The blog posts written by breast cancer women are not all pretty. They are raw, emotional, and real. I am no different. For five years you have followed my ups, my downs, my life in my post-breast cancer reality.
I am, thus far, one of the very, very lucky ones. But I have my trigger points of emotion. I have a hard time now with funerals and will often go out of my way to avoid them and memorial services even if I should not and especially if they had breast cancer. For example, the two ladies I knew who died of metastatic breast cancer in April and June Ann and Peggy? I couldn’t do it. Now Ann’s original service I missed as I just did not know the date at the time until it was past, but then there was another, a second gathering. I just couldn’t go . And Peggy’s? I also just couldn’t go. Maybe I should have. But I couldn’t, and I knew these women would have understood. It sounds childish, but I literally couldn’t bear it.
Another weird thing for me now is grave visiting. My late father’s birthday was June 29th. My mother sent me a photo of his grave. It was either to prompt me to go, or to show she had been. It did not matter. It made me angry and upset. I know where he is. I miss him every day. But visiting him and a couple of other friends who have pre-deceased me? I can’t do it.
At least right now. I remember them and miss them, but standing in a graveyard to visit them is too upsetting. Maybe it won’t be always, but it is what it is for right now. Yet conversely, I can rally people to fight to save abandoned graveyards. But that is general history and not mine or people I had history with.
I also have a hard time sometimes with survivors I know who are not treated well by their partners. I have to fight to bite my tongue and not distance myself when they need kindness and support. One person in particular comes to mind. She is so lovely and utterly beaten up emotionally by her so called “better half”. She relays these awful, selfish, and often plain cruel things he says to her. She relays these things often in a childlike sense of hurt and wonderment that this person is doing this again. (Or so it sounds to my ears.)
This partner says to this woman things I would not stand for that make me want to scream out for him to stop and I do not even know him. Of course I learned the hard way before my sweet man that tolerating abusive behavior for the sake of love is a very bad idea. You can’t justify bad behavior forever. It eats your soul. I hope she realizes it before it’s too late.
When you face breast cancer the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship becomes glaring like a neon sign. If I had stayed with my ex and continue to make excuses for his bad behavior years ago and his putting me down constantly his criticism and so on I don’t think I would’ve had as good a recovery from breast cancer. Luckily for me, God had other plans and he left and we split way before my diagnosis. I told this woman I know she loves her partner, but she needs to love and value herself more at this point. I wrote on this blog about how breast cancer forces you to be selfish. I still mean it.
Sometimes I have a hard time reading the blogs of other breast cancer women. I can feel their despair when they are sad or upset like it is happening to me. It’s a crazy kind of empathy scenario.
Today because of a friend posting it on her timeline I came across a post written the other day by a woman named Uzma who writes a blog called Left Boob Gone Rogue . The post made me shiver to my core. I so feel and so get what she is saying. She now has metastasis, the largest single nightmare of breast cancer gals after the fear of recurrence we all experience.
I don’t know her, yet I want to hug her. Yet part of me knows that she might not want that hug right now. I don’t know that I would. Her post made me cry. Here is an excerpt:
This is but an excerpt of the post. I hope she doesn’t mind me posting it but I respect her words. They are, raw, honest, and beautiful.
The words are also ones I hope and pray I never have to emulate some day. But who knows? We are all only cancer free until we aren’t. Life is a gift. Every day is a gift. On this journey we have good days and bad days.
Love your life. Live it. Do not be afraid to cry and do not be afraid to love with your whole heart.
God bless all of my breast cancer sister out there.
Thanks for stopping by.