Cancer in the time of Love

seasons of love….

There is definitely a plague-like feeling to cancer in this time, affecting generations of years past and present. No, it is not contagious, yet it is as incurable as the plague, cholera, and consumption had been in their time. It interrupts and is spreading at a rate that is concerning to me yet unnoticeable to those unaffected, perhaps because it is not contagious, yet isn’t it? It is hiding within the air we breathe, the lotions we use, the lipstick we wear, perfume, the food many of us eat, and possibly the water in some areas. I am not fully versed on an intellectual level of the phases of carcinoma causes, I know now we all have cancer in our body waiting, waiting to writhe into a mass and sicken the body and heart of it’s bearer. Cancer in the time of love wilts the flowers of growing families and seals our fate for awhile….
Some get out unscathed or slightly interrupted by it’s profanity and others must endure a lengthy bout, and the unlucky, some must just accept the shortness of time as a bead of water fades on a rose.

Is the pain worth enduring, lasting extra years for a love which can turn into frustrations amidst the battle rising in a mine field of lesions? Everlasting true love becomes tested, children get tethered and relatives and friends ride the wake of shark infested waters trying to feed their loved ones soul, something rejuvenating. When there is no giving up, what does one do with these thoughts of bowing out of heroism. Did the courage die in the drought of undrinkable water? Will I awaken to disappearing masses when my brain clears and my nose can smell a rose? Have I yet to kill the tiger in this conversation of fading faiths…
I hope so. The time of cholera has past, so this time of cancer must fade eventually and I will find my love again. When my sweet boy will continue to bring me lavender to smell, it will resonate and I will teach him the tests true love and friendship can withstand within a variety of battles. We will bask in the thickness of a wooded forest, a plentiful harvest and lush waters when the droughts fade…..


Another day in the life of the moving cancer cell

Oh for the love of God and Goddesses everywhere….

I really don’t want this post to be snarky, why me or deeply sorrowful but I’m feeling a bit of all three among a thousand other emotions. The shit has hit the cancer fan. I’m just going to lay out the update in a list form and then move on to my real writing. I want to take a moment to acknowledge with great gratitude all of you who read and support and have showered me with love…..

Here goes:
Cancer has spread in the bones, and the existing tumors in bones have grown (sucky and painful).
It shrunk in the liver (okay, that is good).
My long term prognosis of shooting for “decades” is no longer realistic (I call bullshit).
Worst case scenario is really bad (not telling, as it’s not gonna happen).
I begin my new treatment of AC (my Adriatic C) on Monday.
I started Cytoxin (cy-youngin’) on Tuesday.
Sent all of my info to Dr. Larry Norton at Sloan-Kettering.
Sending my info off to some other great contacts, soon I hope.
I’m really pissed off that I probably won’t be able to go to New Mexico in September for a getaway with the hubby as planned.

Okay, now that we have that off of my chest….

Nestled here in the trees of the great northwest with family and friends is not a bad place to be in summer. When mortality is questioned, I think we have these expectations of frantic thoughts about how much we need to see and do in life before the end. Not so for me, maybe because I refuse to accept the end is a close foe. Yes, I want to make it to Italy and write a book but I’m content laughing at Milo and having dear friends visit. I also seem to be thinking about all of the piles of shit in my house. I really want the clutter gone, it is too much and as I rest and stare out at the view, I don’t want to think about piles. I’m a silly woman at times. I’ve never seen London or the Grand Canyon and what I’m thinking about at the edge of a great mortal moment is my unorganized life because it usually is so tight. Lessons. Release expectations and thoughts of ridiculousness and continue to look upon the beauty of this green earth and the faces that make existing… all of our “Grand Canyon” moments.

I shall land in Italy the summer of 2014. I will get to New Mexico. I will see Milo turn 5 and then 10. I will continue to heal and move this cancer into remission.

enduring, wearing the belt of survivor

There has been a notion in my thoughts that I have wanted to write about but struggle with the whole PC-ness of my opinions. Recently, some writing of mine had been critiqued due to some inappropriate venting. It made me realize that blogging is a funny form of communication, as it is communicating with an unknown audience. As well, those thoughts that we all have that aren’t necessarily true to our hearts, once put out there for the world to see, become a reality that is an inaccurate description of our soul and a sadly permanent impression. My writing, at times, I had used as stream of consciousness venting to expel negative energy that would block my heart, negative emotions that I would otherwise be unable to speak out loud. Negativity, which in my opinion, contributed to my breast cancer for not screaming it out of my system.  Alas, now I am back to the age old, leather bound, Italian journal by my bedside for the icky thoughts that should only be spoken to a best girlfriend who knows you are not for real when banter about how much you despise so and so, etc. 

The current thought I have running about my head is not so ‘high school catty’ as my now deleted thoughts about, well about… This thought is real. It is a deep moniker that I struggle with in both society and science.  It is the word SURVIVOR.  In most descriptions I am deemed a cancer survivor. I came through a harrowing health scare that rocked my world for the latter half of last year. I lost a breast but I survived, I have lifelong challenges to face because of this dreaded C, but I survived, yes I did, but it got me dissecting this word, what it means and what it applies to in life, who wears this label.  You hear the word survivor replacing the word victim for many people who have experienced trauma.  Many people do not know that I have experienced trauma, which at the time, had me fearing for my life, a trauma aside from the most recent cancer, many years ago. Even then, I never ever used the word survivor or victim.  I honestly never thought I needed to put a label to shitty life experiences that had trumped happiness for a time being. I acknowledged the experience, talked, healed, meditated on it all and moved forward.  I haven’t thought about the moment I was bound and gagged and…for years, really.  I don’t need to, at all.  No, not denial, it simply was an experience that I had, and moved on from.  I floated above the “trauma”, the “cancer”, the “blank blank private stuff”, and have come out the other end at peace with it all, of course after much thought and struggle, but yes at peace…mostly.  At times, I do waiver to doubt and fear.  With all of this struggle and bullshit, was I a victim? Yes. Did I survive? Yes.  And do I have reminders of these crappy times?  Yes indeed. Though, do I need to walk around with this gigantic pink SURVIVOR bumper sticker on my missing boob area….I am just not so sure.  Seriously, to define oneself is to always own the negativity the experience has brought (to me, at least).  I could give a fuck about the crack head who grabbed me by the throat that day, the only reason I have thought of him at all recently is because of this word survivor.  The cancer: well yeah…that I have to think about often, daily because of the thin red line where once lived a nice looking boob, and the every 3 month doc visits are a pain in the ass, and I think about my alcohol consumption a lot more, however, do I need to own the term survivor like I climbed Mount Everest and should get a medal for it? Maybe I do, maybe to show the world that we can get past these harrowing life experiences we do, but sometimes it simply seems too much like a label.  Maybe for some, having the name survivor assists a lifelong journey, but for me I just don’t know how that helps.  

These days, it seems like every other person I meet is a survivor of something tormenting, and what of those who did not survive?  It almost makes it sound as if they are inferior, which is so not the case and so much more horrific to ponder.  When I hear of my dear friend who lost his sister at age 39 to breast cancer, I think of him and her daughter as surviving. The heartache is just unbearable and yet they must move forward.  If my husband were to lose me during such a strange time in our life together, what would it have been like for him…that too would be surviving?  So the bottom line, I guess, is we are all survivors of some heartache, trauma, pain, health issue, financial collapse, etc.  It is how we approach the new days ahead that give us the strength, not this label, but the actions of a calm spirit that can learn from our own, and the heartache of others. It is how we let those in pain expel it like vomit onto the sidewalk to clear our passageways to bring peace. It is how those ‘sticks and stones’ labels never allow you to break bones.  Keep the calm, carry on.  Peace to you survivors, but I say please try not to wear that word forever…let it float above as a fact to the experience, as we all carry it somehow.