Interesting question...

I was talking to a very close friend today about this blog, and the fact that I find myself censoring sometimes what I put out there for public consumption. I guess I have to remember that I'm writing this for me, first and foremost, but knowing that people read, do I really have to mention the part about the bloating or the atrocious fingernails or the weird dryness on my left hand? It's not that I don't want to write the fears and all that lovely drivel, but all those fears really are interspersed with hope.

She asked me, "Is that part forced, or is the hope really that strong? I mean, it's not just a show for the readers, the people looking in?"

Is the hope forced? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Even at home when there's just me and Greg and the dogs and the fuzzy old head. Sure, the people looking in want to see it the hope, but do I think I'm going to die? The answer is still, no. Eventually, yeah, but not tomorrow, or anytime in the near future. And maybe not even from this.

The thing is, the hope, the belief - it has to be real. If I give up hope inside, what's left?

I know it may sound like a crock sometimes, all this hope. However, the truth is, I've worked really damn hard to get to where I am and I'm just not giving it up without a fight. Is there more that I really fucking hate that I don't post for the outside looking in? Especially now? The raw stuff about being sick and tired of this and terrified what that scan will show? Of course it exists. Are there disagreements in my life sometimes, and do we let fears reflect on life and become misdirected? Sure they do. The thing is, at the end of the day, with the bald head and the tears and the puffiness and the uncertainty, is there still all that love and hope? Hell, yes.

She was hoping that was my answer...
She was hoping that I was going to say that I REALLY feel it and not that I'm trying to be strong for everyone else.

Sometimes, I am. But overall, I REALLY feel it. Thing is? Sometimes I try to be strong for myself because if I feel it, I can be it. Or some shit like that. Not to trivialize it, but it works.

But yeah, lately sometimes I'm weaker and it makes me frustrated. Because I don't WANT to be weaker, even for a little while. I struggled through a hike on Sunday that I used to zip through. I pushed a little, but i did it. Slowwwwwwwwwwwly. What I (in)conveniently forgot is that some of that had to do with the 3-Day as well as the treatment and the fact that even though I felt and did fantastic, it just may well have taken my body longer to recover because of the nearly 4 months of treatment. Is part of me embarassed to hike with other people because I know they'll see me slowing when they used to call me "Jiffy Jen"? Unfortunately, yeah. It doesn't mean that I won't, but it also doesn't mean that fact doesn't enter my mind. I also know that the truth is that even if I gained a couple of pounds (Horror. Seriously.) in the past few weeks potentially due to the steroids in the pre-meds, it doesn't for a second mean that the chemo has stopped working.

I know I sound super-positive and all at times. The thing is, I also know I have a choice and part of that choice is being terrified not to be positive because I'm scared of negative energy. Which, in reality, is a good direction to head, with regards to (ir)rational fears.

More honesty? I'm really incredibly friggin' fortunate despite it all. My day-to-day existence and parts of the 3-Day helped me reinforce that in some ways. It wasn't until after that weekend that I didn't put my hair on for work on some days. And went to Nello's in just a baseball cap. Sometimes most days I'd prefer to walk around bald or at least, in just a ball cap.

Again, ever thankful for weekends. Red Sox caps. Silly dogs that lay with their head on my stomach while I have the cold glasses on my eyes. That incredible guy next to me every step of the way. And all those people who love me. And BELIEVE.

Now, time to go home and eat my beautiful salad with my beautiful husband. Maybe I'll even have a half a glass of (Dynamite!) wine. Just one...


    I so totally get the HOPE thing and the POSITIVE thing Jen...and I also BELIEVE.

    You go on with your fuzzy headed self!
    Love you and that wonderful guy next to you!!!

    On November 14, 2007 at 5:39 AM Alyson said...

    I love this post... not as much as I love you... but, well, you know! :)

    Sometimes a little "fake it till you feel it" goes a long way, but I am so glad that this hope? This hope is real. And I always BELIEVE!

    and today you're finding out that your tumors are smaller and your markers are lower, and HOPE and BELIEVING and alla those treatments that are making you feel icky are doing their job!