a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

Hit it again

Posted by wendy on 2011/10/22

When I signed into my dashboard today this was in my top searches box:

what+do+you+do+when+you+have+fought+so+hard+for+something+but+you+keep+hitting+a+brick+wall?

Personally, my favorite link on that search result is the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie script.   There is a small part of me that thinks someone would probably benefit more from that link than if they hit my blog looking for answers.  Really, I have none.  Lately, it feels like all of the answers are out of my reach as well.

So many of my photoshoots end up with Pip The Therapy Dog crashing the party--no zombie bride pictures today, because Pippin wants to sit in my lap. 😉

I’m all over the internet this month, taking pictures  and playing  silly Facebook  games and pinning pithy sayings to my pinterest page…but, am I talking about cancer this month? Not so much.    As someone who made it through 8 rounds of chemotherapy without tossing her cookies once, how much of a right do I have to even complain about my experiences?  Sure, I felt like crap and I lost my hair, but it’s grown back and I had a full head of it less than 3 months after chemo ended.  The surgery was hard, but I recovered and I actually like my teeny little breasts more–clothes fit better, they don’t get in the way of daily activities, and they look fabulous in a tight sweater.  I had all the lymph nodes removed on my right side, but I regained full range of motion with my right arm and while the numbness is annoying, I’m used to it so it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.  I lift weights.  I do yoga.  I was a text-book case of breezing through surgery, chemo and radiation with minimal difficulty.  Did I have cancer-lite?  No.  It was aggressive.  I had multi-focal DCIS and a big freaking tumor on my right breast.  It had spread to 1 lymph node–but, again…I was lucky–we caught it before it spread further.  So many women had it–HAVE IT–so much worse than I did.  I feel guilty because I feel like I really did get the pretty end of the shitstick.  I mean, any way you look at it, it’s still a shitstick, but I got the end that cleans up faster.

Lately, I don’t even like to talk about how lucky I was–it’s like I’m afraid I’ll jinx it somehow.  And…as someone who has both been there, done that, and purchased the pink t-shirt, how much of a responsibility do I now carry to continue the fight to raise awareness?  As a survivor, do I offer hope or do I offer reality?   Can we have both?  I can see how women with metastatic breast cancer can feel left out of all of these pink rays of hope we’re shooting around the world this month–because, the happy hopeful survivor place?  That’s the place I’d much rather dwell, too–and that feels like such a cowardly thing for me to say, but if I’m going to be honest here, then…yeah.  I don’t want to think about this coming back and I don’t want to think about it spreading.  Maybe it’s too soon for me to face the ‘what ifs’.  Right now,  I want to focus on the fact that I WON this round.  But, I was lucky.  So many women are not.  What will I do if my luck runs out and I’m faced with that brick wall once more?

Aqua Teen Hunger Force says “hit it again”.   And, I will.  But, I’m not going to think about that today.  Maybe I will tomorrow.

 

Maybe.

8 Responses to “Hit it again”

  1. CindyBeth said

    whether you want it or not – you’re an inspiration. And not just because of the cancer survivor thingy (which is enough in itself). When I first saw your profile on Flickr and read some of the things you wrote to accompany your pics and especially your warning to Perv’s on your profile – I thought “she’s awesome, I need to know her.” All you have to do is offer “you”…that’s plenty! You are so true.

  2. wendy said

    I seriously love you so. One of these days, you and I are going to have drinks, woman. ❤

  3. Lauren said

    I so dig this, and yes, when you look at search engine info of how people found you, it is indeed sad and worrying how there are so many looking for answers about how to navigate all this. Great post, I feel guilty at times, most often for writing this post geared toward a ray of sunshine when i know it isn’t for all…

    xoxox

    Lauren

    • wendy said

      I’m sort of naturally one of those annoying sunny people to begin with (which, I realize one would never know by my art. hee.). I like to say I’m an optimist who likes to pretend she’s a pessimist.

      Sometimes, I wish I could personally address some of the people behind my search results, because it makes me feel…argh. I know that part of the reason I started this blog was because at one point, I was one of those people trying to navigate this and running into horror story after horror story and I wanted to be a bright spot (sunny!) for people.

      It’s almost like survivor guilt. (well, it’s probably a LOT like survivor guilt)

  4. I love your writing, whether sunny or not. This cancer business is a shitstick, and I love how you take us along for the ride!

  5. I have thyroid cancer. Metastatic thyroid cancer. Something unheard of, virtually, especially in a young woman. And the treatment is bizarre, comparatively speaking – surgery to cut out everything they can, then one heavy duty dose of oral radiation. It seems so quick and easy, and I have struggled with feeling “validated,” worrying that people think I don’t have “real” cancer. Of course, it’s back, and not responding to radiation this time, so it feels a little more “legit.”

    So yeah, I totally get where you’re coming from. Cancer sucks, and it doesn’t matter the kind, the stage, the treatment. It’s all a bitch.

    • wendy said

      It really IS a bitch and a shitstick. I’m so sorry Kerry–I’d rather you not have to feel legit at all. I’mma keep you on my list. Fight hard. No matter what else, I think we cancerchick’s get an extra dose of the Awesome Gene to make up for all the crap we have to deal with. xxxx

      • Thanks – we pretty much have to have that awesome gene, huh? I’m a fighter – angry and determined and able to laugh at myself. From what I’ve read here, I think we’re a lot alike!

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