Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Glimpse at the 'Survivor Side' of the Cancer Journey


Been reading your blog; won't post anything on it for all to see since there is no mention of us on it.

Prologue ~ I believe I am beginning to understand who the true cancer "survivors" are. It is not the ones with the disease. It is those who surround us.

I am so glad you are reading the blog. I do mention you guys in “.......” in July. If I am not railing against the Pink-Industry, I mostly mention Husband and kids, I think it is because managing their day to day life with my chronic disease is a FT job.

You sound offended. No slight in any which way is intended, has been intended, or ever will be intended. I truly am sorry if you are feeling slighted in any way or form.

My writing is what I am feeling about living with a chronic disease, and the blog helps me distill those feelings, whether they be outrage, disgust, euphoria, sadness, or even pedagogical and snarky.

I know that it appears I am being selfish about my cancer.

I am.

But not because I am trying to be hurtful to others.

When I am asked, I will share what I feel I am emotionally or psychologically capable of sharing at a given time. It is difficult for me, most times,  to "share" when I am speaking with people. Even with Husband it can be an uncomfortable acknowledge that my life has been reduced to a 20% chance of surviving 5 more years. ONLY if I do / did what conventional medicine offered...which I chose not to.

It is easier for me, and always has been, to write. So, now I blog. And for those who want to “know” what is up with me, my blog is a forum in which they can delve at their leisure, without ME getting in the way.

And for those few who read, commenting is voluntary and appreciated, but never necessary or required.

Thank you for sharing your feelings with me. Your one cryptic, yet pointed, sentence did speak volumes.

I may not meet your or anyone else's expectations, but do know it is not because I am trying to hurt anyone in any way. Or, that I am being consciously self-centered. I think I do understand how challenging it is for you - to be a spectator while I take this journey. You are not the only one who, at times, feels "left out."  Husband, too can only be a spectator. Cancer is not a "team" sport. And, admittedly, I am not a good Team Pink player.

But it does not mean that I don't love you, and appreciate you. I love you, as me. That's all I can do.


Post Script: I publish this at the risk of offending
further. But the sentence haunted me all week and
I have to clear my mind so I can move forward. And writing is what I do



  1. Oh, for crying out loud. Keep doing as you have been and don't make any apologies for it. You're doing a fine job, as always.

  2. Dee ~ I appreciate the support. But I think there is more going on here. We always hear about how "we," the ones with the cancer are fairing. "We" don't acknowledge enough those who care and love. Of course we all express appreciation for their attentiveness toward us. But not enough attention is given to those who surround us, yet feel so cut off because they cannot comprehend what "our cancer world" ... I am at loss for the right description ... is about. Only someone else dealing with the same myriad of stress, thoughts, feelings and fears regarding living with cancer "gets it." Conversely, we must acknowledge the stress, fears, thoughts, and feelings of a loved one who is watching, nose pressed to the glass. I felt it was important to remind myself. The email from a loved one reminded me.

  3. TC - it pains me that you felt you had to justify your reasons for blogging and explain yourself. I think you've been exceptionally generous with this post. Your blog is your blog. You write whatever you want to write. Period.

  4. I have to say it is not a team sport,but I do think it is a joint event.

  5. @ Anonymous ~ agreed, an olympic event. But going with the sports metaphor, there are rules of the game. And they are complicated and mercurial. One constart rule of thumb: don't impose your personal expectations on the quarterback. Guaranteed, in this event, she will disappoint.

  6. ...and she will always misspell too :)

  7. Oh I so get what you are saying! It is the reason I write under a pseudonym and why I only tell select people that know me in real life about it. My blog is my safe haven for letting it out, and I cannot worry about offending or disappointing. (I have done enough of that in my life; I am done pleasing everyone but myself.)

    And now I will jump on the other side of the fence and say that I also get that our supporters have a tough go of it too. That is why "supporters" support groups are so helpful. I am working on a blog post about how hard it is for the people around us. Cancer affects everyone. And it sucks.

    For anyone reading who is struggling with a friend or family member 's cancer, check out a friends & family support group near where you live. A great resource:

  8. Renn ~ thank you so much for the insightful comments, and the information. I look forward to your blog post.

  9. I know my having bc has taken a toll on my husband and son. But in the end, I focus primarily on what it does to ME 'cause I'm the one with it, not them. Writing snippets here and there helps me. I'm convinced that some will think I'm obsessed with cancer and that I should move on, now that my chemo/readiation/Herceptin has ended. Well, until there's a cure, I can't just "move on". For my family, I think they need to figure out what helps them. Until they walk in my shoes, it's hard to fully comprehend what cancer does to me, despite their being by my side always. I'm with Renn on this one.