I have done some videos lately, and if you haven't seen them, and are interested, please visit GotStressGetRelief.com (my YouTube channel). As I type that, I realize that many of the things that I have posted there aren't exactly stress busting.
One day maybe I will do something about it. There are all kinds of reasons everything I have done is all together, even though I had thought at one time that I would separate things out. It just didn't happen. I think I can blame technology a bit for it. YouTube/Google has at times been painful to interact with, especially if you want multiple accounts.
One thing that I noticed recently is that it seems we like to be competitive. At the very least, we compare ourselves to others. I had thought about a blog entry called something like, "Life is Not a Contest, and I am Winning."
There are times people who are going through things will say something to me like, "I shouldn't complain, after all, look at what YOU are going through." On the other end of the spectrum people might say, "Well at least you can..." in comparison to their can't.
While it might seem to be useful in some way, and maybe at times it actually is, I think it really often doesn't do much good. Whatever a person is going through is valid for the person. Whatever might seem traumatic or a big deal in some way may not be for another, but it is not another who has to live with it.
I never want someone to minimize their own experience, and I never want mine to be minimized, either. And that is why I bring it up. Perhaps in addressing this, it will give anyone who is reading some perspective that might alter how they interact with another.
I am sure I have been guilty of these things myself over the years, but hopefully not recently. I have found that the more I become aware of and share, the more I pay attention to the way I respond to another's situation.
So...that was one thing.
Another thing, while it should likely be a different blog entry, is something that I have noticed lately. For a long time, I have felt invisible when it comes to guys. When I got back from my trip, I was walking by a guy who said, "hello pretty lady." I didn't feel so pretty, and I am not even sure I was wearing make-up, and yet, he said that.
It was quite an ego boost.
Then, yesterday I posted the above picture, and got quite the response from people. I was very tired, but feeling good when I took it. I had just gotten back from the On Purpose Women's Holiday Event that was lovely, but did not give me anywhere near the kind of income that would have had me feeling good about (given the amount of money I spent getting ready for it).
I was very calm. Feeling really good. Better than I probably had a "right" to be. And I guess it showed.
In the midst of this is a bit of weirdness for me. A friend, whose mom had had cancer, used to tell me how pissed off she would be when she felt like crap, but everyone always told her how good she looked. I wonder if people know what cancer looks like, or just think they do?
Talia was a young woman who was a make up artist who often looked stunning, despite the fact that she was told she was going to die within the year. Somehow I think people think if you look good, then there is no reason to think that things aren't good.
I share this because I am walking a tightrope at the moment. Last I knew I still had spots. I got great news that some had backtracked, and it might as well have been that I was clear as far as I was concerned given all that I had been feeling. But the thing is, I am still in a predicament. I still may have spots. I am still financially drained and concerned. I am still energetically drained. I spent almost all day today sleeping, in fact. Thankfully I felt better when I woke up, but I felt pretty lousy when I went to bed last night.
I see the oncologist next week, and we will talk. He would like me to entertain using Avastin again. As far as I am concerned, I am not so sure. I also have the added concern of the fact that I will be switching doctors and treatment facilities in January, due to the healthcare changes.
I am also going to be moving in the next month, or so, too. My friend is getting close to having a new house. Thankfully I can move with him, so a major concern I had is thankfully no more, but I still have to find the energy to do what I need to to move.
The list I have is endless.
And I bet you are thinking, "Me, too."
(Kinda can't help ourselves sometimes, can we?)
I think there are times that the "Me, too," gets in the way of a person being able or willing to help me, as they are looking at what they are going through. If *I* am feeling like she is, why should I help HER?
It is a good question. It is one I grapple with a lot, as I have been hearing it a lot. Others have long lists of things to worry about. Others have money issues. Others have health issues. Others don't have jobs, are struggling, are trying to make it.
It's almost like why in the world would I "expect" that anyone would help ME?
I don't expect anything, actually. If anything, I have done what I can to make a case for myself, and a case for why someone would want to help, or why someone would. I have even made it really easy by saying even $1 helps, and I mean it. I have made a case for how valuable it would be and could be if we could help each other by thinking small enough.
So often we think in grand terms, and when we can't meet them, well, then, oh well.
I would rather not ask for help. I would rather not need it. I would never have made it this far without it, though. The generosity of others has been astounding. When I was diagnosed last May, I hoped to manage to get to December, end of treatment. It is now a year later, and I am still managing to stand. I am a bit wobbly at times, but I am still going.
Someone asked me today what my goals are for the next year. I got silent for a minute. In my head, I heard "to survive." When I posted the image above, I said I was grateful for still being here. When I took that image I thought about how it might never have been. In so many ways I believe my trip saved my life. I truly believe that. And I am so grateful to have gotten to this place, even though I don't exactly know where "here" is.
After I shared that thought, I added that I still wanted to write a book, and get back on the road with a sponsor or sponsors, and that I intended to speak and speak out whenever I could on radio shows and in places where there would be some who would listen.
I think there are many like me. I am finding more as time goes by. I think the reason we don't know about them, or hear about them, is because no one wants to hear about the things we discuss. I guess I can't blame anyone for that. It is a sucky subject in a lot of ways.
I was also asked today what I would tell someone who was just diagnosed and freaking out. It was a bit hard to answer that question as I don't think I ever officially freaked out in the beginning. But what I came to was that a person should do the best they can to listen to their inner voice, that somehow they would know what best to do.
I knew a hysterectomy is what I needed. Chemo not so much. I have second guessed that second choice many times. I am not sure that is really the way I was to go. But being diagnosed is in many ways like being caught up in a tidal wave. It is really hard to feel like you control anything. So much that is new and unknown shows up, and often action is required very quickly. It can make your head spin.
Why do I share this? Because it has been on my mind, and I can. I share it because I believe it is one of the reasons I am still here. While there are others like me, I believe that I likely communicate differently than the others who do things like I do. I have not seen another blog like this one. I can't say I have tried very hard to find one, but I have looked. I would love to know that there were others who were speaking about things the way I do. I think it is important and needed.
(If you ever know of someone, please let me know. I would be interested to hear about them).
I saw a story about a young cancer patient. He is a singer who many believe is inspiring because he is so positive. In the comment section of the article about him, there was a link to another article about stop asking cancer survivors to be so positive.
I have probably written at least 3 blog entries in this one. If you've actually made it to this part, congratulations. :) I appreciate you taking the time. I know in the quickie, sound bite world we live in, it is highly unlikely that many will actually make it this far, and actually read every word. But that is OK. I truly believe that these words are meant for whoever does manage to read them, and not anyone else. So if someone is meant to see them, they will.
In the meantime, I will keep sharing because I feel I need to - for me, and for anyone else who might be listening.
I really wonder what's next.