Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alone and Lonely..What's the difference?

Are you alone in your illness?  Are you alone a lot and happy about it?  Are you lonely and sad even in a crowded room?  Are you lonely even with family surrounding you ...are you getting the support that you need in conversation and in the company that you keep?  These may seem like such ridiculous questions..however they are important.

I am very lucky.  I am a pretty independant person.  I do not mind being alone...and I am alone often.  There was a time when I was never alone..not for a minute.  My daughters were younger, I had neighbors and friends in and out of my house on a regular basis.  I had a great significant other however he had to move out of state due to family issues and we are trying to work that out. :0)...If you are a regular here on my blog you also know that I sold my home and moved into an apartment.

It is not the same as my old neighborhood and living in a house.  In my lovely apartment in Los Angeles it is like Fort Knox...no one gets in or out without being watched...:)..and there are no neighbors.  Everyone is very private and in their space.  That is ok with me for now.  I am always busy with work, out and about...I am very social so usually when I get home I am not lonely at all...I am planning the next day and just happy to relax.  However at the moment I am not in treatment and I am pretty normal.

So when you are ill...what is your story concerning quality company and support? Are you lonely?  Do you have a couple of people just to talk about your illness with? ...People that have had or have cancer that you can compare stories with for emotional and educational support?  I know I have talked about his before, but maybe not in this context...of being lonely.

If you need it...exercise the option of seeking those out like yourself.  Join a support group at your local Wellness Community, Hospital or where ever you might find one.  Get involved in something new if you can.  If you are physically able remember that you are not "dead" yet.  Your life will go on either way and doing new things will still make you feel better.  New things do not need to involve a cancer diagnosis either.  I started a business right in the middle of having cancer :)...it helped to keep me going!

Keep moving...exercise anyway that you can...Tai Chi...walking...yoga...does not matter...studies have shown that people who do moderate exercise fare better than those who do not.  I did a lot of conga drumming in my first years of diagnosis.

Remember that there are always choices even in illness...get out among the people that can help you.  If you are not physically able to do so and need a little company...call the folks you want to be with and get them to you.  Remember that sometimes...we have to do the asking ourselves....even when we would rather not.  People really want to help...you have to ask...I have learned to ask...even though most of the time..I hate to ask.

Do not choose lonliness.....the more you stay alone ...the less and less you will move forward.  If you feel yourself going to a bad place emotionally...get help....especially single people on their own...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Transition 1

We have gone through lots of transition these last years...some good..a lot of it bad and not within our control.  We are still in the midst of it...but in a good way now.  Sometimes you have to go through the bad to get to the good?  Sometimes. 

Sometimes the good just keeps on coming for a long time and sometimes the "bad" does too.  Sometimes what keeps you going is the "anticipation" of the "good" to come and stay for awhile....even when it does not.

I am a long time cancer patient (9 years this September).  I work with a lot of cancer patients going through illness and huge transitions.  It is a hard thing loosing your health little by little...gettting most of it back..then loosing it again..and getting a lot of it back...2 steps forward...three steps back.  Multiple surgeries, chemos, etc.

The stories people tell are sometimes unbelievable...did I tell you the time my belly button just squirted blood into the air..like a fountain?  Or the time I was wide awake.. while my doctor operated and removed the port a cath from my chest?  I can still hear the buzz saw going into my chest :).  These are a couple of my stories and they are true.  I have more.

I get a lot of calls from new patients.  I get a lot of calls from patients that are diagnosed for the 2nd time.  They are petrified.  It is the 2nd time around folks that I really feel for.  It is the realization that cancer may never leave you ....that you will live for the rest of your life fighting this disease....and it could be for many years.  It is the realization that this disease might kill you eventually.  But not until it "rocks your world" and not in a good way.  There is much transition going on here....

Life changes in an instant....in a minute.  Transition is usually not a slow thing. It happens with a word or a gesture.   Our ability to change and re adjust the way we think and deal with our lives is the only way to survive when the going gets really tough.  You must find your way in the midst of so much upheaval.

Learn to find your way.  Seek support of those who have gone though all of this before you.  We are always willing to help.  Take Care of Yourself....as best that you can.  More about transition in the blog to come.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dedicating the next blogs to my Daughters, Other Patients, and Families

Well it looks like at least, I have a little "Time".  I will continue to put back the pieces of my life.  In between bouts of sadness, joy, wonder, worry, and procrastination, I forge ahead and hope that the general excitement I feel about change is real.  I hope that it is not some kind of temporary "tease" as a window to the life I might be honored to receive, as opposed to the very "patient" life that I might lead in the months to come.

I always dedicate these writings in particular to other patients and caregiviers, however these summer blogs are dedicated in particular to my daughters.  We have a lot of change going on this summer.  Everyone including me is moving ..all wonderful and full of challenge and promise for the future. 

My daughters...I am so very proud of you.  You have gone through more than me in these last few years.  We lost your Dad and your Grandmother....and me...3 years straight of this crazy cancer.  You know I will be scanned again in September...every three months forever...

Despite such huge trials and tribulations you move forward and continue on your paths.  Keep going..no matter what....looking forward to the future..Always know that moments of extreme sadness and fear will be followed by moments of joy.  Failure and success are just part of life.  You have to fail most of the time in order to succeed again.

Time has a way of passing quickly.  That is why we must try and take the best advantage of the time we have.  It is a gift whether good or bad.  It is all we have while we are here. I am so excited to spend this special time with you this summer.  Driving through West Texas in August does not thrill me...:)...but  like I said...you have to endure a little discomfort to get where you want to be!  LOL

I hope that I have taught you a lot of things in all of these years...what to do and what not to do :) (because I have done it) ..that you have taken whatever lessons from both of your parents and that this info will help you in the years to come.  Know how loved you are and will always be forever. Let's get this summer started!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

YAY!!!!!

I had decent scans!!!  Nothing to worry about!!! Will post more at a later date...

My Best,
Amy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Scanxiety

Scans tomorrow...moved them up a bit.  I need to know what is going on in there.  Needless to say I am scared...hate cancer..I do not care who you are... anyone who says they are happy they had cancer even once is nuts in my eyes.  With that being said we are always looking for reasons to make sense of things that happen to us so that we can keep going and "live" a good life.....so let's keep trying to make sense of things that have happened to us...even when there is no making sense of anything here on earth.  We just keep going...keep trying to live our best lives.

Say prayers with me this eveing that I can wake up on Tuesday and not think about cancer for another 3 months.  I feel great however I always have. 

My Best,
Amy