Let’s Chat

Hi everyone,

13269362_495596163976343_2083116012_nHow are you doing? Well? Not so well? Hopefully you’re doing well. If not, I’m putting a picture of my dog in this blog post to brighten your spirits just a little. Look at that adorable face!

How am I doing? That’s a hard question to answer. Things are… seemingly good. My blood work is good, my apartment is not on fire and it is not a chemo week. Things are good. So why am I still making that grumpy face when I know something isn’t good?

It’s because we don’t talk anymore.

I’m not saying you and I don’t talk anymore. There’s a good chance I have no idea who you are so we’ve never met (Hi, by the way. Nice to meet you). I’m saying people don’t talk about the hard subjects anymore. When I say hard subjects, I’m referring to tragic events that have happened and once they’re over, no one calls it by what it is anymore (ex: bombings, suicide, abandonment, etc.) Why don’t we talk about them?

The easy answer would be “technology has ruined the future of communication,” but I don’t believe that. Others would argue “it’s not socially acceptable to bring up such things,” but I don’t believe that either. There are YouTube videos and blog posts and news articles about challenging content that we as a society choose to click away from. The opportunity is there and we do not take it. There are people telling their most personal stories to inspire others and we step away from them hoping that they’ll stop for our convenience. People pour their hearts into that work and we ignore it. For whatever reason, we don’t want to know. We don’t want to ask. I catch myself doing that all the time. In fact, I did it to a fellow woman who posted about her cancer story. I got about halfway through her story, realized that it was going to have a very sad ending and CLICKED AWAY LIKE A MONSTER. Who does that? Me. I did that. Why?

The answer is hard to admit: I was afraid. I was afraid to finish the story and to get to know this person even if I never got to meet her in real life. I was afraid to make a connection and care. I was afraid that what she had to say would alter the world that I live in now and I didn’t want my world to be screwed with. I have a whole blog dedicated to positivity and good vibes for people. To bring a smile to someone’s face when they need it. I could’ve reached out and sent her good thoughts or at least finished reading her blog post. But I didn’t do that and I should have.

So let’s talk for a second. Can we do that? Are we at that level yet?

Everyone has something that has touched their lives and yet they won’t talk about it because they’re afraid. Afraid of what others will say, afraid of the answers they’ll receive, whatever it may be. For me, it’s cancer (insert scary music here). I’m beginning to believe that there’s some folklore where if you say “cancer” in a darkened bathroom three times, a nurse with chemo drugs will pop up in the mirror.

It’s not that I’m afraid to talk about it but I’m afraid that what I have to say will turn people away so I try really hard to not talk about it unless it’s in a cancer update post. And even then I try to spin it in the happiest way that I can so I don’t alarm anyone.

Because cancer has become such a large part of my life so quickly it only makes sense that I think about it and talk about it a lot. I know that I have friends and family out there who want to ask me questions about it but refrain for whatever reason. So I want you to know something:

You can talk about it with me.

Cancer is a really scary word, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it. The only way for our worldview to be broadened is by talking about the hard stuff. Cancer is unruly. It is real. It affects a lot of people, so let’s talk about it. Maybe then we can try to find something positive and good about something that’s really horrible. I’m not one for tip toeing around problems. I’m not a medical professional nor am I an expert on anything, but I am willing to answer any questions I can about it, so don’t be afraid to ask. Being curious about hard subjects is not wrong and shouldn’t be punished. The more we talk about these hard subjects, the more room there is for finding some positivity as we move forward in our lives.

Or, if you’re not ready yet, we don’t have to talk about it at all. We could talk about the weather or some other topic you’re really into. I am also down for that. You just let me know and I’m ready to listen.

 

Until Next Time,

Dana

Another day, Another Round

Tomorrow I go in for another round of chemo! Woo hoo!

Just kidding. I’m not excited about it, but I’d rather get the treatment than deal with the alternative. Could you imagine that conversation with the grim reaper?

Grim Reaper: It is I! The Grim Reaper come to take you into the afterlife.

ME: No! It can’t be my time yet! I still have so much to do! I’m too young!

Grim Reaper: Actually, it is your time. You could’ve had more time, but noooooooo!! You’re stupid and didn’t take the drugs that could’ve helped you live a long and happy life. You’ve gotta come with me. You dummy. Let’s go.

Me: Oh….Well, I can’t argue with that logic.

Anyways, I’m actually looking forward to this round because the last time I went in, they told me my blood counts were excellent. I’m hoping that they’ll still be excellent because that means I’m that much closer to recovery (Woo! hoo!).

So, yes, chemo is tomorrow. I’ve had several people ask me if chemo is scary or hard. Before I answer that, I want to mention that when I answer, I’m answering for me. Cancer is different for everyone including its treatment, side effects and recovery process.

The first time I went in for a chemo treatment I definitely was scared. I didn’t know what to expect and I was overwhelmed with information about the treatment and its aftereffects. But it isn’t hard to go through a treatment. You sit there for a few hours while the nurse does all the work. And then you go home.

The hard part is recovering. Side effects vary greatly from person to person. I have found that I sleep a lot more to avoid some of the side effects like nausea and dizziness. Each chemo treatment brings on a different set of side effects and that’s the hard part: to deal with each new side effect as it comes and determining how serious it is. Also my dog. Not seeing my dog is hard.

But I’m very fortunate that I’m young. My immune system can bounce back pretty quickly. By the second week of recovery I practically feel 100%. Just in time to do it all over again.

 

Until next time,

Dana