Breast Cancer is one of those things that just opens your eyes. You re-evaluate even the most mundane things. But one thing that you really are forced to dwell on are your relationships with other human beings.
I am not super woman, but I like to think that I have pretty much been there for people when they needed a friend, needed a little help, or needed an ear. You don’t do things for other people because you are keeping a mental score card, but still it is always amusing to see what happens when you suddenly find yourself more vulnerable and in need, so to speak.
I have the friends old and new who are just quite simply amazing. They just check in and even just say hi. They don’t judge and seem to get how this thing that has happened has indeed changed me. Because it has. After all, how can it not? These friends don’t get bent out of shape if I don’t surface for a few days and seem to be nesting more and more quiet for lack of a better description. They get just get it, and they just get me.
I am fortunate as I have literally lifelong friends and friends I have made within the last 10 to 15 years who are equally amazing whether male or female. Take for example, I have two friends in particular who are dealing with cancer and other diseases who are even more fabulous because they find the time to offer comfort and support, while in the midst of their own battles. They have taught me that it is o.k. to see the humor and cry when you want to.
Some people I am assuming are just tied up in the drama of their own lives, and I really haven’t heard from them. At all. I am trying to not be hurt by it and just be accepting, but some days it’s hard. Especially since when a couple of these people had tough days where no one would listen, I tried to be there. But such is life, and you live and literally learn.
Life is like a journey down a country road – some days it is straight and clear and you can see far, far ahead of you and other days, the road is windy and dense in the woods and you can’t see around the next curve. But we just have to roll with it, don’t we?
Last week I put it out there that I need to change my job because the stress and other things involved in it are not good. I am amused no end that this post has been read a whole lot, yet no one has commented. Thunderous silence in fact. Here’s hoping for the best there….I am not asking for a hand out, only a hand up. I have referred and connected dozens of people over the years, it doesn’t hurt to do this.
It’s a crappy economy, yes, I know. After all four years ago when I became part of a reduction in force of a major corporation who was trimming out anyone and everyone before they became one with another major corporation I learned the realities of looking for work in this country: it’s hard. And when I became part of this RIF I began to learn how non-supportive my ex was – that became about him, probably because there would be no more fabulous corporate health benefits.
It took almost a year then to find a job and I felt like Alice in Wonderland because I had been a relatively happy camper who was a small cog in a large wheel of corporate America. And I had been at this company for a decade. If the economy hadn’t started to tank and all, I would probably still be there. But this new job now three years old? I pay my own health benefits and there is also a high stress component to it. And it has always felt uncertain and precarious, not that any job today is especially secure.
And when you look out there as to other opportunities, you realize what a shit hole this country is. Some days I feel like the US is a third world country with modern conveniences.
I am a woman who has been on a journey, and I have met each obstacle with as much grace and humor as possible, but I am at a space in my life where I really need to depend on the kindness of others and it’s a little like walking a tightrope without a net underneath to catch you if you fall. I realize that this is all part of being a grown up, but some days it’s just a pain in the ass.
I have no idea if I am articulating any of this well at all, and this is just yet more of my flowing stream of consciousness as I go through this phase of my life.
Thanks for stopping by. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…
I’m glad this is not my first comment to you, because it is less than positive, cheerful or uplifting this time.
As a flag-waving American I must respond to your disparaging of my country- presumably your country, too.
The United States is still the greatest country in the world. It is the richest and most powerful, and provides citizens with rights and priveleges often denied in other lands.
Of course, since you are fortunate enough to live in a country where liberty and freedom are cherished, revered and preserved, with the very lives of our sons and daughters if neccesary, you enjoy the freedom to say you think it’s a shit hole and comparable to the third world.
I won’t waste time with observations about places you could live where you would be intimidated by fear and brutality disallowing the expression of such an opinion, nor places where you can be considered a non-citizen on the basis of gender alone.
Bottom line is: it’s the very core of our country that allows me to object to your opinion while assuring you that I would defend your right to express it, even unto my own death.
The ultimate symbol of freedom, in my opinion, is that you even have the right in this country to burn our flag in protest. Ironic as this seems, I will defend that right as well.
Speak more of opportunity, as you are in the land that provides the greatest in the world.
Scott R. O’Connor
Hey Scott? I am resisting the urge to tell you to kiss my ass. I am entitled to my opinion, which is why it is my blog. I am a flag waving American as well, but I have a brain in my head and I am not going to pretend to be Pollyanna when I see things that need improving. Who said anything about burning flags? I think your response to my opinion is a bit extreme. Have a great day!
I did not comment to your post last week because I was not in able offer you any help and anything I could say would have been lacking substance and basically taking up cypber space.
I wish I had information for you that would be a pathway to a new position or career. Frankly, you deserve better. You have a great talent for articulating your point of view. Your wit and humor are a gift that you use to your (and your readers’) benefit. Hearing your experience with the medical world reminds me of some very similar circumstances that happened to my family. It is sad to think that patients are victims after receiving a diagnosis of cancer. I have very high regard for the physcians and nurses that have cared for my family. They performed miracles in my eyes. Yet, I think the world of medicine is capable of so much more if it were not run for the convenience of the institution/staff, many times without concern for the impact on the patient. You can bet if it was their family member, there would be no delay in the delivery of the sample for oncotyping/testing.
I realize that often times it is not the physcians and nurses, but the administration that dictates the flow and quality of medical care. I am so sad that you are dealing with this diagnosis. Please know that there are many of us that are quietly praying for you and even if we do not comment, we are with you. I will keep you in my prayers as you search for new employment and let you know if Iearn of any possibilities. Take care of yourself.
Thanks for getting me and where I am coming from — I know you get where I am coming from because I have watched everything you guys have gone through so incredibly bravely. I realize life will never be what we imagined it as 11 and 12 year olds at sleepovers and birthday parties, but there are some days I just want a do-over :<} hugs
You are correct, my response may have been a bit extreme. You are welcome to tell me to kiss ass, and I can’t blame you. The subject gets me boiling a bit, as if someone insulted my mother. I promised when we met that I would be brutally honest, and that’s just me. Maybe you don’t need the friction right now, or maybe it was a half-way decent distraction. Anyway, thanks for listening.
Nothing personal, really. I certainly didn’t mean to express or imply any personal criticism or insult.
Not retracting, but this just isn’t the place. I do apologize for being so self-indulgent as to think anyone would want or need my soap-box speech on your blog site.
Here’s to getting back to the real topic: taking care of you, and following your rather courageous decision to live out this process in “public”.
p.s.: On the job thing: You have a good eye for photography, and that prompts me to tell you about a concept I was exposed to recently. My nephew welcomed a new daughter into the world about a month ago, and they had a portrait photographer that specialized in babies and children, and she goes to people’s houses for the photo shoot. Just an idea. Here’s her website: http://www.rebeccadeatonphotography.com
Scott…OUCH! A bit prickly on the response, but I do admire your ability to shoot straight and tell it as you see it! Just please consider that the words were a perceptive comment followed by ” I feel like the US is …”…and I would protect with my life the right for EACH of you to express your feelings. btw- I do agree that the US is the greatest land of opportunity. But for if just one minute, imagine stress so acute that perception of opportunity and indeed, future, seemed non-existent. That’s what happens under a variety of conditions. So be it.
I don’t have a job that I can offer or any connections suitable to your amazing skills, but I do have a friend who sent me the most amazing contact that both us us will benefit from!!! I’ll call soon…