Monday, May 2, 2011

In All Fairness

Lotus Flower: click HERE for an explanation
Many apologies for my absence.  Much has been going on in the past few weeks.  There was Passover, of course, and I've been busy healing.  Between weekly meditation class (more detail on this later), check ups, acupuncture, psychotherapy and massage, it's a full time affair.  Yoga got the boot for a few weeks there, since I was still healing from the port removal and then I had a nasty cold for the past two weeks.  I just did not have the strength to spare.

Luckily, I think the cold is on its way out.  I may head back to yoga this week, depending on how my lady parts are feeling.  Since I don't want to get too graphic here (wouldn't want to gross out my many male fans), I'll just leave it at that.  I'm a woman, and I've got hormones, and I've got lady parts.  Unfortunately, they're all slightly incommunicado since the chemo storm of 2010 hit home.  Coming, going, up, down, happy, sad... it's all a little confusing at the moment.

This morning, prior to meditation class, I saw my therapist for a little TLC and support.  I am really working on my biggest obstacles lately, which include anger (at being dealt this crap in the first place), jealousy (of others who have the good fortune to never hear words "cancer" or "infertility" spoken about themselves), sadness (at having time and much much positive energy taken from me), guilt (not being happy enough with what I've got when some don't even survive through treatment) and fear (so much uncertainty lies ahead).

I am pleased that my therapist is not the kind of person who expects me to slog through this manure in a way that denies how I feel (I had a therapist in the distant past who thought the answer was not to explore my emotions or get to the root causes, but to distract myself with "other" activities - you'll have to wait for the published version if you want the full story).  In fact, spiritually, I think I am more in line with her than with the Jewish prayerbooks I grew up with.  She's quite familiar with Buddhist principles and employs many a Buddhist analogy.

We got to talking today about how scary it feels to fall through space.  And especially when I have zero trust in the universe to catch me.  Last year, around this time, the rug (aka Planet Earth) was very rudely pulled out from under my feet.  And while I was so fortunate to have wonderful family and friends to cushion the fall, I am only now starting to stand up and look around for that dirty little rug puller.  Who is to blame?  Why did this happen?  I demand to know the truth.  Justice must be served.

Truth be told (if nothing else, you know I'm honest), I can be a little vindictive sometimes.  Wonder who I got that from?  I will credit myself enough to say I've improved over the years and I at least attempt to see things from someone else's POV before ripping into them with a chainsaw.  But I am having trouble with the fact that there's no one at whom I can direct my revenge in this case.

I am pissed.  I was backed into a cancery corner and given one viable treatment option.  I can only hope that it worked (I mean permanently) and that I don't have to find a second line of defense against these blood sucking biotches.  But while I'm busy trying not to hope too hard, I get to deal with the aftermath of being injected with poison and invisible death rays.  Cause let me tell you, no one gets off easy.  You can't begin to imagine the side effects that can show up months and years after treatment (if you have the good fortune to make it that far).  I know I sure did not have a cotton pickin clue.

It's all been challenging to move on from.  I dread my next scan (6 more weeks), but would have one right now if it wasn't for all that frickin radiation.  I would have a scan every morning if it were safe.  Just to know nothing new is stirring.  I've been having neuropathy in my feet and lower legs in the past few weeks.  Each time I feel it, I've been walking.  Nothing heavy, just around the block, or a few blocks from the car to a restaurant.  It's a tingly, burning sort of numbness.  Like right before pins and needles kicks in, you might feel something similar.  Fun times.

Plus I'm still dealing with this piss poor breathing situation, which Dr. Henry concurs will probably take a few more months to heal.  Boo.

It might seem as though I'm complaining here.  You know what?  Today, I am.  And I've come to the conclusion (through weekly therapy and meditation) that I'm allowed.  I can offer myself just a teensy bit of self-pity.  And if that means I blog about feeling like a turd and being angry about what I've been through, so be it.  The last thing I need to do is defend myself against all of those cheery, plastic cancer survivors out there who live every moment to the fullest, never dwelling on how poopy this all really is.

If I were truly able to switch my moods like a tv channel, I might change to something brainless and distracting, that wouldn't give me nightmares or make me cry.  I might.  But I'm thinking I owe it to myself to see what happens here first.



  1. I think this all makes perfect sense. You've been through an ordeal, and all your blessings won't gloss over the pain and the suffering that you've endured. You've survived a war, and any veteran who claims to be unscathed is lying to themselves. In order to properly heal you have to acknowledge what you've been through, what you're going through, and what is yet to come.

    Having said all that, come over some time, we'll eat some watermelon.

  2. These are all such normal attitudes for such an abnormal blip on the radar screen of your life. Really. You are echoing all of my comments from last year. Especially the anger, guilt, sadness, etc. parts. I don't want to sound like a mom here, but quite honestly, as a cancer-sister, I can tell you that this all fades (I did NOT say it goes away!); however, you want things to be a little more instantaneous and I totally get that.
    I'm with you 100%.

  3. Of course you should be pissed at this crappy bump in your road. Sounds like your therapist is wonderful. Good for you taking care of yourself.

  4. Despite the disclaimer, not a depressing post. Brilliant writing. You are-- in the most human and spirited of ways--wrestling with an enormous hairy beast. Beast was uninvited to the fine party of your life and you've gone a few thousand rounds to beat beast back and away. Your continuing arsenal--checkups, medication, meditation, yoga,therapy, massage, good (and fun)food--is more proof of the Essence of Mia: tough-- and sensitive, loving, insightful, authentic, smart, funny, practical, disciplined, empathetic and, despite beast's best blows, stunningly energetic. Thankfully, you are fighting mad on your path to a new peace. It's why we love you.

  5. Rose-tinted glasses make me want to throw up. Tell it like it is, woman!

  6. You not only have some of the world's best written blog posts, but your posts also have some of the most amazing comments ever written. You keep good company.

  7. On the most basic level, evolution has programmed us to look for someone to blame... the perpetrator. If you know who stole your fire or hit you with a rock, you increase your chances of defending your self and your stuff in the future and that has survival value. Rationally, we know that no one (bigger than a microbe anyway) causes cancer, but our ancient DNA still directs us to start looking behind the bushes. And the anger is part of the package as a motivator to go after the perp. So, embrace your emotions as your heritage of the millions of generations of organisms that led to you who all survived by laying blame and being pissed! And then, in the spirit of Buddhism, let them go and have a happy Cinco de Mayo!