The Scarlet C

January 31, 2010 at 9:24 pm 20 comments

I said to myself that I would not let my blog get too focused on cancer, but I have a feeling this is just going to be a natural evolution of me for a while. I have never had a singular focus for my blog, despite every big name blogger telling me that is the key to exposure (like I care).  I write about what I want, when I want, about what I want. It speaks to me. Sometimes, it speaks to you based on the emails I get.  Once you do the averages, I bet there is at least one blog out there for every 3 people.

So, on occasion, I think you may read about my journey through cancer. I am not sure how not to talk about it, despite my trying for about the first month or two of knowing.  I am not handling it well.  Yup, in a nutshell, that is it.  I know that the biggest part of this is me. I don’t know how to let go and say either a) this is good enough or b) no.  This has long been an issue. Has someone above finally had enough of me not learning this lesson? I don’t know but I am learning it now mightily!

I need to let go of some things. This I know. But I don’t want to. I want to believe that I will be that rare person that can fly through chemo without it making a dent in my life; that my hair won’t fall out. Oh how I already know this is not the case.  I am learning a whole new language – about cancer, but also about my body.  I know that the Power Port that was implanted will be my saving grace eventually, but right now, it hurts like the dickens and we are going on a week now.  I cannot sleep with it, the incisions hurt and it is still tender to the touch. Yes, all to be expected, but I think my body and I have had enough surgery in the past 6 or 7 months and we are tired of it!

I am also apparently a wimp when it comes to nausea, fatigue, constipation, fevers, throat issues, and other assorted side effects.  It is amazing how much chemo can really knock you down. When I get a fever by about one degree, I am pretty much done, of course this is usually compounded with not being able to swallow and a sour belly.  It’s a plethora of fun 🙂 and I am learning so much about how my body talks to me. I definitely was not a good listener before at all!  I hear so many stories of folks who worked throughout the chemo and radiation (not even going to think about that part yet) and I think, wow, that is amazing. But sadly, that is not fully me. Yes, I am still working full-time and still going to school full-time. But I notice that I segment things a bit better than I have in the past and trying to find more balance.  I am always learning aren’t I? For those that are able to manage things without a hitch, I really admire that in you. But as a delivering mom may need an epidural and another may not, we all must take our own path.  Especially when each chemo path seems to be so individual.

I have also learned that I am not the best at asking for help, or more importantly, accepting it. It is very hard for me but have been really blessed with some wonderful people who have let me know that I am special and worth the extra effort I have asked of them in their own busy lives.  I know I would do it for them so when will I learn that others would do it too?? My dad, sadly, has taken the brunt of my emotions though. He has been there every step of the way, thick and thin, and I hate that we hurt the ones we love. I know that he cares tremendously and my gosh, I know I will never be able to repay him try as I could. But to let my emotions run amok sometimes really bums me out because he certainly deserves more for all that he is doing to help me through this. Dad, I truly love you and thank you for every single thing you have done. Even sew the hole in my coat 🙂

I want to handle things better, but I will keep trying. It is definitely a transition and look forward to moving through this bumpy road to find smoother trails ahead.  Hope you will join me.

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Entry filed under: Books, Miscellania, pets, Relationships, research, thoughts, well-being, Who is?, workplace. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

The Measure of Your Life The surreal life

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kathy Gorka  |  January 31, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Anissa-I know you said you feel like your not handling this well….I see you as handling this with courage, dignity, and strength….I think you just have to let yourself feel whatever it is your feeling…angry, sad, sick, whatever….please know if you need someone to talk with, cry with, yell with during this process I am here for you! I know I am in Pa and your in Neb. but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk online through emails or fb….just wanted you to know that!! Hugs from pgh!!! xoxoxo Kathy

    Reply
    • 2. anissastein  |  February 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm

      Kathy, wow, you don’t know how much that helped to read your reply. I love that no matter how far apart, it feels like I am just steps away. I can feel your virtual hug and miss my PA pal 🙂 Anissa

      Reply
  • 3. Melanie  |  January 31, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Oh, Anissa! I am so sorry to hear this! I had no idea, sorry! I’ve been wondering where you’ve been (on FB); now I know!
    When someone goes through a life-changing event such as you, it doesn’t matter how well you know a person – from 20+ years ago or from just 20 minutes ago – having a large circle of friends (new & old, near & far) is the most comforting medicine one could ask for! So, know that even though we are physically far apart, writing to your friends can be just as soothing as spending time with them.
    I have lost loved ones to this disease and luckily others have fought it, but all of them commonly dealt with it as you are now. Go ahead and vent, girl! Take it out on anything or anyone – those who love you will understand! So, kick, scream, cry, laugh, write, sleep, or whatever you want to do or say! After all they are your feelings and opinions and they are valid! I’m sure you really don’t need authorization to act this way, but sometimes it helps hearing someone else tell you “it’s OK!”
    I do recommend, though, that you consider letting others help you however you need them; it will reduce a lot of your stress as you will need all the strength you’re able to muster. That’s what friends and family are for, giving and sharing their love and support in various ways! What could be better than an infinite supply of true, heart-felt love and support from those who do care about you!?
    I will pray for your strength to fight this, for God to keep you comforted and guided on this journey! No matter how bad you feel some days, know that He will not give you more than you can handle! Take care of you! Keep us posted when you can!
    -Mel-

    Reply
    • 4. anissastein  |  February 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm

      Mel, thank you so much! It is weird, I did a little yelling yesterday. I just had to let things go for a second. I am glad I was alone and it truly wasn’t directed at anyone or anything, just frustration I think. I want to go back to being the girl in the crowd 🙂 You are awesome for being there for me, you gave my heart a wonderful lift. Anissa

      Reply
      • 5. Melanie  |  February 4, 2010 at 11:39 am

        You are very welcome, Anissa! Glad I am able to offer you anything positive & uplifting – makes me happy, too!
        Yea, yelling at inanimate objects (or nothing tangible at all) always seems to relieve stress for me, too! And I surely don’t care if anyone hears me, either! UGH!!! So, again, do what you WANT to do, where you WANT, and when you WANT…it’s your right to do so!!!
        Found a few inspirational quotes online when searching for ways to deal with my own issues lately; I’d like to share them with you (assuming you haven’t seen them before):

        “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.”

        May peace lead us from death to life, from despair to hope, from falsehood to truth, from fear to trust, and from hate to love; may peace fill our hearts. (paraphrased)

        God bless you, my dear!
        Take care!
        -Mel-

  • 6. Michelle Steinbeck  |  February 1, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I love you and the courage that you have to talk about what will be a huge presence in your life. Don’t fight it, deal with it and if that means blogging we’ll listen. I shared your illness with my mom and she said that is terrible and we prayed for you – from her hospice room. You’ve touched my whole family and we’d do anything to help. I’ve already learned that’s it’s hard to ask for help. I’m leaning that you truly understand as a person what it means to give help when you receive it. So let it in, I suggest you really let people know how they can help you. Help that doesn’t help is like anti help and who needs that. 🙂 Michelle

    Reply
    • 7. anissastein  |  February 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks Michelle – you and your family are truly awesome! I continue to pray for your mom and want the best for her. Love, Anissa

      Reply
  • 8. Don Kidd  |  February 2, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Anissa, You know I’m here for you! Thanks for putting your thoughts into words that we can read and reread. IT helps to know what you are dealing with day in and day out so I can know better how to support you.

    Love and prayers, Don

    Reply
    • 9. anissastein  |  February 2, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      Thanks for being my greatest source of strength – love, anissa

      Reply
      • 10. Don  |  February 2, 2010 at 6:42 pm

        You are welcome!!! And I think that is about the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. 🙂

  • 11. Anju Goyal  |  February 2, 2010 at 8:56 am

    You are really strong & Brave. You are handling the situation the best way you can. God Bless you. You will recover very soon. It is going day by day. We are with you in the journey of getting well soon. Can’t express my feelings.Everybody at bathinda miss you.

    Love
    Anju

    Reply
    • 12. anissastein  |  February 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      I love you Anju! Thank you for writing and never worry about how you express yourself – it is all clear to me. I wish for my trip to India in March to see all of you but will be on hold – this fall is the plan with Dad. Miss you much, Anissa

      Reply
  • 13. Marcia Weaver  |  February 2, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Don sent me this link. I’m finishing a year’s worth of treatment for breast cancer. I know our cancers are totally different but I just want to express my “amen!” to the whole port ordeal. I hate it. Despise it. It stopped hurting a long time ago, but I’ve never allowed it to become part of me. I have an appointment in a couple of weeks to get it out!!

    Also, I was not one of those people who didn’t miss a day of work during chemo/radiation. I missed plenty of work time. And if there was anything that I could do over, it would be to allow myself to not feel like I had to work. But it meant so much to me to accomplish something and get away from the world of cancer for a few hours and do something normal. So, you are so right, we each pick our path.

    May your path be just what you need it to be. Blessings to you. I pray for your complete healing and recovery. – Marcia

    Reply
    • 14. anissastein  |  February 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm

      Marcia, it’s awesome to hear from you. I am happy to hear that you are getting your port out. It gives me hope. They took blood out today and I chickened out and had them do it from my arm. It’s also great to hear that I am not the only one that has gotten knocked around a bit -I want to keep up with things and it feels so normal to do so. Then, I realize, wow, I sure I am tired. I had some chips and I thought wow, how normal of me. Of course, an hour later, I had a sour belly, but they sure tasted good while I had them. My prayers are to you for your day of being in recovery. Thank you for sharing with me! Anissa

      Reply
  • 15. Dave Kohrell  |  February 3, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Anissa – shared on facebook as well – but didn’t know what the medicial issue /challenge you were facing. You are definitely in my prayers. You have a monster size mountain to climb, I know you will be able to climb that. Sounds like there have been and will continue to be gut wretching awful days, along with some good ones, just know there are a lot of people here for you on both of those days!

    Dave

    Reply
    • 16. anissagoyalstein  |  May 10, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      Dave, I love that you are in my corner! You always give me a good giggle – which I always welcome 🙂 anissa

      Reply
  • 17. Carol Smith  |  February 4, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Anissa, you are the most beautiful, strong, independent woman I know. Please do not feel as if you are a burden, as we all care so deeply about you. We care about your thoughts and what you are going through. I know that it has been hard for you, and I will be there for you. Please try to keep your head held high, and remember:
    Cancer is limited …
    It cannot cripple love, It cannot shatter hope,
    It cannot corrode faith, It cannot eat away peace,
    It cannot destroy confidence, It cannot shut out memories
    It cannot silence courage, It cannot invade the soul,
    It cannot reduce eternal life, It cannot quench the spirit,
    It cannot lessen the power of the Resurrection.

    Reply
    • 18. anissastein  |  February 4, 2010 at 9:17 am

      Well I am all blubbery and thank you for giving me this truly happy cry. I love you!!

      Reply
  • 19. shirleymclain  |  December 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I just ran across you blog and read it. I know absolutly nothing about you except you are fighting a disease with all you have to fight with. You have the support of your family and friends and you will lean on them as you need to. I just now noticed this are posts from the first of the year. I hope you are doing well. You are in my prayers.

    Reply
    • 20. anissastein  |  December 10, 2010 at 12:09 am

      Thank you very much! The year is ending much better than it started 🙂

      Reply

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