Thursday, March 31, 2011

Survivor Guilt

Hard it is to lose a friend
Whose dying could foretell my end

And hard it is to pick up strands
Of living, when those other hands

Are stilled which often soothed my brow
And gave me courage up to now.

There is no way to understand
Why she is gone - and I am here.

Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad
From: Fine Black Lines: reflections on facing cancer, fear and loneliness. Mulberry Hill Press, 1998.

I have been told recently by more than one person that I should never ever have survivor guilt. That is easier said than done. I wrestle with it constantly.  It's persistent in my thoughts throughout the day and invades my dreams at night. 

Why me? 

Why not her?

They say it's God's will and I suppose that is what I need to come to terms with. But how? How do I do that when I can't grasp the reasoning behind it? What makes me so special? What is it that He has in store for me? What is it that He wants me to learn and go forth and do? 

I ask and ask, yet the answers elude me. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

5:30 am Thoughts

With weary mind
and achy bones
5:30 am, my eyes peep
Into the dark
No sounds to be heard
5:30 am, my feet creep
Several more hours
I'll be awake alone
5:30 am, my family asleep
Me and my brain
With my freaky thoughts
5:30 am, the company I keep
I want treatment over
I want this beast gone
5:30 am,
Someday I will sleep.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You really think suicide is painless???

Two years ago today cancer took the life of one of the Goode guys... the man I'll always think of as my second dad. The hearts of his family are broken.  His presence is missed each and every day as he is missing out on all the wonderful new memories being created.  He missed the birth of his youngest grandchild.  He is missing out on his oldest daughter becoming a mom to a beautiful little girl she is trying to adopt.His oldest grandson is missing out on his best friend watching him grow up into a handsome young man. They are missing out on the love and joy he would have lavished on all. And most of all he is not here to ease the aches in their hearts brought on by his death. Roney fought so hard to stay. He was not ready to go. Yet cancer took that all from him... and from them.

It's been a while since felt this anger so strongly. Why am I feeling it more today than others? Because YOU chose to leave.  In a couple hours I will be joining OUR DAUGHTER at the doctor's office to hear our grandchild's heart beat for the first time. Hopefully, I'll be seeing her or him for the first time too on an ultrasound. YOU should be here too. But nooooo you are a freakin jerk and coward and had to kill yourself instead of sticking around and doing what was right.  In a few short months I will be at our daughter's side as she gives birth. I will be there to hold her hand and hug her through it.  I will be the first to see that precious face, the face of our grandchild.  And I will love her or him every moment for the rest of my life.  I will fight to live as long and as hard as you never did.  I hope you're happy now. I hope you're proud of yourself for inflicting this pain on your daughter and her brothers.  And for the record... Steve will be here to love this baby like you should have. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

I may have Breast Cancer, but I am not all about the Pink

It's ironic to me that tonight I logged on to post on a topic and in my introduction I see some of the things I am thinking about. And that is, I am NOT extraordinary. Every where I look anymore the pink ribbon for breast cancer stares me in the face. Quite frankly, it doesn't push me to act... it irritates me.  I have breast cancer. Yes, it was traumatic, painful, and even down right humbling to deal with. Yes, I found that I had more strength within myself then I ever thought possible but it wasn't something I was conscious of. I didn't go into surgery and months and months of treatments thinking about it.  I went into it because the alternative was unacceptable to me. The choice was clear... live or die.  That does not make me a hero.  That does not make me courageous or more worthy of admiration than any other person fighting for their life. So why the big to do about the pink ribbon and breast cancer? Why does breast cancer get so much more publicity than other cancers? Now don't get me wrong... I do appreciate all the support and love from my family and friends.  But I just can't understand why.  My mom died of ovarian cancer last fall. My best friend lost her dad to pancreatic cancer the summer before. Two dear friends of mine have children battling childhood cancers. Does anyone even know what color the awareness ribbons are for these horrific cancers?  I know, but I bet 95% of the population doesn't.

I received my invitation today to join the Strides Against Breast Cancer walk again this year.   I am a fan of David Jay and his SCAR project in which he does photographs of women who have breast cancer post surgery, not because it's an awareness campaign, but because of the women he photographs.  They have the gutts to say look at me... I am still beautiful but I am not extraordinary.

So I guess that's why I won't be doing Strides and will continue my support of Relay For Life.  They don't single a particular strain out but embrace living and thriving with all types cancer.