Keep fighting!!
    1936 days ago
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