Saturday, January 22, 2011

In the Land of Introspection

I'm overdue for writing here.  I guess I've been a little lazy this week and have found myself doing a lot of introspective thinking.  I guess it's kinda like a chemo "mid-term evaluation".  I'm almost at a half-way point with my treatment, and feeling a little intimidated about the next part of this journey.   Not about my decision to have the double mastectomy; but about the surgery and recovery itself.   

This week was also the first time I wasn't able to get my chemo and it did take me by surprise, even though I was aware this could happen at anytime.  We know our past always plays into our present (and our future).  As far as my past, I've always been the strong one in my family.  The one to make decisions; the one that can figure out solutions for everyone's problems and the one nicknamed "The Energizer Bunny" for my high energy.  It's truly hard not to be that person right now.  I've been told by family and friends that now is the time I can and should just lean back and coast for a while.  But that's not how I "ride"...although I am trying to learn.

I was a little tired this week, probably because of the low counts and anemia.  However, my nose has stopped bleeding a little every time I blow my nose and my back was killing me today (a sign like last time that the platelets are coming back?).  So I am thinking maybe the counts have indeed come back some...and hopefully enough to get chemo on Tuesday.  As far as the anemia...I don't feel lightheaded like I did the last time it got bad...but it is hard on my legs to do stairs and I find I can't do certain things without getting out of we'll see.  Tuesday will tell.

Today I was out at the stores and while there, saw a woman with very short grey/white hair just growing in....and I knew what she had been through.  I followed her through a couple aisles before I got the courage to just go up to her and ask if she had just been going through breast cancer.  "Yes", she said, she had.  I told her that I was in the midst of it myself and couldn't wait until my hair would grow back just like hers!  She asked questions about my treatment, we compared our stories, and we promised to pray for each other on our journeys.  It is indeed a "unifying club" when you meet another woman on the journey or another woman who is a survivor (and yeah, I know men can get it also, but as women, we do mostly see each other).  There is something that is immediately connecting about the recognition of each other and the knowledge of the struggle each has had to overcome.  It is enveloped by a respect for each other's strength and courage.  I find myself sometimes looking through a crowd for another short bristly head or guessing about wigs being worn by people in front of me.  Because sadly, there are so many of us out there.

Then, I came home and decided to watch a movie on LIfetime.  Now, already, you know it had to be either a tear-jerker or a movie about someone killing or being killed since that's all they seem to show on this channel (LOL).  This movie was one I hadn't seen before with Meg Ryan, Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart and Olympia Dukakis called, "In the Land of Women".  It was billed as a "comedy", but I am sure that was a mistake.  Further...just to top off the week, during this movie Meg Ryan is diagnosed with breast cancer.  I said to the TV, "No...REALLY?"  I mean, what were the odds?  (I guess pretty good.)  I watched as she shaved her hair and as her counts fell "dangerously low" and she landed in the hospital... and then...came the scene after her body scan where she said to her daughter (Kristen Stewart)..."I was really scared.  I thought I wasn't  going to make it.  But now I know I will."  And she pulled herself together and it seemed a light was turned on inside her.  

I also, "know I'm going to make it"...but I am not going to say that this is easy or that I am as positive about this from day to day.  But I keep in mind that as sure as God takes care of the smallest insect or a blade of grass, so I know God takes care of me.  So, I will be OK.  I do know this.  I just needed to visit the "Land of Introspection" for a while.   

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