Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Major Complaints

I thought it would be healthy for me to get these things out so I can feel better.
Things that have been upsetting, bothering, annoying and/or hurting me:

1) People who call and all they can talk about is cancer and my treatments.
Example~"Hi CB, how are you feeling? Did I wake you up?"
"No, I wasnt sleeping, just resting. I am feeling OK" (not sure I want to go into detail about whats been bothering me such as this rash and other stuff people dont want to hear thats TMI).
"Oh, you were resting? I shouldnt have bothered you. I'll call you back later then."
"No really, you are not bothering me. If I didnt want to talk I wouldnt have picked up the phone." (wondering if they have now taken offense to this statement).
"Did you have your last treatment yet or is it this week? Was it better than the last treatment?"
"No my last treatment is the 29th but I am not sure if it is going to be delayed due to the reaction I had."
"Oh, thats good, its almost over for you then." (Yeah right, its NEVER over for someone diagnosed with cancer with the fear of recurrence hanging over your shoulder. How I hate when people say this. I think I hate it more than- THINGS WILL GO BACK TO NORMAL WHEN YOU ARE DONE WITH TREATMENT AND YOU CAN GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE. I thought I was living my life RIGHT NOW. Things have been changed in ways people without cancer cannot imagine and they will never be the same. There is a NEW normal and I have to define it myself. I have to define it for me, my DH and my two children)
"Yeah right"
"Did you get your genetic testing results back yet?"
"Yes, I did and it was negative. I am happy about that"
"Thats wonderful, you dont have to worry about that now" (Very dumb statement here because I DO have to worry even though I dont have the genetic markers. I have to worry because of the fact that I am a cancer survivor and the risk of recurrence is always looming. Also just because they didnt find the genetic marker for BrCa1 or 2 they also tell you that they are discovering more genetic markers every day so I might have BrCa3 or 4 if they exist. With more research they will discover more and more which will be helpful for my children and all the children of women with BC).
"Oh, so and so has the gene you know. She's not to concerned right now because she is concentrating on her career. She's only 33 anyway so she has until she's 40 to think about what she is going to do".
"OK, well, cancer is not on a timer that you can set it and plan for it to happen. She should put her health first before her career. I was diagnosed when I was 34 and I did everything to prevent it, I still got it though." (I also wasnt going to say sorry that she has the gene, thats stupid because many people have the gene and dont know it plus why am I sorry? She DOESNT HAVE CANCER. It also makes me feel stupid because she's acting like she's going to be smarter than I was an avoid getting it at such a young age. I did everything in my power to prevent cancer and I also found that lump as soon as I possibly could have thanks to self-breast exam. My lump grew so fast that it wasnt there a month earlier when I did an exam and it was such a fast growing aggresive tumor that it spread to my lymph nodes already in that span of time! Oh but she's going to be smarter than me. If you have the gene you have 87-90% chance that you will get cancer in your life time. Yeah, it sucks but if you know that and can prevent it with a prophlactic mastectomy you can decrease that number to what the normal #'s are for people without the gene)

You get the point here from this example of a conversation with a relative. Sometimes it amazes me how stupid people can be. I do know their intentions are to be nice and comforting but it comes out wrong and annoys the crap out of me. They need to think before they talk.

2) People who constantly tell me to think positive and having that mindset is the best attitude to have because you will heal better and then the cancer has less of a chance at coming back. OK, first of all I know that I have to be positive and I am very positive. I need to be a little negative once in a while, its my right gosh darn it! These people could be talking about anything else with me and they chose this topic. Lets take a guess how many times a cancer patient has heard this, "Now, you know you have to think positive, thats half the battle." I dont disagree with this statement at all. Its very true. I just dont need to hear it 100 million times. The funny thing is that most of the people telling me to be positive are the most negative, pessamistic people around. If I could take a gander I would guess that they themselves would not heed their own advice if they were the ones in my shoes! Yes, its laughable but it annoys me. I would tell these people to look in the mirror, pretend that they have no hair, eyebrows or eyelashes. After that put on makeup that gives them dark circles under their eyes, swollen eyelids, yellow powder on their face or grey depending upon what chemo they were given a few days ago. THEN say to that person in the mirror, "YOU KNOW THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF IS TO THINK POSITIVE, ITS HALF THE BATTLE. My guess is that they wont say that statement to a cancer patient again any time soon.

3) When I was 1st diagnosed I cant tell you how many people called me to say they were sorry and whatnot. This complaint isnt about them saying they were sorry even though its a bad choice of words but anyway (please dont be offended if any one of you guys said it to me, I dont mean anyone here, I meant my dumb ass relatives who said it like I was dead already or planning my funeral) they could have said it in a different tone of voice OR said, "I am sorry to HEAR about your cancer".
The real complaint I was originally writing about is that people would say, "If there is ANYTHING, I MEAN ANYTHING I can do for you please let me know." Most of the time these statements would come from people I would NEVER ask for anything ever. Not because they arent nice or anything like that but because I dont think they would actually do what I would need them to do PLUS like I said I would never ask them even before I got sick. OK, so say Mary (a fictitious person used as an example), an aquaintance of mine, said this to me. She lives in NY about an hour away and has a full time job and kids of her own to deal with so if I need her to pick up the kids at school one day she would drop everything, including HER job and HER children and do this for me. NO, I dont think so. Remember, she's not a friend of mine but an aquaintance so for her to throw out a statement like, "If there is anything I can do..." is foolish on her part and means nothing. These people need to find something better to say, something that they can stand behind instead of statements they cant. Now I have FRIENDS that I KNOW would do anything for me. My friend J, is like that. If I needed her help, no matter what the reason, she would call in sick to work, leave her son with her Mom or sister, drive over 2 hours to my house from where she lives and do whatever I asked her to do. I know she would do it because she is my friend, has been for many years and has done things similar to that in the past for me as I have for her. She is like my sister. We can go for a few months without hearing from each other due to our crazy schedules and because life is busy for both of us. When we finally do get in touch with one another we pick up where we left off like time never passed between us. Thats the definition of a true friend. Someone who doesnt keep score as to who did what for whom and sh*t like that. I hate that sh*t. People who do that are to into themselves to care about anyone but themselves therefore incapable of having friends. I call them self-serving, self-imortant a-holes who will die alone due to this factor in their meager existance they call their life. Harsh but true.

Well, I know there will be more complaints and I wrote enough for people to read and hopefully not vomit! Actually, I have had a headache all day and I am going to TRY and get some sleep with the help of some pain medicine. I am stressing over the fact that I have my last treatment on Thursday and I am thinking of all the things that can go wrong with this one.

Update on the rash~Its looking good with the use of the cream. Its still itchy but no where near as itchy as it was before. I just hope the chemo doesnt make it come back or get worse but I will keep my hopes up.

Last chemotherapy is on Thursday, only 2 days away. I thought I would be happy and overjoyed over this but I find myself very upset and emotional. I feel like I am on the verge of crying all the time and its driving me crazy. I wish I could learn to meditate and do yoga. So many people say that it helps them relax. I wish I was one of those people. Oh yeah, most of the people that say it helps them dont have cancer either. I wonder if that makes a difference.


Dawn Taylor said...

Oh my goodness! I can totally relate to your entire blog!

Honestly, if I hear "oh, you only have one more treatment to go, and then your life will be normal again" I'll scream and then slap the person silly. Live will NEVER be normal again. Don't these people realize that cancer can come BACK? And it can KILL you? Ugh!!!

My biggest disappointment in this whole thing is that my brother, who lives just an hour away in the same area as me, has not once brought his family to visit. His wife stays home with the kids, and not ONCE has she called to see how I was doing. My brother finally called the other day because my dad broke down crying on the phone saying how disappointed he was that DB never called me. How sad is that! And then DB says something along the lines that I'll be fine. Does he know this? I don't think so! I had to explain the whole triple neg, aggressive cancer thing to him and he had NO CLUE!

So, I totally get where you're coming from. I have been so tempted to blog the same thing, but then I'll just get comments about needing a better attitude to get me through.

Big sigh. We'll make it together girl!

CurlyBrunette said...

Thanks Dawn, its good to know I am not alone with the way I feel and WE WILL get through this!