Bah, Humbug?

It’s the holidays, and I’m weary. I am generally quite successful at living in the moment, savoring the day, embracing what life has to offer, most especially around the holidays, when the world if filled with good cheer and egg nog. (OK, I’m kidding about that…I’ve never had egg nog.)

But right now I’m weary…

Maybe is it overload from the incredible but challenging San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, maybe it’s some year-end craziness at the office, maybe it’s the weather (which I’m not going to expand on for fear of being mocked by those of you who live in INSANELY COLD places!), and maybe, mostly likely, it’s being tired of cancer.

I am on the cusp of 11 years since my primary diagnosis, and about 18 months of treatments that will only end when they stop working. It’s “pin cushion day” – 3 injections and a blood draw. Please know I am so grateful that I’m not still sitting in the infusion center! I know my treatments could be so much harder. They could leave me sick, tired, bald. I know that I am blessed to not have my energy or immune system compromised. I really, really know how bad it can be. And knowing people who are going through the worst cancer can mete out, I feel foolish complaining….

Knowing those people doesn’t change where I’m at either, though. And the thing is, I’m pretty sure all of that is out there for me…. That there will likely be a day, and I have no idea how soon, when the “easy” treatments will cease to work for me and I’ll move on to the next, more serious assault on my body. I know, too, that treatments will probably get progressively harder, maybe to the point where we don’t know if the disease or the therapy is worse.

I don’t dwell in that place. But I know that it’s there. Every day it lurks. I know, too, that tomorrow hinges on my monthly marker. Did it go up? Down? “Steady” (the range for which my doctor and I have very different tolerances)? It no longer colors everything, the way it did a year ago, but it matters.

So I guess all of this is to say, at this season of joy and light, when malls are bustling to the strains of holiday muzak, please take a moment to share your light with someone who may be quietly sitting in darkness. It may be cancer, or depression, or loneliness, or any number of things. Your willingness to reach out, to listen, to care – that’s what the season is really about, isn’t it?

That, and maybe an egg nog latte?

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vtashman
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 07:50:35

    Thank you, Lori for your honesty. I appreciate your words and will send out some healing light to those in dark places. I’m thinking about you today and wish for you continued low markers for 2013.

    Reply

  2. The Savvy Sister
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 07:58:03

    I admire your honesty and I think it helps many who feel the same way. There’s nothing wrong with saying “I’m tired of this crap” and to continue to be able to deal with it you need to say that as often a you need to say that 🙂

    Sending you hugs and support from my corner of the world

    Reply

  3. Barb Bristow
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 08:30:24

    Egg nog latte? Yuck
    I will reach out today to someone in need just like you & AM and other #BCSM people have to me. Thank you Lori!
    Oh by the way it is 19 degrees here in Wisconsin. Snow is covering the ground. It is cold but beautiful!

    Reply

  4. Karin
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 10:23:38

    I commend your honesty and candid approach. I too understand the juxtaposition of being ill or in pain and trying to be grateful you’re not so ill as to be facing an imminent end. Yet being tired of your own situation. As you know it’s not cancer I’m treated for, but permanent chronic pain (resulting in two surgeries in 2012, #27 & 28 in the lifetime total). I often become tired of where I’m at, the meds that make my days possible, knowing many look down on pain meds, etc. I often have to really focus to be grateful. Tonight I’ll be thankful for the ability to hop from home to home tonight for holiday parties.

    Yet I find myself facing the possible loss of my older half sister due to stage IV lung cancer. That helps my personal perspective. I’m grateful you are “ok” at this time and hope you and I will reflect on this conversation in 14 years (as we all hit 60) when we get the old gang together for celebration and reflection of our high school years and everything that happened in our lives after that!

    Reply

  5. Laura Temkin
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 11:36:29

    That little cloud of worry is usually somewhere buzzing around my head. I think chemo brain is the tremendous amount of energy we spend swatting that fear away. No matter what I’m doing, there is usually a good part of my brain swatting back the cloud — no wonder I seem spacey!

    Reply

  6. NotDownOrOut
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 20:33:24

    No apologies necessary for the mixed feelings about the holiday. As you said, there are people sitting in darkened rooms dealing with challenges that can be overwhelming. Last year I was at my lowest for Christmas. It doesn’t mean the end of hope that we face such challenges. We went to mass tonight and I remembered you and all off the inspiring women and men whose blogs I read. I pray that there will be new treatments when you need them. I pray that you’ll hear good news of your tests. I pray that the spirit of Christmas will be there to get you through even if you are not feeling it.

    Reply

  7. Zapladybug
    Dec 25, 2012 @ 12:20:08

    Sending you love… I’ve been thinking of you lately. When you’re up for it let’s get together.

    Reply

  8. Karen Sutherland
    Dec 27, 2012 @ 20:14:56

    dear lori,

    thank you for such a candid and heartfelt post. your words resonate with so many of us who live with realities of the lurking mean uglies. tonight i was doing the 2013 calendar, transfering scripts for tests and medical appts. for both hugh and i – by the time i got to may, i lost it – cried harder and longer than during the whole year since i was diagnosed with st IV metastatic bc. most of the time i just feel so grateful for being NED, for hugh remaining in remission, and only having targeted treatment once every 3 weeks, with minimal side effects. but doing that damned calendar just made everything so REAL. i so get it, your feelings of weariness.

    but how kind and thoughtful you are to encourage us to reach out and shine some light for others who are hurting. i feel so fortunate for all the encouragement, love, accepance and support from dear friends like you in the blogging commmunity, and it is an honor to be able to pay it forward to others who may be struggling, lonely, and feeling the same weariness. consider it done!

    i am sending you waves and waves of hope that all your tests come back with good news, and that you feel all of the love and caring coming your way.

    love, XOXO,

    karen

    Reply

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