Friday, February 29, 2008

this is what it is

sigh. what a feeling of relief, i have three days off from radiation. time to heal, time to rest and catch my breath. my spirits have sunk low, dear readers. i want to be clear and say it's through no fault of yours. no failing in your comments, your support, the daily prayers and candles lit.

this is just what is. that sometimes life is just really fucking hard. and we get depressed, with good reason. i've gotten depressed. i am hoping that changing my rads schedule will bring more light and help me cope. all i need to do is get through this, put one foot in front of the other until i finish.

you probably feel helpless reading this blog as i slog along through radiation. thank-you for hanging in here with me, as discouraging as it may be to read, as painful as my situation may be to imagine.

sadly, i have not had much cheer to offer this week. the fatigue hit me hard and i've been reeling. mostly wanting to lick my wounds in private. i've felt myself measuring my energy, even the sentences here have gotten shorter. my local friends must wonder where i am. i am not returning calls or even listening to messages everyday. i am sorry, but i just can't.

i feel so raw. i am in a kind of hiding. i don't want to talk, all my energy is needed to hold my body and spirit together enough to get up another day and go for my treatment.

i am a cancer hermit.

today as i left the rads department, i ran into martha, my nurse from the last stage of treatment (surgery). she was like an angel walking towards me, smiling. a little safe haven right there in the hallway. martha offered a resource i didn't know about, a local center with a program of therapy and alternative medicine for breast cancer patients. as she spoke, i realized perhaps a therapist who knows breast cancer would be helpful. i feel in need of very specific emotional support. today i talked to the director on the phone, a woman who has been through breast cancer and is living fully on the other side, after five years. just speaking with someone else, another young woman who also had radiation, was so comforting.

i realized i've joined this small portion of the population that has had radiation treatment. yet i don't know any others in my new tribe. it's good to think that next week, maybe i'll be able to connect in person with some women who really know how i feel.

keep praying. keep believing in healing and the power of intention. thank-you for holding this space with me. it matters.

even in hiding, i need you more than ever.


cally said...

i don't visit enough, and i am humbled by how much you do visit others, particularly when you are having such a sucky time. you are such a strong and inspirational woman!

this year has been so crappy, i feel like i want to start another blog where i can splurge out all the negativity so as not to taint my main 'clean' space... but no energy. somehow, reading your honest words, like things being 'fucking hard' i feel you've done some expressing for me. i wish i could take away some of your pain... hell, all of your pain. pain is so crappy, i forget what it's like not to have at least 3 areas in acute pain each day. but then i figure it's a sign i'm still here.

i want to read more, but scared to make my health worse by getting too attached to blog reading, and i know i would with your story. as soon as i start to NEED to check a blog frequently i immediately lose my ability to monitor and adjust what i can manage (which explains many a long blog break in the past).

but i wanted you to know, in my ideal world of no consequences i'd be here, reading daily. in lieu of that, know that i have you in my thoughts often and that i'm sending you good wishes for your treatment and healing.

i hope that meeting women who've gone or are going through the same will be another layer of support that helps fill those gaps that only actual experience can fully identify with.

hugs and good stuff from scotland xxxxxxx

Tay said...


Bravo for knowing your limits and taking good care of yourself. Your comment is so affirming and helpful. Thanks for visiting and you are welcome anytime.

Having limited energy does clarify things, doesn't it?

I think of you, and what you are dealing with, often as well and send warm, happy thoughts your way.

take care of yourself!

salmonpoetry said...

oh Tay, i am feeling for you. what you are going through is indeed not just exhausting and painful physically, but SO hard emotionally- both the specifics for you personally, as you have shared here, and just in general, having to face what you are going through, is hard for anyone.
i am so glad that you ran into martha. when you mentioned that you were seeing the dr on thursday, i recalled how helpful and comforting martha had been for you in the past, and hoped that your visit might bring some sort of similar reassurance. even though it probably won't take away the immediate pain and agony you are experiencing, finding a good therapist and/or support group where you don't have to be alone with your journey seems like it can offer some hope.
in the meantime, we are rooting for you here. never hesitate to reach out if needed, but also, never feel obligated to do anything more than what you need in the moment for yourself. this is the dark passage of your treatment, and while there certainly will be light waiting at the end when it is over and you begin to recover, that doesn't make this time any easier. best warm wishes to you as you rest this weekend.

Bonnie said...


I just checked your blog to see how you are doing and am so sorry for what you are going through. I can't even begin to imagine how much strength it requires just to keep going.

When you mentioned Martha it reminded me of a place in Portland that might be useful - I don't know and I know you have no energy right now. If the time is right, you can check it out.

I learned of it last year when I took an art class at Sitka Center. The instructor told us his wife (Jo Brody) was a breast cancer survivor AND a jewelry designer. In her own recovery she had not found a supportive, integrated place so she founded this. It sounded like a special place to get support - when you have the energy.

I think of you often, and send what positive energy I can your way.


Tay said...

Lisa...thanks so much. I really appreciate your tender words.

Bonnie...funny you should mention that Quest center. It actually the place Martha referred me to, and I spoke with Jo Brody on Friday. As soon as I hear what my insurance will cover, I can make an appointment with a therapist there. And perhaps when I have more energy, join a class or group. Great suggestion, most welcome. So glad to "see" you here.