July 19, 2011 Let the adventures begin:
Cut you at the knees,
Shut up for the simple reason you don’t know what you are talking about….
“I have an appointment,” which of course, is simply not a satisfactory answer. The weather angle gives them a reason to pry for more information. I do not want to discuss the reason for my trek with anyone. If this isn’t bad enough, some of them kinda-sorta begrudge me because they tell me they understand. And then, they push me to do the very things I just finished explaining cause me huge problems.
“I’m going for a neurocognitive evaluation.” I can sense the eye rolling, even if it’s a face to face conversation and an internal eye roll. I listen to them as they tell me how they can never remember what they walked into a room for or THEY can’t remember names. I laugh at the self deprecating jokes, “I didn’t have chemo, what’s my excuse?”
I get it. I’m at THAT age where this is happening to many of us. Although I quite graciously accept AND VALIDATE their “I do that, too” it damn well pisses me off that most people absolutely refuse to accept my, “Yes, but this is different.” The persistence upon their insistence they KNOW how to help is starting to get really irritating. As for any form of validation? I’m in unchartered territory and I can quite simply, Dream On……
I know where I will find validation. From others who are experiencing almost identical problems and whose lives are similarly changed, or from one of the small group of very brilliant minds who are researching what is happening or more accurately, no longer happening in my brain. Some of you know EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN. And some live with someone like me and have a real hard time understanding it. Before acceptance, there must be understanding. Few people have faith so deeply in another human being that they can accept without understanding. This can, correction, This DOES cause many problems and creates relationship issues with spouses, parents, children, friends….
So we are an isolated bunch….. but I know when I hear or read what someone like me has to say , I can’t describe my feelings (“thank GOD, it’s not ME”…. “There is a reason for this mess”) as they go to those subtleties, the things that have me nodding my head, delighted that someone else is taxing their brain to come up with a fitting description. Totally in awe of their ability to capture the essence of this…..and thankful, so thankful….. THEY can distinguish the mess in my head from those well intentioned members of the “I do that too, crowd.”
I am not the same and I want to function in BC time. And then I feel like a real ingrate which leads me to beating myself up for being cancer free. I deserve a beat down with this bitchin' and moanin' over nonsense when so many are in the fights of their lives, FOR their lives. And, that is not an abstract thought, it’s an In My Face reality as I personally know two women who are Stage 4 Warriors, neither of whom entered my life because our paths crossed in Cancer Land. I met each of them under random, I know there is a great word that captures exactly how these women came to be a part of my life…DAMN IT….GOT IT… “serendipitous” circumstances.
I am approaching the five year mark. The first significant milestone. Or is it? Is it five years from when the surgeon did the biopsy and supposedly got clean margins? Is it five years from the bilateral mastectomy which was two months after that? Is it five years from the last chemo? Oh no, I see another internet detour coming…….
July 19, 2012..... I didn't crash and burn into cyber-nothingness. Sweet Anna, my Visible Ink mentor.... "What is chemobrain and is there an audience?" I should have her write the story of our first conversation!!
And, for A.... one of those previously mentioned Stage 4 friends who died just at the halfway point between last July and today. You are part of why I am determined to be heard. Speaking loudly and in ways that others can hear makes me feel less helpless. I couldn't do anything to prevent your death but I can surely shine a light on the truth. For you, for Rachel, for Susan. For all whose lives were stolen.... And for all who live with the fallout of the "good cancer" .....
I'm not going anywhere..... unless it's to a bikini parade.... TOPLESS... just to make a point.