Archive for March 8th, 2009


Prisoner of . . .

Arthur & George, by Julian Barnes, pg 198:

“Some prisoners counted off each day until their future release; George could only get through prison life by treating it as the only life he had or could ever have.”

When I read that, it felt so true. I guess I’m really a prisoner of my own mindset about having cancer again, but inside me, it feels as if the cancer itself is holding me prisoner.

I miss (!?!) the first time I had cancer. I was able to approach it with a sense of adventure – not that I was enjoying having cancer, more that by approaching it with humor and as if it were a once-in-a-lifetime experience I was able to get past the fear and worry that were always there at the bottom. I do believe that it helped me reshape my ideas about what is important in life, aided by the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – and as I’ve said before – if you have thoughts about wanting to change your life’s direction, *don’t* wait until you have cancer to do so.

Because I have so withdrawn into myself this time, I’m not able to find as much humor in it as I did before. Even though the prognosis really isn’t any different than the first time around, I haven’t wanted to discuss my experience this time, and I am more of a room with a closed door.

I have been turned off my support group this time by an influx of new people who complain about coming to a group and hearing all the stories of those of us who have recurrences or metastases – I truly sympathize with people who are facing this for the first time, and especially at a lower stage of disease it is hard to hear about someone who was at their stage and had a recurrence, no matter how short or long a time after their course of treatment was done; but how do you think it makes those of us feel to be looked at as a source of horror? It hurts, it starts us in our own feedback of negative emotions, and for those who have Stage IV, I can imagine it being pretty devastating.

And for those one or two people who have told me to “suck it up”, I say, “fuck off”. Even having cancer yourself doesn’t give you the right to say that to me. I will handle it in whatever way I best can, and if right now it is by withdrawing into myself, and not making contact with everyone I know, then that is how it is going to be.

For those of you (the vast majority of friends and family) who have offered me so much love and support in spite of my state of being incommunicado, thank you for understanding. I will reach a point where I find my mojo again and am able to reach out again – it just takes time.

I came across this post the other day, and it is a fairly accurate description of how I feel in general right now. If I Only Had a Brain

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March 2009

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