Feeling reflective today

This will probably be an extremely rambling and incoherent post- so what else is new!

Three of my friends have had very bad news in the past week. Two of them have had miscarriages, and one of them has found that their daughter, who is four, has some issues with her heart. All of these things have made me wish I could be there in person to help and comfort them, and I’m thinking about all of them.

A lot of things make me think about my own mortality these days. I guess it’s impossible not to, given how my life has been over the past number of months.

I’m stuck with this bloody headscarf for now- I look kind of like a scarecrow without it! The hair that didn’t fall out the second time is now about an inch and a half long, but is kind of patchy! There’s no sign of the rest of it growing back yet. This leaves me kind of in a conundrum; cancer no-man’s-land.

I’ve finished my treatment, yet I can’t say I don’t have cancer and I can’t say I’m cured, or have beaten it. I simply don’t know yet.

I’ve heard a number of people close to me say that I’ve “had the all clear”- and it just isn’t true! Listening to people say that actually makes me want to start screaming uncontrollably!

This reaction is totally unfair on my part. It’s natural for those close to me to want to think it’s all finished with. I want to feel that way myself! However, I feel like the cancer is somewhat unfinished business. I wonder how long I would have to go without a recurrence for me not to feel that way- I really hope time will tell!

I’m kind of starting down a new path now, and I hope it will be a green one with few steep hills and no stumbling blocks. I need to work out where I go from here. There’s no doubt that this experience has changed me for ever, no matter what happens now.

Until I can leave off the headscarf, I feel like I still have cancer (and I really don’t know if I do or I don’t!). I feel like I can’t move on.

But I know that, for my sanity and for the sake of those around me, I must.

So, that’s my challenge now! πŸ™‚

Thanks for indulging my confusing and irrational ramblings!


9 Responses to “Feeling reflective today”

  1. March 25, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    I’m glad you shared this, Suzy. I confess to thinking that you were sort of in the clear now. I think many who haven’t fought the battle you are fighting just don’t know exactly what means what. I know when I think of someone being done with treatments, I think of being DONE. Thank you for helping me understand that’s not necessarily the case.

    This was neither irrational nor confusing. Very helpful. Love you, mama.

    Megan, you’re SO right, and I know I didn’t have a clue before I started down this path, which is why I’ve tried to blog about my treatment in so much detail- so others can read it and know what to expect if they are in my shoes. Thanks for the reminder though- as I say, I’m being really unfair in my expectations of others.

  2. March 25, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    <> You are the ultimate hero in my books, and I completely see what you are saying about not being in the clear yet. And you definetly need all the same support we were giving before, now, in these stages.

    Love you Suzy!

    The support you guys have given me has knocked the breath out of me, and I will never, ever forget it. Thinking about you so, so much, Kristi. Love you. xxx

  3. March 25, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    You have the most rational irrational ramblings I’ve ever read!

    I’m glad Megan stopped in first because she said what I wanted to say, only I’m positive she did it much better than I would have. πŸ˜€

    I think about you all the time and I hope that you don’t want to come through your computer and smack me upside my head with my incessant checking up!

    No, no! I love your emails and messages! πŸ˜€ In fact I just found one from you in my blog email inbox- which I don’t check nearly enough, you should probably use my personal email addy if you want any kind of response from me (if you don’t have it any more let me know!!)

    I think you’re great and you have kept me so cheered up these past months. I am going to make it my mission in life to meet up with you one day so we can go out and get plastered together! πŸ˜€

  4. March 25, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Bless you – if I wouldn’t get a bit damp en route, I’d come and give you a hug right now and make you a nice cup of tea and a cake. Consider yourself cyber-hugged!


    Thanks Jennie- your cake looked amazing too, I wish you COULD come round with some, ha ha! πŸ˜€

  5. 5 Bernadette
    March 26, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Suzy I could never think of you as being irrational or confusing – I would say just reflective in the way anyone would who has come through what you just have; and arising too from the sad news of three of your friends. I think you have been incredibly courageous in the way you have dealt with all thats happened to you during the past months. Try not to worry about the hair: being concsious of it I think is having the effect of making it seem like it will never grow back but it will. Much love, XXXes and (((hugs)))

    The headscarves you sent me have seen VERY good service- the hair is not really the issue, just the visible sign of the issue, if you know what I mean! Thanks for all the encouragement and advice you’ve given me! xx

  6. March 26, 2009 at 2:25 am

    It is easy for me to say, but make sure you deal with your issues and try not to carry the weight of those friends and family with you too.

    Actually, it’s very much my issue and not theirs. You’re right, though. I guess it will take a while to get back to normal. πŸ™‚

  7. 7 layla2376
    March 26, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I think it may be that now that treatments done, you actually have time and space to try to deal with what you have been through .Because you dont have such an intense focus- your fight previously was more tangible, times and dates of treatments etc, now you are in a kind of limbo and still showing the signs of what you have endured over the last few months. It will be a long time before you really feel like yourself again but you will get there – look how far you’ve come xx
    As for people saying you have the all clear …it shows how much they love you, they are verbalising their ultimate hope & wish for you x
    I can only tell you generally what I know from experience in work but from personal experience my aunt ( 18 years clear) told me …that she had to let go of the cancer as much as it had let go of her. Give yourself time x

    You’re right in everything you say, Leigh. Your aunt speaks a lot of wisdom! I really AM feeling much more like myself health wise, but am frustrated by the mental healing process! As you say, it will take time! πŸ™‚

  8. March 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Cancer is such a right bastard because it’s one of those things that takes a long time to really be considered “cancer free” by the doctors. Even when you’re done with the treatment.

    For that reason, I think your frustration is entirely justified. And that’s not counting your other, “how can things be back to normal when I still don’t feel comfortable with how I look!?!?” – which is also absolutely understandable.

    On the other hand, “kind of patchy” hair will last ME the rest of my life! πŸ˜€

    Ramble away, milady, I’m glad to have the opportunity to share it.

    The difference, my friend, is that it is perfectly socially acceptable for you to have patchy hair or no hair at all, but everyone looks at you like you’re a freak if you’re a woman… πŸ˜€

    Thanks for the reassurance. Sometimes I need to hear this stuff! πŸ˜€

  9. 9 Kim
    March 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    You’re an inspiration to a lot of people and I’m thankful I’ve been lucky enough to have “met” you!

    I find you very inspirational too, Kim. Plus I love how you phrase things when you write, you’re very funny! I am very glad to have met you too. πŸ™‚

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