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Nov 16, 2009 06:02PM
I heartily agree with you! I don't think that I could have said it better.
I have had people ask me how cancer changed my life. I can tell by the context of the conversation that they are expecting me to have had some ground shaking positive revelation. They seem to get rather upset when I tell them that I can find nothing positive in the changes that cancer has brought to me.
I had my priorities in line, long before I found cancer. I enjoyed my life and appreciated what it offered.
Cancer has created a large vacuum in my life. It has sucked away my happiness on way too many occasions. It has taken away my livelihood when I lost my job due to the disabilities it has wrought. It took away my beloved avocation when I lost my balance and could no longer dance. It has taken away the joy that I have felt in owning my own home, since I may very well lose it and I cannot take care of it now anyway. It has taken away the freedom that I enjoyed when I rode my motorcycle or drove my Mustang outlandishly around town - I can no longer drive a stick shift. It has caused me much stress and pain physically. Am I a positive person now? ppppphhhtttttt!
Before cancer, I had a job that I loved. It was physically demanding, mentally challenging, and afforded me the pleasure of traveling around the world. I was going to Paris in the Spring following my dx, except that my dx put an end to that. I can no longer manage the physical aspects of my job (neuropathy) nor the mental aspects of my job (chemo-brain).
I loved to belly dance and it was my release from stress and brought me such enjoyment and physical well being. Now I can no longer dance, I can hardly walk without pain. Even if the neuropathy finally subsides, my PS informed me that my DIEP will prevent me permanently from doing some of the major moves involved with the dance.
I have a lovely home in the Historic District in a small town. We have a lovely neighborhood and I have been able to decorate it MY way. Now I am on the verge of losing it. I can hardly afford to eat. I cannot physically keep house the way that I always have. I am exhausted just cleaning the litter boxes of my 4 cats. My house is a disaster that makes me ashamed to have others visit. I am alone so I have no help with even hauling out the garbage in my house. I stripped my bed days ago and haven't had the energy to put new sheets on it. Now how is that for positive?
I can no longer ride my beloved motorcycles. I have two, a dirt bike and a street bike. I have no balance and can no longer hold up the street bike. I have a Mustang and a Jeep. The Jeep was for work and for takling me to remote areas to study the geology of the land. Both are stick shift autos and I can no longer drive them because sometimes I don't know where my feet are and it is painful to constantly use both feet. I have actually hit the gas when I thought that I was hitting the brake. Luckily, no one was hurt. I can't even sell them since no one is buying unless I want to take pennies on the dollar.
Yes, I still have friends. Some have burned out since my tx has taken so long. Yes, I have family. They live hundreds of miles away and have families of their own. My parents are elderly and I can no longer visit them as often as I once did because of the disability. They do not live nearby. I have my cats, but I worry how much longer I can care for them. Yes, I am a negative person.... some days. Some days... I can laugh and smile and move around without pain. I have discovered new hobbies, but they are nothing to compare with my life before cancer.
I missed Paris in the Spring.... sigh
I miss working... I miss riding... I miss dancing... I miss my friends not having pity for me... I miss being helpful 90% of the time, not helpless... I miss my breast...
"The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue." ~ Dorothy Parker
6/8/2007, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+