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9 weeks and counting

WARNING:  Following blog post filled with whining and anxiety. Writer is surrendering to a cancer-fueled, impatience-inspired pity party. Read at your own risk.


Cloud 14I was diagnosed with breast cancer on May 22, 2015 at the ripe old age of 42.

That was 9 weeks ago and simply put, 9 weeks is a long, long time in the life of a cancer patient.

It is an eternity when you know there are badly behaved, potentially lethal cells rapidly dividing in your body. It is an eternity when every uncomfortable twitch, stab of pain or dry cough can conjure up all sorts of frightening images of metastases to the bones, the lungs or the brain. It is an eternity when you are a starkly impatient and inherently impulsive person who just wants to get on with it already.

I was diagnosed with cancer an eternity ago, and guess how much curative treatment I have received?

None.

None, and I don’t even have a surgery date yet. None, and I have already been on medical leave for 5 weeks. None, and I have no idea if I will need chemo or any other adjuvant treatment.

Did I mention that I have cancer? That’s a big deal, right? At least, I thought it was. But nobody in the medical industry seems to be in a hurry.

I can’t tell you how insane this has made me, how crazy I feel right now. My life has been paused by some force beyond my control and I feel like a caged animal, pacing back and forth, back and forth, trying to find some way out of this situation. I am losing my mind.

I have no control right now. I have no control over surgeons’ schedules. I have no control over when a nurse will call me back. I have no control over how quickly test results will be available. I have no control over when I can get back to work permanently. I am not really a control freak. I can be relatively flexible and adaptable, but dammit, I would like some control over my life’s circumstances.  (I warned you about the whining…..)

This is where a good theologian would insert a profound piece of wisdom about how being vulnerable and powerless can, ironically, be a perfect opening for God to touch my heart. A wise person might suggest that I use this time to work on mindfulness, being present to each moment even when in discomfort and confusion. Maybe I should dig around for a good quote from Howard Thurman or Barbara Brown Taylor. There has to be a website dedicated to pithy sayings of hope just for people with cancer.

But I ain’t got nothing. And I don’t want to go looking for something either. I don’t want easy answers. Or lofty ideals. Or saccharine sayings.

I want a surgery date. Period.

 

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11 thoughts on “9 weeks and counting

  1. Penny is right. Waiting is the hardest part. That and being at the mercy of everyone else’s timetable. I’m guessing if they aren’t hustling, they are not as worried as of course, you are cause it’s YOUR cancer. That gives you a lot of time to fill and our minds are crazy things. Thinking about you, Deb.

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  2. You tell it my sister! Sometimes a good ol’ venting is just what is needed!!! Many hugs to you…as many as you need.

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  3. I can’t imagine, Deb. I truthfully cannot. They tell us to walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins, when all along, we know we simply cannot. All we can do is TRY to empathize. And we can pray. This at least I can and do, daily for you.

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  4. I’d be stressed out too. I’m shocked that it’s taking so long to move forward. We can’t do anything to make this go faster or change anything but we’re here if you need.us. Ice Cream and/or a stiff drink or just to lend an ear, maybe?

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  5. I totally agree that your situation sucks! I have been assuming that you would feel impatient because I am impatient for you!! I just wish people would get going and get you a date. You will be strong and wonderful when the treatment starts, but you cannot be strong and wonderful while you are waiting!!! It stinks!! Yes, I agree… a pity party was called for. You did a good job complaining. You couldn’t be authentic if you didn’t complain…. everyone knows that. So good luck balancing patience and annoyance… not easy! I do think that getting back to work will help, and goodness knows we love to see you among us.

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