Sunday, October 19, 2014

OVCA Awareness Month

Last month was an awareness month for Ovarian cancer. I had sought to bring awareness to others about the symptoms of this type of cancer that are often missed by doctors because they are common symptoms for other things.

I want to thank those who sought to help to get the word out. In the midst of everything that I was dealing with, I wasn't able to extend myself as much as I would have liked. Interestingly, I have mixed feelings about focusing on the symptoms, and talking about it. At the same time, it might just help a woman discover something earlier than I did.

I had seen something about ovarian cancer at one point, but it wasn't presented in a way that truly helped, and when I did talk to my doctors about things, it did not net any result until my symptoms got really bad. Even then it took a few months. I had hoped to present it in a different, more effective way.

But it isn't easy to do everything I have had to do. Yesterday someone told me that "cancer is a full time job." What I came to find out was that a relative was dealing with cancer. She apparently understood that a great deal of focus needs to go to managing what happens around the presence of cancer in one's life.

Many do not have a clue of what I deal with, despite the fact that I have tried repeatedly to discuss my issues. My life has been such a mess the last couple of years. There is no one that can pick up the slack in my life. There is no one who can take care of my bills, or make decisions for me, or make me meals, or wash my clothes, or clean up after me.

Most healthy people would love those things. When dealing with cancer, and the effects of treatment, there are times it is hard to even get out of bed, and hard to stay out of it once up. The mind can become mush, and the chemicals of treatment can alter the landscape of perspective. The effects of treatment linger even after treatment which become an "illness" unto itself.

So many have no idea of what living life with cancer is like. They know that it looks like sh*t, and they know that people die from it, but they don't seem to know much more than that. They also don't seem to want to know.

I know people compare themselves to me. Many of my issues seem to be their issues, and if they are having the issues that I am having, they see no difference. It is so very difficult to convey what I am dealing with without having to make things seem terrible, and who wants to do that?!

Even worse, when I have been at my worst, people talk about how I am so negative, and how I should be more positive, and how much better it would be if I handled things in a more positive way. How in the world can you convey a need and a situation without conveying a need and situation? Why are we so hooked into everything having to be so positive?

I really don't think it does us much good to shut ourselves down from feeling whatever is present. Last night I was talking to someone, and a misunderstanding resulted. The misunderstanding created a big flare up. I felt I was misunderstood, but the person had no interest in talking to me about the situation. The anger was blinding. He said he didn't want to talk about it, so I had to let it go.

In the past, I would have probably tried to push it. In the past, I would have handled things in a myriad of ways that would not have been helpful. But last night, in that moment I let it go.

Afterward, though, I found myself thinking about it, and the whole situation bothered me. I felt I needed to say something.  I stated I expected no response, but said what I was feeling in a text. The person surprised me and came back with an apology.

While I wish it hadn't happened in the first place, things do happen, and we do ourselves a disservice when we don't say how we really feel - even when there is a chance another may not like what we have to say. At the same time, if I had pushed in the moment, it would have not done any good, and may have even made things worse. I think we need to respect where another person is, and find a way for us to express ourselves, as holding back can be to our own cost and detriment.

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