Facing Your Demons (One at a Time)….
I have recently joined a couple of Facebook groups that are for anyone dealing with a head and neck cancer. Yourself, friends, family – anyone.
A young lady from a blogging page that I’m involved with recommended that I join one or two of these groups. Why didn’t I think of that?
Anyway, it’s been eye opening, to say the least, that we all have different stories to tell, but some of our experiences are quite the same. Yesterday I read a particularly heartbreaking story from a gentleman whose wife left him. She told him that she couldn’t handle the type of head and neck cancer he was dealing with.
The woman believed that she, too, would get it. The soon to be ex-spouse, ended with, “If I get it, I’ll never make it through. The treatments would be too hard for me.”
Now, I realize we all need to tell our own stories, but here’s a suggestion. Take it for what it’s worth: One Day At A Time.
This will be a recurring theme in my posts. It’s how I live my life. Let’s face it, as I’m only human. I have been known to take life 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 days at a time, but I reign myself in.
They’re Just Words….
I’m seeing some recurring themes and it’s bringing back vivid memories and phrases that some of you who read this will totally understand. Mandibular resection, cured, remission.
I have thoughts on all of these words, as I know firsthand. Mandibular resection (mine was a partial jaw replacement) is as frightening as it sounds, but I have concluded that it was essential for me to give myself a fighting chance. There is no right or wrong answer in the “should I, should I not” department.
The words cured and remission alarm me to a degree. I’ll put it into perspective for you. My oncologist flat-out told me that he will never say this to me. His explanation was this, “I was not trained to do so.” Short answer is that there may be minute cancer cells somewhere that the scan simply does not pick up. He expressed that it would be a disservice to utter these words to me. I read posts from some of you folks that you are in remission and I couldn’t be happier for you.
You Can Ring my Bell….
A gentle reminder that we all have our own stories to tell. I could actually ring the bell, too. You all know the bell I’m talking about. If you don’t, let me know. I can tell you, right now, that my angst, doubt, unease with that whole scene, stops me.
The “What-Ifs”. What if I ring it and the cancer spreads, again?
That is my burden and I’m sharing it with you. As the old saying goes, We Are Only As Sick As Our Secrets. My secret was that I was petrified to ring the bell.
I don’t use the word “HATE” often, but when I was going through treatment, I would pass that damn bell on my way to the restroom. I would scream in my head, “I hate you bell. I’ll never get to ring you.”
Heather was in charge of scheduling the treatment appointments for patients and she enlightened me on one particular day by saying, “Kelly, you can ring the bell.”
She encouraged me to ring it when I finished chemo. “No Heather, not ready.” She pointed out that it would always be there if I changed my mind I wanted to blurt out, “Not if I smash it with a hammer.” I kept that one to myself.
I’ve talked with counselors and my church pastor about this and it may be time to put a plan into action. I’ll know when I’m ready. If you, like myself, are not ready – be easy on yourself. You’ve been through a boat load of dung.
With Love, K xo