Random thoughts

Someone posed an interesting question the other day. Paraphrased, she basically asked why metastatic cancer patients don't want to "kick the asses" of those who haven't recurred, particularly when they ramble on about insignificant things. Interesting.

I thought about it for a while, because I understood the concept, and my first reaction was, well, even for those of us who don't hear the ticking in the background, quite honestly, there are better things to focus on. Luck is all relative and simply to be diagnosed with breast cancer, you know - appreciating life is one thing. Lucky? Not so much.

Besides - here's a little-known secret: Even being metastatic, I still bitch about random things. About bosses and clothes not fitting right. About family members that are annoying and bad hair (when I had hair) days. Honestly, I'd be surprised if there was a single person with mets that doesn't bitch about something unrelated to cancer. Anyone who has been diagnosed, whether the first time, or the umpteenth, will never get the opportunity to "just deal with this trivial thing instead of cancer" ever again.

I've struggled with this at times. Am I entitled to these trivial problems? Do they really exist? Nine years ago, Monday, I was diagnosed for the first time. It wasn't until 7 years and 4 months later until it came back.
I am the anomaly.
I am also metastatic.

And I have to learn not to kick my OWN ass so much sometimes. You know? It never makes me feel any better.

I feel the "grand scheme of things" is so subjective. Would I rather deal what I did after my mastectomy and the drains and the healing rather than whether or not my brain mets will have stayed stable after the next scan. Maybe. Would I rather not have to deal with any of the above options? Hell yes! But I'm also aware that the horse is out of the barn and that each person's journey is different, their own, and no less significant than anyone else's.

Somehow or another, I still see the glass half full. Hell, I'm still alive and not planning to check out anytime soon.

Sometimes I feel like a failure. As if I've let people down by not being the person I used to be. I know this concept is ludicrous, but maybe I feel I've let myself down. I also realize I don't have much control in the matter at times. Instead, I have to remind myself that I am human. Like the rest of you people.
And that I am entitled to be so.

Next topic. I came into work today to find a card on my desk from a co-worker/friend.

The most beautiful stones have been tossed by the wind and washed by the
water and polished to brilliance by life's strongest storms.

Not fair, making me all teary first thing in the morning. Talking to her a little later, she started telling me how hard it must be for me at times to get bombarded with "how are you" "how are you feeling" "what's going on with your treatment". She had really noticed it at a meeting we both attended a couple of weeks ago. It was so amazing to me that she picked up on that, and really 'got it' from seeing it firsthand and me never mentioning it.

Next. That conference is coming up. The dreaded conference. It's always been the the same people having the same conversations, drinking the same drinks. Now, there's a little twist on the situation. I now also have to be SuperCancerGirl and answer the same questions 653 times. Again. No hair. Again. All the while, remembering to nod and smile appropriately. Sensory overload ahead...


    On April 1, 2009 at 3:15 PM Anonymous said...

    you could just wear a sign around your neck saying "I'm OK, thanks" :)

    and btw, I totally get this post.
    I love you!

    Please tell me I'm not the only annoying family member! Or maybe tell me I'm your favorite! :)

    On April 2, 2009 at 4:57 PM Anonymous said...

    I came across your blog randomly and have to say that this post is so matter-of-fact, that it sounds as if you were typing what I have been thinking and feeling for the past year. I,too, have metastatic breast cancer. But,it doesn't have me. I am tired of explaining it to everyone. I don't even look "sick". I am so encouraged by your post. I hope you don't mind my reading them from time to time. I have laced up my gloves for the past year, and am doing really well." I am going to win, you know...!" I love that quote because it is so true... and 'cue the theme from Rocky. Keep fighting girl, I know I am!

    i love you jen.

    On April 11, 2009 at 9:30 AM Spud said...

    As said in best pirate speak ala Dodgeball movie: "Ay, Lace up yer gloves, matey". Just aiming for a chuckle... This is NOT up for discussion, friend.

    And I agree with Anonymous about the sign saying "I'm OK, thanks". I have friends who want to wear them that say "STOP HUGGING HER" when we go out. I bet you can relate. Love you.

    Always 1/2 full,

    On April 11, 2009 at 11:01 AM Alyson said...

    Vivo, I love you.... always....

    I'll always miss you and have a special place in my heart for you.

    May peace be with you my friend.

    I know why i'm crying, and I will honor you with every day of my life.


    On April 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM Lori said...

    I will always love you Jen. You are truly an inspiration.

    On April 23, 2009 at 7:00 AM Anonymous said...

    I will truly miss your courage and strength. I am heartbroken and will carry your grace and presence in my heart always. Thank you for lacing your gloves up until the end. For that, you have already won.

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