Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pink Ribbons - Visitors Need to Control Themselves

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  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.   This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

These are not current events, events are from Sept. 2010

Well this is a fine mess.  I'm doing okay today and it has been a better day today.  Yesterday was the worst.  A fine woman from church came to deliver a dinner for us and she brought her friend with her.  The second woman has battled cancer herself.  But she just had surgery.  She didn't have chemo or anything else.  It wasn't in her lymph nodes.  So in their visit, she took it upon herself to instruct me on how I was not doing this (chemo) correctly.

I commented about it having been harder to go to the chemo clinic, now that I know what to expect.  She started lecturing me about how "chemo isn't that bad, but you assign it power by assuming it will be so of course then it is."  *Bulging eyes*  Miss M who is staying with me, politely commented "Oh, I wasn't aware you did chemo too."  And the visitor admitted she had not.  But it didn't stop her.  On she went about how I should rebuke the cancer, the chemo and my thoughts about the pain.

Before long I felt defeated, worthless and finally mad.  She was not supportive or encouraging.  She certainly was not helpful.  You'd think that someone going through chemo could get a little love from someone else who has battled cancer.  Apparently not.  She's not the first person who has had breast cancer, but found it necessary to lecture me about how I should be facing this.

She went on and on and the nausea got stronger as I got more tired.  They were here an HOUR before finally leaving.  They were still in the driveway when I ran to the bathroom to hurl.  Miss M was great and so sweet.  She kept wringing out a wash cloth to hand to me.  I teased her later that at least she didn't have to hold my hair back for me.  *grinning*

  • So note to all - When visiting someone ill, keep your visit to under 20 minutes. 
  • Don't attempt to instruct someone on an issue with which you have no EXPERIENCE.  It's not appreciated.
  • And last - we don't have to make everything spiritual.
Or as a popular writer calls it "jesus juke"...when you take an ordinary thing and try to spiritualize it, take it out of context or "one up" someone with is.  His example is how people get excited about the Superbowl until someone tells us "It's a pity, folks don't get as excited about going to church."  You know what?  God enjoys a good football game too and He doesn't appreciate you ruining it for us.

Cancer is not a spiritual battle.  It is a physical one and God is here with me doing battle as well.  I am being blessed with many things, and I recognize them.  God isn't pouting because I'm not dancing on the way to chemo clinic, jumping up to raise Him for the nausea, or rejecting me when I whine about how awful I feel.  He is holding my hand, telling me how sorry He is that this fallen world puts His loved ones through crap like this.  So take that and zip it!

Today I got a surprise in the mail from a dear friend.  A couple comfy caps and a tea cup. I was just stunned by the thoughtfulness. The tea cup was a reminder of WHO I am, that has nothing to do with cancer or chemo. Each time I see it now it will renew this emotion of how supportive most have been in this. I'm overwhelmed.

The taste is on hiatus again. I had chili this evening and couldn't taste it. I could feel the heat but not taste it. Weird. But now I'm indulging in a Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey and I'm totally tasting it. Weird that banana is able to get past the chemo barrier but chili can not. Good thing I love banana!

A few days later...

Today is sat. now. I'm feeling pretty good. So we are going to do a little shopping for as long as I have energy.   I plan to indulge my "Rosey" as well. There's a gift shop with a bag that Rosey wants REALLY bad. lol

Last night Mr. Rosey put a birthday gift on layaway for me. he he...Its a 'nintendo ds xl....I got to choose the color - MAGENTA! Lol He thought that it was something I would use while recovering from surgery. I have a gyn consult on Monday to talk about the hysterectomy.

Momof2boys  :  I really, really hate it when people tell you how to react to something when they've never had to deal with it and have NO IDEA And honestly, even if she had gone through chemo, she would still not be an expert on how it effects YOU. Everyone's experience is different.

She told me to rebuke that.Seriously?! I'm sorry, but that irritates me. Not everything has to be spiritual. There is nothing to rebuke, sometimes things just SUCK ROTTEN EGGS and God is okay with us saying that.

MarylandCrab:  People are clueless. Maybe the next time you have visitors either you, or your representative need to say as they walk in, or when they call to come over, - she is really only up for 20 minute visits, and then at that 20 min mark, have the rep stand up, thank them for coming and start showing them the door.

Mom is right, until anyone walks a mile in your shoes they don't know. BUT... they should have the common sense to keep their comments on how YOU go through this to themselves.

Glad you are feeling a little better.

Meeshia: Maybe put a sign on your door...

Visitors welcome! Pls limit your time to 20 minutes. I can't believe someone could say that to you, although yes I can. I refuse to believe that even those who say things that are not encouraging, that they are in some weird way, trying to encourage. Only that it didn't come out that way at all. I have been reminded again this week by talking to a co-worker that we can not stand to see people we love suffer. We, especially as Christians, feel we must always say really deep, spiritual things and that if we don't give encouragement or someone help that person feel less miserable than they are feeling, that we are worthless. So we fill in empty uncomfortable space with what we think will help. We need to be ok with keeping mouths shut. And we need to be willing to stand there and acknowledge that someone we love is hurting, in pain AND SUFFERING! What did Job need? He needed his friends to stop judging him, telling him that he was suffering because of lack of faith or because of some unconfessed sin! He needed his friends to sit with him. Acknowledge his pain and still walk away with faith. I am sorry that for some reason you have had your fair share of people saying stupid stuff. And I still wish I could come sit with you, even if it was just 10 min. Because I would do that. I'm glad that you were able to be a bit more prepared this time, as far as pain medicine. And that you had those you love and those who love you hand you wash rags while you got sick.



As nursey on Oncology my apatients would ask me to help ask visitors to sca-daddle after a short time b/c they were just simply not up to it. I think visitors sometimes didn't appreciate me doing that but I remember my patients saying THANK YOU. I put a sign on their door to see me first before entering.

I am sorry you had to deal with her and then the pukes.

And "rebuke"?  That's insane to suggest. I imagine she meant well but is pretty clueless.


I think you should rebuke that lady. Don't assign her any power!

I'm sorry to hear that you were throwing up for so long. Makes me want to cry.

Miss M was like...oh I didn't know you had chemo with your cancer. hahaha....that's awesome

I think you should rebuke that lady. Don't assign her any power!  yeah that!!!

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