My two week notice… and the end I guess some external issues do make a difference in our health. Mine plummeted from one minute to the next. I was “fine”… and then I wasn’t. It’s like I’m on a slalom trying to avoid poles and gates but going so fast that I cannot help but crash!
All of the end of life symptoms presented themselves at the same time one night last week. Pain that will not go away, fatigue that makes me want to stay in bed all day -which makes me wish those two weeks were over sooner- nausea and a metallic taste that will not let me eat (not even my favorite meals and/or snacks), headaches, vertigo, lack of concentration, etc. It’s the whole enchilada!
So I started thinking and wondering if something had happened for my psyche to have given up and allowed the cancer to take over in no time… being such a strong person and a positive one. Was there something that no longer made me feel at ease on this planet? My boss, who’s also a dear friend, commented on one (of the two “problems” I can think of) when I gave him my two week notice. Continue reading
I get that all the time! And there wouldn’t be anything odd or wrong with it if it weren’t for the fact that it is now driving me crazy. Yup! Never thought I’d say this for such a nice comment! But it does… It does now.
Let me start by saying that prior to the colostomy and cancer diagnosis I weighed only 105 pounds because I had lost 30 in less than 6 months. You see, I was afraid to eat as pretty much nothing would come out –except for blood- and had already ended up in the hospital with a bowel obstruction; so it scared the hell out of me just thinking about food; therefore, I started drinking protein shakes which did not help much and I ended up with kidney stones and a punctured bladder! Don’t ask me why… yes, the doctors explained but, in the end, who cares!? I made it worse and was literally starving myself to death.
I swear I had never felt so much pain and for such a long time. I know I looked like death was nearing because most everyone got that “oh, my gosh” look on their faces when they saw me; especially if they hadn’t seen me for a while.
But things got better after surgery and I began feeling better for the first time in months… though they felt like forever. Continue reading
The company I work for is undergoing some huge changes and some of the team members I work with are having a hard time accepting that they’ll soon be either joining another team… or unemployed; therefore, some of them decided that their job was no longer important thus overall performance plummeted from the moment the rumor started… let alone when the rumor was no longer one.
So I began sending emails to all of them hoping to be able to lift up their spirits as well as to remind them that they were still being paid for a job well done. But they didn’t seem to get it and remained depressed or whatever it is you call someone who just gives a shit. Continue reading
No, it’s not relevant nor should it be! To me, it’s just a glitch, as simple as that. And while some are finding it difficult to understand me and my happy-go-lucky attitude in dealing with this whole cancer issue -because they don’t really know me, I’m going completely bananas trying to understand them and whatever it is they expect me to do or be. Like the every day question:
– How are you?, someone asks
– I’m great and you?, I happily respond
That response alone annoys some I come across with and I don’t understand why. It’s as if they were expecting me to feel bad about my life or look the part of a dying person and since I don’t go for either they get this look on their faces that seems to say “it can’t be so”. Continue reading
I’ve been listening to a song in my head for weeks now. To be more specific, the chorus part from Beds are burning by Midnight Oil.
The time has come,
to say fair’s fair,
to pay the rent,
to pay our share
The time has come,
a fact’s a fact,
it belongs to them,
let’s give it back
How can we dance when our earth is turnin’?
How do we sleep while the beds are burnin’?
It falls right into place in my life right now that the cancer’s back and, regardless of what I do, I can’t get the song out of my head! I’ve listened to it, listened to others, sung others and nothing… it’s there… embedded in my brain day and night so I’m guessing it’s there for a reason. My creator is putting it there for me to understand something… and I think I have. Continue reading
I will talk about chemo side effects somewhere else, but right now I feel like talking about the side effects of cancer I consider more important than the chemo ones because they have the power of making you feel either dead or alive if you let them. These have to do with friends and family’s reaction when you break the news and subsequent behavior.
They get sad, depressed, and there’s a certain silence that hurts as it gets so darn quiet when people find out. Some thought I was in denial when I began trying to convince them that I was fine. They felt awful when I broke the news to them, but I felt awful when they felt awful! And I didn’t want them to but the silence was the worst part as, apparently, cancer has the power of ending a conversation. And the one thing I love on this planet is conversation. Continue reading
I was playing with my golden retriever one afternoon. We both turned around really fast and his paw encountered my left breast on the lower side of my sternum. I felt a piercing pain and was sure I’d get a black and blue next morning. I didn’t, but it sure hurt.
I forgot about it for a couple of days until it started itching and burning. It was the kind of itch that, when you scratch, will not go away. Then one night, while I was scratching, I felt a lump the size of a blueberry. It felt hard to the touch and was not moving, as if it had grown out of the bone. Given that my dog had kicked me right there, I paid no attention because I assumed it was nothing and that it would go away …but the itching continued. Continue reading
“You have cancer” are powerful words that are nearly impossible to forget even when it’s all over. Though that’s exactly what I said when I found out: So WHAT?
It was December 6, 2013 when I had the last chemo and this body is feeling great again. But the thought of it is right there in the back of my mind and it doesn’t matter how many times I tell myself it’s gone, there’s this voice inside that says “well, maybe”. So, for the time being, I will continue to live life as I have for years: happy and grateful to be here and making each day worth it by sharing my spirit and learning from others.
The very first thing I told everyone I came across with, including the doctor, was: “please, don’t call it mine. It’s not my lump nor my cancer nor my chemo. I didn’t buy any of it nor asked for it so none of it is mine”. Continue reading