I am one woman who has struggled over the years to make sense of my journey. From abuse, through bitterness, from breast cancer and chronic disease to grace. Now I find myself mentoring other women with humor, wisdom, compassion and deep empathy.
Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Wed. I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries. I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer. At the end of the post, you will find the links of the previous posts from the most recent first and going back. These are not current events. This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer. August 2010
This is a difficult time. My mom and sister are coming up Thurs. I hoped to schedule the port surgery then. But it's not that day, they will help me box up all this stuff of mom's that I agreed to sell in a garage sale. That's not happening. I asked my sister to limit who she invited. I feel that some of my family has been telling me how I had to "do" cancer. Praising God for it and singing...and ignoring my real feelings. I don't believe like that. I think God understands this is scary stuff and I'm struggling. He understood his SON in the Garden of Gethsemane. He allowed Christ to ask if he really had to do this. So why do other Christians seem to portray that in the face of scary stuff, we have to pull the stiff upper lip and praise God. That if we can't, then we are failing as Christians.
I know everyone is just coping the way they need to deal with it. I have three sisters remember? One sister's doctor told her he wanted to put her on tamoxifen to prevent ca. and she is refusing. She said God will protect her. Which made me feel like ?What the heck?? what am I??..ground liver? Because He DIDN’T protect me from cancer, I’m not as spiritual as she is? She doesn't mean it like that. But you know what? When you are told you have a life threatening condition, your emotions are wired. You are sensitive and you struggle to cope. And things that people don't think SHOULD upset us, well it does. I have dozens of people telling me I need to write and journal on this and frankly I don't want to. Right now, I don't want to spend any time writing about cancer!
Even as I peck this out I get a text message from one sister that they want to come Thurs. augh. So the whole crew is coming. I'm trying to be gracious, but this is so overwhelming that I'm having to be a little selfish. I don't WANT everyone here. I wanted my mom!
Well I will update tomorrow when I have a clue about surgery and such.
MarylandCrab: I'm glad your family is coming to help, I'm sure your mom wants to be here for you too. And keep away the people who drain you.
Margie: Praising God there is no hot spot anywhere else via PET scan. Thank you Lord!!! Continued prayers!
Rosey: I am upset. I got on facebook and find that a family member posted all about me. They asked for prayer because I finally posted I had cancer. That was fine. But then the details of what kind of cancer, my surgeries and medical plan as well were announced..
I told KJ I might have posted that information myself later. But I had not yet made the decision! I thought it was mine to make. I hate this. My husband has coworkers advising him on what I should and shouldn't do. I have friends telling me to be positive and eat blueberries. I'm a little sensitive because it feels like everyone is just talking about my breasts. Do I have no right to privacy or to control the release of information about my own medical condition? Note to my friends...when a family member or friend tells you they have something going on, never release MORE information than they give first. Even if they have released a prayer request or posted and tweeted it, ask before you share it. If nothing else, I'm just still reeling from all this and trying to cope with this myself. Having all these people comment to me is like "in my face" personal and the boundaries seem blurred. Kind of like how so many people think its okay to touch someone's belly when they are pregnant.
Paula: No pressure, but youdo have to write a book. :) Just kidding.
I loved the butt cheek boogie story. Oh my.
I am so impressed with all the things you are doing to get ready for this. I don't even know if these things would occur to me. I think it will make everything go so much easier.
I'm sorry about the drama with your family. :) I am sorry that people are imposing their views on dealing with cancer on you. People do that with miscarriage and other grief as well, and it is never helpful.
Shelley: You continue to do what works best for you and your family, you are doing so great. You are an inspiration. My friend made me a pink bracelet and I'm wearing it every day. It reminds me to pray. I even have specific prayers for certain beads...healing, peace, strength, wisdom for doctors, KJ and James...etc... so if you have a certain thing you want daily prayer for, let me know, and I will make a bead stand for that so I remember.
I love you and I'm proud of you.
Rosey: That's cool Shelley about the beads. I wish I could cancel the whole day with my family. But I know mom wants to see me before I start chemo. sigh. I personally believe that mom wants to be here because she is not certain she will be able to come to the big surgery. It stinks that a person can't just fight their cancer. They have to deal with the family expectations and needs as well.