Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cancer Bitch-Survivors Guilt

A lot of people have been telling me lately that I look good - I don't look sick and I've actually gained weight (too much weight, I'm going to have to give up potato chips). And I feel guilty. I realize that I've been doing a victory lap in the last few months to say goodbye. I've given stuff away and cleared the decks and have been in waiting mode. Still partying, but also waiting. (I know, I know. I've been called on it)

The lab tech at my doctor's office (does my blood test) also mentioned how good I look. Over a month ago, he asked me to call his mother and talk to her because she had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I didn't want to do it - what could I possible tell her? I'm not doing anything magical or even good. But I did call, didn't reach her and left a message. No one ever called back. Last week, when I went for my blood test, he told me his mother had died, 6 weeks after being diagnosed. He said the diagnosis came too late. But he also stuck me in both arms for my blood test. (Hmmm, blame?)

My cousin in Denver is dying of cancer. She has breast cancer and its metastasized into her sinus cavity and spine. They've asked her to go into hospice. I want to be there, but I've also got to continue my treatments. Guilt.

Its a fine line - trying to stay positive and take care of yourself, but also realizing this is one battle I might not win. I'm allowed to feel sorry for myself and wallow in depression twice a month, when I'm home on chemo. Otherwise, I'm still having a great time and have no intention of slowing down!

The photo is from a trip to Gettysburg National Military Park. Steve and I climbed to the top of Big Round Top to take landscape pictures (couldn't because of all the trees). Had a candlelight dinner at the Dobbin House and toured. I tried climbing onto the rocks at Little Round Top to take pictures, slipped and fell - on the camera. So, okay, adventure - with limits.

And now, a random video that just makes me happy! Haven't seen the movie "Secretariat" yet, but I'm working on it. Know what else makes me happy? Friends and family. Thanks for being there for me.


Desda said...

Life is complicated isn't it? None of us knows how long we'll be here. We can only make the most of the time we have. You've always been someone who lives life to the fullest. Here's to you, my friend!

P.S. Let's see Secretariat this weekend!

Geri said...

I know you have to go there sometimes, Brenda. But I'm a firm believer that we are here for a reason. That we're not just some random assemblage of atoms occupying time and space for no reason. That we can use the time we are allotted for good or ill. And God knows you are an amazing gift to this world. Live your life. Learn and grow from each challenge. You are loved far beyond what you'll ever know or believe. So keep the faith!

jallen said...

Brenda, you are an amazing individual and always such an inspiration.That's your gift to the world. You teach by example -- love, inclusion, how to laugh, how to live a simply joyous live and so much more. Your job's not done yet.

Diane Dimond said...

You already know how much I love you. I'm not sure you know how much I admire and respect you, Brenda.
Although we don't get to SEE each other often you are in my thoughts every day, you are part of who I am - because you were there as I was figuring out who to be...guiding me, helping out with my daughter during my non-glorious single parenting days. You have been my constant, my touchstone. But, now its your turn to be your own constant - TO JUST THINK ABOUT YOU. Your health, your happiness and nothing else.

I'm tremendously proud of you and honored to be your friend.

Now you know. Word out, Dawg.

BaysidePartners said...

Box, YOU are my Secretariat. This will NOT beat you.


Lynne said...

The posse wants you to take care of yourself -- on the positive days and on the self-pity days; on the days when you embrace us all and on the days when you only have energy for yourself.

Whenever, however. The posse is here.

Ree-C said...

YOU make ME happy. And your friends. Reading their comments made me cry. You are so lucky to have such wonderful, loving and supportive friends!

Moe said...

I feel like I am repeating, but I feel I need to say it as well. I love and am blessed to have you in my life. Stay strong!

felicia said...

Please don't feel guilty about anything and just do the best you can, day by day. That's all any of us can do. Didn't I once feast with you in Gettysburg, so many eons ago? That was fun. Whenever you can get that fun thing going, do so. You are often in my thoughts.

Brenda said...

Felicia, you and I and the Tuckers ate at Dobbin House!

gena said...

Brenda, how did you write what I needed to read this morning? I look at so many friends who are in the "I Did Not Sign Up For This" period of their life, self included. But what I read here this morning was about acceptance. Accepting what we have or don't have, accepting the good days and the bad, accepting what none of us knows about our future.

We revel in the days you feel great and look great...and your posse also loves and supports you on the days that are a struggle.
Group hug.

pagegirl said...

brenda ~ you give new meaning to the work inspiration. i am proud to call you a friend!

alex said...

Hey, you want to have higher page rank and more visits? Let's do a link exchange! Enter Here and follow the steps!