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‘Cancer Sucks’ Category

  1. This fat lady is still singing…

    November 1, 2012 by Momma Bear

    I had a birthday!  Birthdays are a big deal when the stats say you only have a few left… not that I’m buying into THAT anytime soon.  I actually kind of had a birthday MONTH, which is really fun.  It’s so weird how I can be going along, just trying to keep one step ahead of everything (lions, tigers, and bears schoolbus, soccer practice, and dinner, oh my!) and then like a lightning strike, I’ll have these crazy epiphany moments that I can’t explain.  And it changes everything.  I’m learning.

    I swear there’s a jukebox in my head.  Now it’s playing Sarah McLachlan’s Sweet Surrender.  If I ever do get that Lifetime movie made, it’s going to have a hell of a soundtrack.

    I’m learning that as a warrior, sometimes you have to pick your battles.  Sometimes you have to know when to put down your shield.

    Let’s just say that, thank you Tim McGraw, I gave some forgiveness I’d been denying.  And it was like a 50 lb. weight instantly left my body.  Aaaaaand… I think that’s all I’m going to say about that.

    I also gave in to the cubs always wanting to sleep in my room – Cub 1 on the floor in a sleeping bag and Cub 2 in the bed with me.  It wasn’t my favorite thing because I don’t sleep that well and I swear that 2 kid spends all night trying to get back into the womb.  Then it occurred to me that it’s not too much longer they will want to be in my room, that at this point there IS something comforting to all of us.  Then I started thinking about the symbiotic relationship mothers have with their children, and the one I’ve always had with my boys, and maybe there is a REASON they want to be there.  When Cub 1 was a baby, I read somewhere about this… that if nursing mothers kissed their baby’s faces a lot, the mother would pick up what germs the baby had been exposed to and their body would produce the needed antibodies in their milk.  Amazing, huh?  And no, I never checked on snopes, I just kissed the heck out of those sweet cheeks.  But I do know after my millionth round of mastitis and that many antibiotics, I just let my Cub Baby 2 heal me by “nursing it out”.  And that when he was only on mother’s milk and developed a crazy rash that defied diagnosis, it turned out to be a reaction to MY developing thyroid issue.  Cub 2 and I have always had some strange physical inter-dependence, so if I wake up clinging to one side of my king bed because he has rolled the entire bed width to be smushed up against me, well… who knows.  Maybe he’s on to something.  Maybe it’s healing.  And Cub 1?  That kid always knew what I was thinking.  He used to freeeeak me out, because we’d be driving and I’d be thinking of something, and out of nowhere, he’d pipe up something related from the backseat.  He still does it…*always* seems to know what I’m thinking.  So he wants to be close to me at night?  I surrender.  The truth is that now I think it IS healing… if nothing else, to wake up in the night, and listen to their breathing, and know that the best thing I have ever done is RIGHT THERE next to me.

    The real surrender for me comes not in giving up (HEAR ME NOW, FUCKING CANCER – I WILL NEVER GIVE UP) but in acceptance.  People have been saying to me, “Oh, you’re so brave…”  I don’t know if that is true, I have my dark DARK moments.  But what’s my choice?  Like I’ve said before, I’ve considered the options and facing whatever lies in front of me head-on seems to be the only real one.    (Still pretty tempted by the ‘drinking myself to death’ one, but it wouldn’t leave much of a legacy…)

    My most recent scans came back not-so-okay.  The good news is that my lungs were totally the same – not better, not worse.  Stable.  The medium-bad news is that it looked like I had some bone mets.  I had a bone scan yesterday (with the sweetest tech ever and she actually made the process almost fun) to confirm.  I’m no radiologist, but I think I know since I watched the whole thing (and it would have been soooo cool if it was all theoretical and not really me) so I’m ready to hear it.  That doesn’t stress me out so much.  It means chemo and radiation and bone mets are treatable.  The super-bad news is it seems like there are a bunch of new lesions in my brain.  My amazing oncologists (they have a whole post of their own coming soon enough) just weren’t sure, though, despite the scan being read by a neuroradiologist.  So they were gathering more information and we’ll be able to talk about it tomorrow with hopefully a clearer idea of what’s going on.  It would just be baaaaad if it were true, though.  Mostly because there is just not a whole lot they can do.  I’ve already had whole-brain radiation, and you get one shot at that.  Chemo, in general, doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier.  And it means that the cancer is really progressing.

    I have this fantasy going that I’m going to meet with my doctor tomorrow and he’s going to say…

    “So I talked to the neuroradiologist finally, and he was like, “OOOOOOH, you are talking about Jessica STEIN-berg’s scans.  I was talking all this time about Jessica STEEN-berg’s scan!”  But (my oncologist would go on to say) don’t worry or feel bad, Jessica STEENberg is a 96-year-old great-grandmother of 4, who went tandem sky-diving on her last birthday.  She’s had a very rich and full life, still gardens and does tae kwon do, but now that her great-grandchildren are starting college, she’s realizing perhaps it’s time to slow down.”

    I feel bad throwing Jessica Steenberg under the bus, but MAN, would that be nice.  When I told Cub 1 my scans weren’t looking so good, and I *wasn’t* going to be getting the chemo-break I thought, he started crying.  “Why can’t we ever get a break from this?” he kept asking me.  What do I tell him?  This is certainly not the life I imagined my kids would be having.  There’s so much heartbreak with cancer.   It’s hard to walk the talk, but I have to show them… it’s not what happens, it’s what you DO with it.  So I’m standing tall(ish – no smartass remarks)… determined to help them (and me) find the joy in each day.  Even though I know I have some sucky ones coming.

    My other theory is that my 2 oncologists have an under-the-table bet going to see just how fat they can make me.  The news I’m really dreading is the steroid dose they’ll be talking about.

    And, of course, sleep isn’t going to come easy tonight.  And it goes without saying that the hard part is the cubs.  But it is what it is, and I’ll face it and deal with it.  I’ve done my share of crying in the shower these past few days, and I’ve gone down all those worst-case-scenario roads in my head.  I HAVE to do that to be ready.  But no matter what I learn tomorrow, this fat lady is still singing.  You can count on that.

    And hey cancer?  FUCK YOU.

    Jessica


  2. So over it

    September 29, 2012 by Momma Bear

    I really never wanted a locked blog.  It was totally stifling me, too.  I was spending more time investigating who was a REAL person registering than I was in writing.  Yeah, ‘yaykaylaj’, I’m totally on to you.  I removed the posts that caused all the drama into my personal archives.  I’m just over it.

    So, these are my last real comments on this topic.  I may write about domestic violence in the future, or lament the fate of my children if they end up with my ex and his family, but in general, I’m going to focus on what I set up the blog to be about in the first place – and that’s this cancer journey.  Of course, my HEALING is all linked together, but I’m tired of being the target of of so much denial, anger, minimization, and blame.  Moving on.  I realize now that by giving them so much room in my head they still have a hold on me.

    I promise myself:  I will make changes, not excuses. I choose to live as authentically as I can, not in constant denial.  I will to listen to my inner voice, not the toxic ugly words of others – especially people I gave over 10 years of my life to.

    So.  Final Words.  This is not YOURS, it’s MINE.  If you don’t like it, DON’T READ IT.  You were the ones that turned this into an “us vs. them” thing, starting with the night before my surgery that you came to MY house and screamed at me that I was a liar.  This whole thing could have been behind us forever ago if you JUST TOOK SOME ACCOUNTABILITY and showed just the slightest of humanity and compassion for stage 4 cancer.  You know what, though?  Your inability to do either is about YOU, not ME – and ultimately says so much about YOU.  And just for the record, I’ve never used ANY first names referring to any of you, and no last names are on the blog.  This is about ME and MY HEALING.

    One last thing.  The blog is NOT my boys’.  They have never read it nor will they ever.  I feel great that I am able to support their relationship with their dad and help them manage their feelings about it.  They are clearly half his in the sense that they struggle with anger and appropriate ways to deal with it.  I am making sure they are helped.  The legacy stops here, and so does me giving you power.  OVER IT.