women journal…

I discovered a new blog yesterday – after five years – it’s blogger, Lauren, in truth discovered me first and left me a comment:

i loved reading your blog, here is what i made my mantra…longevity trumps cosmetics…it helped me keep focus. you have a good attitude and keep going strong!


Lauren?  Thank you for taking the time to read the scribblings of a total stranger just entering this odd sorority or sisterhood.   You are an inspiration and after I finished reading some of your posts, I had tears running down my face.  I encourage all to read the simple beauty of her words and she gets it….she’s been there.

Let’s face it: women journal.  We talk, we discuss, we journal – it’s how we get through things.  I did it in physical form  when my fiance of 6 1/2 years who was around 8 1/2 years left.   I am not going to rehash all that as most of you got to live it the first time – and last weekend was the anniversary of the great move out. 

On a sunny Saturday last May I went with a moving truck to retrieve the furniture and other things post break up my parents had given me to set up housekeeping as they say – not that I ever did live in that broken down house – in fact, he was with me most of the time – I made an excellent bed and breakfast apparently.  

To this day I don’t know what he was thinking or why (he never said, we never had that conversation – I put the period at the end of my own sentence), but when he left, I felt relief  like no other in this world and like I could finally breathe and be myself.  I know my friends and family also finally breathed.  I changed the locks and began again – moving forward successfully was the only choice I wanted. 

I did not mention the humbling experience of moving day – it wasn’t just me and the movers. Friends from every stage of my life just quietly showed up to support me – it was heart filling my friends are so wonderful.  

That change  was one of the ones which prepared me in an odd way for this I suppose.  Maybe God put me through last year to show me I am strong enough for this year as well as clearing the way for the right person to be in my life.  But still as D-day gets closer I think about the people not here whom I am thinking about and missing today.  

My father will be gone six years this November.  He died of prostate cancer.  My cousin will be gone five years this November – she died a year later on the first anniversary of my father’s death.  She had ovarian cancer.  And then there is my brother-in-law.  He died in December after a less than a month bout with of all things, pleural mesothelioma.    I miss all of them right now, but oddly I keep remembering a quick phone call I got this time last year from my brother-in-law.  He called just for a minute to say hello and see how I was.  “You’ll be o.k.” he said.    I heard his voice in my head this morning and well, it prompted this post and the tears that keep running down my face this morning. Seriously, not eating magic mushrooms – I heard his voice in my head this morning – “You’ll be o.k”.

Yes, yes, really I am o.k.  Please don’t freak out.  Friends of mine, some survivors of other cancers have told me I have to let myself cry when I need to.  I am not wallowing, I am crying and I know the difference. 

Breast cancer is life altering and I want to get through it.  I will get through it. 

Of course, I might drive you all crazy with all the miscellaneous shit I am worrying about and what is running through my brain.

I really hate that I am putting you all through this.  I hate that I am putting my mother and my sister and a particularly awesome and loving man through this.  I know you all tell me to stop it, but I can’t help it.  Through getting this diagnosis of breast cancer I have discovered how much I need all of you. And well, if you know me, that is a hard thing to say, let alone admit.

Along with all the thoughts of what kind of surgery will be recommended and what will I look like come the worries of how this will affect my finances.   I know that you all say hospitals will put you on payment plans, etc., but the fact that I get to test our healthcare system so thoroughly right now doesn’t wrap me in comfort since face it, healthcare in this country is messed up.  

Another thing – the bras I have seen for all types of post- breast cancer surgery? Wow are they ugly.  Do they give you one in the hospital or am I supposed to order them from somewhere?  That is one of those things no one has told me.

I think my sister is going to have to teach me yoga.  Journalling really helps and thus far I am amazed that I feel pretty good about this.  Some friends have told me flat-out that if they were me they would curl up into a ball for a couple of weeks. I just can’t do that.

When things get a little wonky in my head I remember Grandmom – my father’s mother.  She was the oldest survivor of breast cancer I ever knew.  If I remember my timeline correctly, she dealt with it in the 1940’s when treatment barely existed and was barbaric.  She lived into her 90s.  Of course, when I think about this I think of my mother saying “well she was an android”.  Sorry, maybe irreverent, but it totally cracks me up. And after all, my mouth has to come from somewhere.

My head is crowded, my days busy.  I will get through this.  Millions of women far braver than me have gotten through this.  It’s just right now, at some moments in the day, it’s a little daunting.

But God never gives us more than we can handle, right? And most importantly? I feel the love all around me.  And I thank you all.

About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.
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1 Response to women journal…

  1. Michelle says:

    Wow. Not wow, powerful writing – I already knew you had that in you. Wow, you say so many things that I wish I had said publicly when I was diagnosed with MS. Not cancer, I know, but a lifelong disease nonetheless.

    “I really hate that I am putting you all through this. I hate that I am putting my mother and my sister and a particularly awesome and loving man through this. I know you all tell me to stop it, but I can’t help it. Through getting this diagnosis of breast cancer I have discovered how much I need all of you. And well, if you know me, that is a hard thing to say, let alone admit.” – This is EXACTLY me.

    And my great grandmother on my mother’s side had breast cancer. She was born in 1900 and lived to 1995. She was also one of the two most incredible women I have ever known.

    Thank you for sharing this, and for being you. I love ya!

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