Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Others' blogs

I do spend a lot of my time reading how others have dealt with this disease. There are a few that I keep going back to-we try to encourage each other. Recently a young woman from Kansas with TNBC decided to quit chemo as it was beating up her body so badly. Her immune system was so damaged by the chemo that she had to be hospitalized several times to deal with horrific infections.
One of the best written is from a woman who had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (seems to be in remission now-a cure) who refers to herself as "lymphopo' living in the House O'Horrible Tumors being treated at Our Lady of the Damned. Her blog is entitled ' As the Tumor Turns.' '(http://spinningtumor.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_archive.html)

A typical entry:
More than any other word on earth, the word I hate the most right now is "trouper." I despise the very concept, the mere idea that it's a even good thing to be. I loathe the pressure it puts on us to be so goddamn "brave," to be cheerful and upbeat and have a "positive attitude;" and, above all, to "fight."I'm not a trouper. I'm not brave, I'm not upbeat, I'm not a fighter. I spend an average of 2.75 hours every day crying. I cry so hard it sounds like I'm strangling, or drowning. I went to talk to a therapist, and she says I'm suffering from adjustment disorder and bereavement. Bereavement for my own lost self, the loss of the delicious life that I had worked so hard to create: the freedom, the independence, the strength, the vitality, the lust, the competence, the companionship, the dignity. All gone now . I hate what I've become. I hate what my life has turned into.And the only choices I seem to have are: suck it up and be a "trouper"; or bury my face in my pillow and sob.I say fuck the whole trouper business. Let them put this on my gravestone: "Her attitude stunk like day-old fecal matter, and we were afraid she would never ever ever EVER shut up with all that damn crying and whining. Praise Eternity!"

Sentiments felt by so many of us. Many blogs are filled with biblical passages. I tend to skip those as I can't come to grips with praying to stop the cancer. Did they not pray enough before they found out they had cancer? The scariest blogs are from those whose cancer has come back. How these people deal with such a scary situation is fascinating. Once BC has spread beyond the breast, it is generally thought that there is no stopping it-just maybe slowing it down. Maybe this next generation of tumor agents will actually stop it in its tracks so there is hope. I do spend a lot of my time reading in the case this happens to me (and sadly, it's not a remote possiblity) so I will have a plan of attack.

On another note, a funny term my son-in-law used to describe some of the drivers in Boston: Massholes. A masshole is one who makes left turns right in front of you when you have the right of way and sees your blinker as a signal to speed up so you can't change lanes. Of course these people are every where but seem to be concentrated in Boston.

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