Saturday, December 21, 2013

1000 entries and counting...

Well. Today, this at this moment, my 1000th blog entry begins.

I just happened to notice that my next blog entry would be number 1000 earlier today. I don't always notice the number of entries, so I think in some ways it may mean something that I did.

On an Angel number blog that (coincidentally) uses the same background as I do, it says, "Angel Number 1000 encourages you to look to new beginnings and the start of a new cycle or phase in your life with optimism and enthusiasm.  These new opportunities will bring you much happiness and fulfilment (sic) as it will see you in a position to use your personal skills and talents to your advantage."

It sounds good, doesn't it?

So how do I correlate this moment with how I have been feeling? I am not feeling too great. I am all too aware of how the Avastin seems to be affecting me. Yesterday there was a networking meeting that would have been good to go to, for a few reasons, but I didn't.

For starters, I didn't wake up until late. I couldn't sleep the night before. Then, if I am honest, I realized that I might have not wanted to go because I was afraid I would cry.

Some might think "so what?" After all, it would not have been the first time I was emotional in front of a bunch of people. I am so open about how I feel, why would I care? Others, who do not know me, would probably relate for their own reasons, I would imagine.

I think deep down inside of me I was hoping that the tide was changing. I was feeling better. I was trying to move forward without the help of others. Without asking for it, and acting like I didn't need it. I wanted to be "normal" again. A part of me is embarrassed by the fact that I "can't seem to get it together."

Of course that is stupid. I know it consciously. *I* of all people know better. But the thing is that many people want me to be OK if for no other reason, I can stop needing help. I can stop asking for help. I can stop putting my discomfort and problems in their face. I can seem to be OK so then they don't have to worry about me.

It may not be a fair comparison, and I almost hesitate to use it because it isn't exactly the same, but I feel a bit like the person on the street who many walk by. It is all too easy for other people to walk by and just keep going. It is difficult. What do you say? What can you do? Apparently when you don't know answers, it is easier to pretend like there are no questions.

I have been holding back a bit on my pleas for help. After all, it is Christmas. No one wants to hear about depressing things on Christmas. It is all about fun and presents and joy and all kinds of stuff, just as long as it fits the way Christmas is supposed to look. I could imagine some might even think that they'll just focus on the good; it's their right to, after all. And then after Christmas maybe they'll look at the things that aren't so comfortable. Maybe.

I would be willing to bet that most who don't want to look at it now didn't want to look at it before now, and likely won't be looking at it after now, either.

cancer is not anything that anyone wants to look at. I have seen a few cancer stories lately, but the focus isn't so much on the cancer as much as it is the story around cancer. It is about the part of the story that has the uplift. Yes. cancer happened, but let's get to the "good" part.

I am wondering how I sound. I imagine I could sound quite down, negative, cynical. And is that my intention? No. So what is my intention in sharing this, exactly? Is it to judge others? No. It, I think, is to just share what I observe just like I do any other time of the year. Just because it is the holidays it doesn't mean that anyone dealing with cancer gets a holiday from what is happening in their life. If anything, I would imagine for many it probably even makes it worse.

I don't care so much about how I sound, but what I do care about is how I feel. I feel sad and frustrated. I feel embarrassed and I feel warn out. I went back to sleep after getting up this morning and I dreamt that I was coughing up a lot of blood. When I looked online, I found a dream resource that said, "To dream that you are bleeding or losing blood signifies that you are suffering from exhaustion or that you are feeling emotionally drained." Um. Yeah.

Except. I didn't realize how deeply I was feeling it. It was suggested to me by Julie Griffiths, a very fun and talented and intuitive healer, that the Avastin was helping to stir up the unconscious stuff to the surface, and that crying would be a good thing if I felt I needed to do it.

I suspect my ego wants to feel like, and act like, it has it together. People try to help, and when I respond in a way that might sound like I am making excuses, it bothers me. I begin to feel defensive. Inferior. I really get why people don't want to talk about this stuff and why there are so many charades and masks. It is a lot easier to pretend like all is right with the world.

The problem for me is that I can't remain silent. I can't refrain from saying things. I can't refrain from trying to explain myself and I think it is because there is a bigger picture here, and it is not just about me. At the same time, there is something about it that is very much for me. Remaining silent does not serve me, nor does it help me. It only feeds my discomfort. As uncomfortable as it is in sharing things, my silence is even worse.

4 more days. If I had only made it 4 more days without saying anything. Oh well. I guess it just needed to come out and be said. I am just gonna go with the idea that if someone found their way to this entry then they had to see it for some reason. There is more than seeming negativity here. I wonder how many will hear it.

Putting that aside, I have often said this blog is primarily for me. It is like a private journal that others get to read. When you read another's private thoughts, they aren't always pretty. That, in part, is why they're often private. The people know better than to say what they really feel to those around them. The "problem" is that the silence is not our friend. The things we leave unexpressed eat away at us. They fester.

I have really hated saying some things. But once said, they weren't as bad any more. It was like a steam valve was released. Long before my diagnosis I would talk to people about "being true to themselves." On some level I was there, but it was no where near where I am now. There truly is a lot of freedom in expressing oneself.

According to someone who did a lot of work with those dying, the NUMBER 1 regret people had was not being true to themselves. If I have any regrets when my time comes, it certainly is not going to be that. I may ruffle feathers, but I have a deeper sense of inner peace about myself than I ever have. It is something I couldn't be more grateful for.

If my sharing in any way helps others to be more true and open about themselves, then that is a bonus. I think it is one of my life's gifts that is intended to be shared. 999 blog entries ago I had no idea what I was going to write, nor where this blog would go. I had no idea if anyone would even read it, and I wasn't even sure I wanted anyone to. Now there have been 30K+ visits. Many come and say nothing, so I don't know what - if anything - they get here. Occasionally I will receive a message of great impact from someone who reads what I share.

In the end, which in some way is always a beginning, we may never know exactly what will come of something that we say or do. But there are just some things that must be said and done.

I think about the movie It's a Wonderful Life. If you are one who hasn't seen it, do yourself a favor and watch. I had thought EVERYONE had seen it, but apparently some have slipped through the cracks. From what I understand, it wasn't a successful or popular movie when it was made. I think it has much more success all these many years later. Maybe those who made it knew on some level how important and worthwhile the message was. Maybe they knew something others didn't seem to know at the time. Maybe it was just a paycheck, and I am making this all up.

Who knows, really?

Who really knows anything?

All we can truly know is what we know in THIS moment and what feels like the thing we should do - for whatever reason we choose it. And for as much as I would have consciously thought it better to write anything like this at different time, it came out now.

cancer is a part of my life. There is just no getting around it. Provided I manage to have a miracle, it still will be. It is a part of my story. It is a part of who I am and who I have become and who I continue to evolve to be. It is the same for almost 50 percent of our population. Wouldn't a greater understanding and compassion of it be a great gift for us all? And I may be talking about cancer here and now, but I tend to think that much of what plays out with cancer related issues plays out in similar and yet different ways with other people and their issues.

At the core is our humanity. At the core are the same types of emotions and feelings. They may come from seemingly different sources, but it's all the same. They all function the same. It's like clothing. We all wear it, and it comes from different places and different designers, but in the end, it is still clothing. It still serves a certain, familiar function.

As I think about it, I think there is a great metaphor here: Clothing as Emotions. Two people may experience love, but like two different shirts, they wear it differently. Like two different shirts, they own their own experience of it. They could lose their shirt, lose their sense of love, but then get another one, and a whole different dimension of what love is.

A part of me wants to think this through more, but I am feeling a greater challenge than I am capable of at the moment. I guess what I am thinking is that things serve a purpose, whether those things are something tangible like a thing, or seemingly intangible like a feeling. And many things and feelings can bring us to the core of who we are, which as humans, is the same place. It is not like one thing is any better or worse than another, although I am sure many would certainly question and dispute that.

I think if we are in tune with our humanity, if we are empathic, we can find ways to be with each other even when we are uncomfortable and don't consciously have a clue of what to say or do. But we not only have to say we are willing to go there, we need to do just that - not only when we are uncomfortable, but especially when we are.

I am feeling better now than when I started this blog entry. There are times when I feel a nagging need to write. Today was one of those days. It really does feel good to express what I really feel. If you are not yet there, know that when you arrive it will be difficult - if not impossible - to go back.

And that is a good thing.

I just was thinking about the next 1000 entries. I couldn't imagine being here so I can't help but wonder where I will go from here. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that it is somewhere special, and that I get to live for thousands more.

I hope all your days are special, not just the ones the calendar says are.

With JoLoPe*,



  1. First congrats on your 1000st blog post. I thought doing 50 in a row was great news. My brother found out a little over a year ago he had cancer. I was his go to person, one that took him to his appts and his sounding board. I lost him in Sept and my nephew did not take it so well. Now I am dealing with him as he lost his wife a week and half ago to a tragic accident and two other family members have passed this week. I understand your pain but I think if you tell your story, others who are going through the same pain as you will have someone to help guide them. Thanks for your story and our prayers and thoughts are with you. Anita

    1. Oh Anita! I am so sorry to hear what has been going on. So many challenges on so many fronts. I am glad to hear your brother had you. So many when it comes to the "c" word disappear. Kudos to you for doing the opposite. I imagine it could be quite challenging at times. I know my sister has her pains when it comes to dealing with me and my situation. I think it is an experience that can be tough all round. I hope your nephew will be OK. Life really does suck sometimes. I appreciate your prayerful support. And...50 blog posts in a row? That's awesome!

  2. This must be the season for emotional life events during the Christmas season. I just found out that my daughter has an alcohol problem she's hidden from me for 10 years. Not exactly the kind of depressing news I want to hear at this time of the year, but I pray she gets help and her life gets better.

    1. Sorry to hear about your daughter, Jean. I hope she gets what she needs. Much love to you both and all affected.