Seriously What’s Up With That?

 I try to have a fun blog so people will want to come and read.  Well I thought I was trying.  Yet when you have cancer, it’s all you think about.  As much as you want other things to be in your head that stupid Cancer sign is always right there waiting for your peripheral vision to catch a glimpse of it.  Just to remind you of your impending doom.  Yeah thanks cancer.

As I sit here wondering what to write I reach down to enjoy a sip of coffee by the fish pond and there it was … a fly in my fresh coffee.  I took it out and actually pondered drinking it anyway.  HEY it was a full fresh cup!  Oh well I guess that’s the start of my day, “a fly in my cup”.  So I dumped it and went to the kitchen for another cup.  This time I used a cup that had a lid.  Sure it’s for tea but too bad, I’m using it for coffee this morning.

I open my new laptop sitting in the warm sun all ready to go, and look at my black screen.  No matter which way I move it’s still black.  UGH can’t see a thing! So now I have one more chore to do before I can write.  I have to move out of the warm wonderful sun to the shade of the patio so I can see my screen.

So here I sit my back to the waterfall in the pond, and to the birds fighting over feeders.  Seriously, what’s up with that?  There are three huge feeders, one big one for sunflower seeds and another long one that several birds at once can feed from yet they still argue over certain ones.  Then here comes my cat, thinking … Look MOM a toy, a bunch of them.  I wonder if I can catch one, suddenly all the birds fly away.  Well I guess that will teach them to not argue over a free meal!

Okay anyway, I have realized that you can’t run from cancer. One thing I have begun to hate is when people ask what kind of cancer you have.  I tell them stage 4 lung cancer.  The first words out of their mouth are “Well, did you smoke?”  I tell them ‘Yes, but I quit 17 years ago’ I actually had one person tell me, well maybe you should have quit 18 years ago. So, I tried saying that myself, and it hurt. But Seriously, what’s up with that?  You hear, and read all the time that if you quit smoking your lungs will repair itself.  So yeah, they should have been repaired. 

I tell this to my oncologist and he tells me, “It’s not that smoking caused your cancer, if you still smoked then I’d say yes.  But after 17 years you should have the lungs of a nonsmoker.  And I’ve met nonsmokers that have lung cancer.” So yay I get to tell other people this.  Well to no avail they still look at me with ‘tsk tsk tsk on their face and a sigh of well you DID smoke’ So what are they saying?  I deserved this?  I did it to myself? Seriously, what’s up with that?

When I would wake up in the morning, once upon a time, I used to think of what I was going to do with my day.  Would I can something, look for a great recipe, take a walk, and rearrange my living room or bedroom? Go for a drive to who knows where, get a coffee or something and just enjoy the scenery?  What will I do today?

Now it’s, drag myself out of bed because everything hurts.  I think wow it didn’t used to be this way, oh yeah I have cancer.  I try to stand up and have to push on my legs to get in an upright position.  Oh yeah, I have cancer everywhere. Well this sucks.  I head to the kitchen and make coffee take a sip and throw it out.  It tastes like metal, so I make tea.  Ahh, better.  So for 3 or 4 weeks I drink tea, then one morning I make tea and toss it out, it tastes like soap.  So it’s back to coffee or warm lemon water or just plain warm water.  I never know from one day to the next if anything is going to taste good. Seriously, what’s up with that?

Then there’s cooking, smells that used to have me running to the kitchen to ask my wonderful husband what’s for dinner, now causes arguments.  I choke up at the first smell of oil cooking.  I have to leave the house.  A lot of the vegan foods I eat are cooked in oil, so while he’s in the kitchen trying to fix something I will enjoy, I’m in the living room yelling at him to turn on a fan or open a window.  So I am yelling, with a voice that can barely be heard. And it sounds like I’m mad.  I’m not mad, I’m out of breath.  So words are said, I storm out of the house and well, it takes a couple of hours for the hurt to go away so we can hug and repair things.  BUT before cancer this never happened. Yet he helps me live! Cancer sucks!

So now I’m told, I can’t lift anything heavier than Mr. Shivers.  Seriously, what’s up with that?  Mr. Shivers is my Chihuahua, are you serious?  WHY?  Well because your spine is really fragile.  You shouldn’t even fall.  Oh okay so how do I make sure I don’t fall, stay in bed all day? Oh well that will make for a bright and productive life. I know more about different kinds of animals than anyone I know. Thank you Animal Planet!

Then there are those well-meaning people who tell you “You’re going to be just fine” “You are healed in the name of Jesus!”  Really, then why was I just told “Your cancer has spread to your spine, it’s all over your spine.” And that’s why my cottage cheese spine is fragile.  I know they mean well but they don’t realize what harm that truly does to a person.  Do I want to be healed YES I do, but I also know that sometimes God says no.  Otherwise people who are prayed for over and over again many times a day would not be still dying from cancer. Do I want to be God’s miracle, YES I do but I have to stay on the reality train. Otherwise I will be in total shock when the doctors say one day “Go home and get your affairs in order, there’s nothing more we can do.” 

I also have those lovely people that tell me I just need to “Think Positive”  Well guess what positive thinking has never once stopped a person from dying healthy or not.

It hasn’t improved anyone’s life that I know of.  Most people that continue to say think positive thoughts and you’ll be okay are miserable on the inside.  It’s something that was coined by well-meaning counselors when they didn’t know what else to say; well that’s what I believe. I think it’s wrong to tell someone to “think positive” How about giving them HOPE?  Hope helps us live, hope helps us to get out of bed, hope helps us want to get dressed and fix our hair or put on makeup so the bald head doesn’t look so weird. Hope lets us know that maybe one day we will be healed.  But to think positive means that for every ‘downer thought’ we have we are putting a nail in our coffin. And when you have death lurking outside your home like a vulture it’s hard to have ‘positive thoughts’ all the time.

I do wonder what will happen to those I leave behind.  I can’t be there to hold them and help the hurt go away. I know what to say to my son, but I won’t be there during the time in his life when he will need me the most.  I have spent many hours crying about that.  So those are not positive thoughts, am I burying myself? I don’t think so, not at all.  I am being real.  I know what to say to my daughter, but I won’t be there to say it.  The only way to stop that pain is to NOT DIE. 

I want to say especially for my daughter, but that doesn’t seem fair to my son.  But the reality is she just lost her father a couple of years ago, and to now face the fear of losing her mother?  Seriously, what’s up with that? Cancer Sucks!

What about the devastation of so many people who are praying for a miracle?  My prayer is that they do not stop praying; that they do not get a sense of maybe prayer doesn’t work.  It does.  Their prayer helps me to get up every day.  Their prayer helps me to not cry all the time.  It keeps me from thinking I have no reason to live.  I do fear the pain that will eventually take over; I do fear what my desires will become.  And their prayers will help keep me strong while I am here.  I might get a miracle healing, then again I might not.  Remember I said I was riding on the reality train!

I also have those well-meaning friends who send me links to every site that has “Thee Cancer Cure” So if I followed each of those sites I’d be trying dirt from Colombia, mushroom and garlic stew from India, moving to Israel (hey that’s not a bad idea), water from some guy in Texas, green goo from this recipe that totally cures cancer and so on and so on.  Then I have my doctor who laughs her head off and says well the green goo might not hurt but I’d stay away from the dirt!

 Don’t get me wrong I really care about these people and I know they care about me or they wouldn’t be sending me these links all the time.  But let’s be honest, if all these countries, recipes and so on truly did cure cancer, we wouldn’t have so many people dying from cancer.  And yes I know cancer patients that try these things who see not one positive result. In fact during chemo we laugh about some of the remedies that are sent to us.

What did work?  My daughter suggested a mushroom extract, and it did work for the nausea that comes from chemo.  I never truly have had a problem with it.  Thank you Bridgette! She and Keisha have truly been my back bone.  Bridgette has purchased things that I would have never realized I needed.  A blue-ray player so I can watch movies along with netflix and hulu things like that. She made sure I had a phone so while lying in bed I still had internet access. She made sure I passed scissors school so I could open my blue-ray package when it got here!!  Keisha sends me words of kindness, we complain about things we have in common and keep each other lifted up in prayer.  They each give in their own special way. And they help me live!

Pastor Jim, or just Jim and Judy to me are truly a huge blessing.  Judy always greets me with her wonderful hugs that lets me know I am loved. Jim calls all the time, texts all the time.  Sometimes it’s to ask how I’m doing.  Others it’s to share a joke or silly picture.  I love it all it keeps me laughing and smiling all the time.  And at odd times of the day no less, when I least expect it, there it is a text from my friend Jim that has me laughing.  Wyatt and or Steve are saying ‘what’ I just laugh and say it’s just Jim … and then tell them.  Sometimes they just look at me and I think; they don’t have our sense of humor! And he helps me live!

Wyatt, bless his heart will play his piano for me when he sees that I am getting too depressed and it pulls me out.  He will take walks with me, WOAH my neighbor is cooking steak right now! ARG does he not know I am officially vegan and can’t eat meat?  Does he not realize I’m about ready to grab a knife and fork and hunt that steak down?

Okay back to Wyatt …  he takes walks with me and talks to me.  He will come sit on the bed with me and watch a show just because it makes me feel better to not be alone. And he helps me live.

My heart breaks for him all the time.  He is trying so hard to come to grips with what is going on but he has no one to sit and talk with about this stuff.  His peers don’t want to hear it. Maybe because they have this ‘invincible’ thought process that they can’t wrap their heads around death. Maybe they think if they keep him laughing he can forget about it.  While that may be true once the laughter is gone, reality returns and it’s the reality he needs to pour his heart out over. Problem is, he needs someone to listen, not try to fix it, and not try to tell their own story so that he doesn’t get to share what is on his heart. Right now he needs a true friend.

I believe Steve will have that, a true friend that will listen now and later on when he needs someone to be his rock. Yet I know the pain he will go through.  I’ve seen and heard about that pain long ago when we broke up.  Not because we wanted to but because by God’s laws we had to.  It about destroyed him, yet through that he found God.  But that didn’t make his pain any easier to deal with.  He had hope then, and his hope became a reality when we got back together and were married.  But for him that was a long and painful 2 years. This time there will be no hope, it truly will be the end.  CANCER SUCKS!!

So you see, I try to have a nice blog with fun stuff for people to read, but cancer has taken over my thoughts.  It happens every day.  I can’t run from cancer, I can’t hide and think it will go away.  It’s there, every time I look in the mirror, every time I bend over to pick something up.  Every time I look at something and think, gee I’d like to move that over there.  Every time I touch my walker cancer is there like a cloud that won’t go away.  So for those who come here to my blog and think ‘Man this is a downer’ I am sorry.  One day I will figure out how to make this place more fun.  One day, until then I have one thing to say … Seriously, what’s up with that?

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10 thoughts on “Seriously What’s Up With That?

  1. My dear friend…I think your blog should be whatever you need it to be. It’s ridiculous to think that a person suffering the way you are should work harder than she should to entertain the general public. I say keep writing–there are people out there who are feeling the way you feel and need to know they are not alone. Be that voice. The voice that speaks reality–not in the doom and gloom fashion, but from faith, and the reality of how it is to balance faith whilst coping with cancer. That’s the voice you are given right now, and it is up to you to glorify God in the state that you are in now–and you do, so many have seen it. Your blog can be an extension of the grace that you live as you bloom where you are planted.

    Cancer sucks, yes it does. I hate that it has taken people I love, and threatens to continue to do so. My heart breaks to think of all you are going through, all Mom went through, and the possibility of going through such things myself. But God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. He promises so much to us in exchange for what He allows into our lives. We must hold on to the truth that He is good, all the time, and His good plans for us are perfect, even when we don’t understand them.

    I love you my friend, and I’m looking forward to seeing you soon.

    ~Kristi

  2. Im so sorry that you and your family have to go thru this aunt pam :( reading this made me just sit here and cry. Cancer really does suck and i love you!

  3. I love you so much Pam.I read this and cry because i can’t be with you. You are my sister and always my best friend…….. FOREVER!

  4. It’s not your fault it made me cry.Your writing just touches my heart in a place it hasn’t been touched in a very long time .(i’ll just have a cry fest with Tiff)

  5. Pam, I came across your blog from a link about your face powder recipe; it brought me here. So I don’t know anything about you or your family than what you shared in this post. But I felt led to share with you this:

    My husband’s mother died when he was 13. Decades later, I marvel at how much love and and guidance she instilled in him in those years he had with her. When I reflect on what a wonderful husband he is, I often tell him how proud she would be of the man he has become–and how grateful I am to her for everything she did to give him a strong, enduring foundation. I also tell him that, should I get to heaven before he does, the first soul I want to see is her, to thank her for the blessing she prepared for me.

    My prayer for your children is that they always feel your love in their heart–and that one day, they each find and marry someone who not only cherishes them, but who also recognizes how you, the devoted mother of the one they love, have blessed them.

    My prayer for you is that you will be there so that your daughter-in-law and son-in-law may each thank you in person.

    With kind thoughts for you and your loved ones,
    Holly

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