I Think So Too

January 12th, 2011 § 11 comments

That chair you’re sitting in?
I’ve sat in it too:

In waiting rooms. Chemo rooms. Prep rooms. For tests. Surgeries. Procedures. Inpatient. Outpatient. Emergency visits. Routine visits. Urgent visits. To see generalists. Specialists. Surgeons. Alone. With friends. With family members. As a new patient. Established patient. Good news. Bad news. I’ve left with new scars. Prescriptions. Appointments. Words of wisdom. Theories. Guesses. Opinions. Statistics. Charts. Plans. Tests. Words of assurance. More bloodwork. Nothing new. Nothing gained. Nothing but a bill.

That feeling you’re having?
I’ve had it too:

Shock. Disbelief. Denial. Grief. Anger. Frustration. Numbness. Sadness. Resignation. Confusion. Consternation. Curiosity. Determination. Dread. Anxiety. Guilt. Regret. Loss. Pain. Emptiness. Embarrassment. Shame. Loneliness.

That day you’re dreading?
I’ve dreaded it too:

The first time you speak the words, “I have cancer.” The first time you hear “Mommy has cancer.” The day you wear a pink shirt instead of a white shirt. Anniversary day. Chemo day. Surgery day. Scan day. Decision day. Baldness day. The day the options run out.

Those reactions you’re getting?
I’ve had them too:

Stares. Questions. Pity. Blank looks. Insensitivity. Jaw-dropping comments.

Those side effects you dread?
I’ve dreaded them too:

Nausea. Vomiting. Pain. Broken bones. Weakened heart. Baldness. Hair loss. Everywhere. Unrelenting runny nose. Fatigue. Depression. Hot flashes. Insomnia. Night sweats. Migraines. Loss of appetite. Loss of libido. Loss of breasts. Phantom pain. Infection. Fluid accumulation. Bone pain. Neuropathy. Numbness. Joint pain. Taste changes. Weight gain. Weight loss. Some of them happen. Some don’t. Eventually, though? You name it. It changes. Temporarily anyway.

That embarrassment you’re feeling?
I’ve felt it too:

Buying a swimsuit. Getting a tight-fitting shirt stuck on my body in the dressing room. Having a child say “You don’t have any eyebrows, do you?” Wearing a scarf. Day after day. Wondering about wearing a wig because it’s windy outside and it might not stay on.

That fear you’re suppressing?
I’ve squelched it too:

Will this kill me? How bad is chemo going to be? How am I going to manage 3 kids and  get through it? Will my cancer come back and take me away from my life? Will it make the quality of life I have left so bad I won’t want to be here anymore? Is this pain in my back a recurrence? Do I need to call a doctor? If it comes back would I do any more chemo or is this as much fight as I’ve got in me? What is worse: the disease or the treatment?

That day you’re yearning for?
I’ve celebrated it too:

“Your counts are good” day. “Your x-ray is clear” day. “Now you can go longer between appointments” day. “See you in a year”day. First-sign-of-hair day. First-day-without-covering-your-head day. First taste of food day. First Monday chemo-isn’t-in-the-calendar day. Expanders-out, implants-in day. First walk-without-being-tired day. First game-of-catch-with-the-kids day. First day out for lunch with friends day. First haircut day. “Hey, I went a whole day without thinking about cancer” day. “Someone asked me how I’m doing, I said ‘fine’ and I meant it” day.

That hope you have?
I have it too:
No more cancer.

Don’t you think that would be amazing?
I think so too.

January 10, 2010

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§ 11 Responses to I Think So Too"

  • Michael Rusk says:

    I recommend your blog to so many because you provide a comforting hand to others starting the path through cancer treatment as the patient or a caregiver. Sharing your experiences helps others understand what really happens and what feelings they may experience. Thank you for being here for my friends.

  • Sherree Stone says:

    the thing i’ve found the most surprising about the “c” word is the dividing line that occurs among friends. i either lost them, i assume because they were uncomfortable, or they rallied and became even more vital and dear. there hasn’t seemed to be alot of neutrality. sadly, my husband was one of the ones who pulled away. but i think he was on his way out emotionally prior, anyway. lovely post, as always, lisa.

  • Amy says:

    Nice to find you. I am also going through breast cancer and blogging my way through, though I’m a bit behind you on the path (just started chemo last week.) Best wishes to you…

  • Joanne Firth says:

    Physical reaction to this. This is the most powerful piece I’ve read to date. I need to reflect on it now. Floored.

  • Patti Wunder says:

    As with so many of your posts, I feel the “need” to write something and let you know just how powerful your writing is… your message is…

    My words fail me once more, for I can not seem to piece them together in a way that truly states how your writing has touched me.

    So for now I say thank you.

  • Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I just love knowing that my words touch readers… it keeps me doing what I’m doing!

  • kris says:

    Wow. Thank you so very much. My husband is living with cancer and this helped me a great deal. I am going to share it with him. Thank you again.

  • Nina Badzin says:

    Wow, Lisa. It’s such an inadequate reaction “wow” but that’s what I said when I got to the end. Your posts are really powerful. Just wanted you to know I’m reading (not in a stalkerish kind of way though. . . !) 😉

  • (((Lisa!))) Thank you! 🙂

    I hold your words close in my heart as a resource I hope that I never need to use. It is just nice knowing that you are there.

    Take care!

  • Becky says:

    Ahh Lisa.
    Sometimes the only reply I can muster is… I love you.

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