Home » Cancer » The Truth About Me

The Truth About Me

I’ve been too ill to add to this lately. In other words, I’m really feeling the side effects of having cancer. Not all of them are a result of chemotherapy, surgery or having cancer. Some of them are the result of not being able to speak my mind. I started writing about my trip to Europe and I realized that I was hiding behind that. I want to tell that story, sure. It was a good time in my life and some of it was funny. But that’s not the reason I was writing it…

Too many people who I want to protect, to hide from, to assure and pretend with are reading this. When I write I have to pretend that I’m alright. Pretend it’s not scary. Pretend that all this is temporary. A blip. I’ll get over it.

The problem is that I just can’t seem to find it in my heart to agree.
Some days I just want to write how I feel. But I can’t do it. I can’t scare Mom, Cheryl and god knows who else has this address, this url, this blog spot. I just don’t want to tell everyone how shitty my days are. I wish I’d never given them this address. I wish like hell I only had strangers, and, now that I think of it, not really strangers. THere are people who read this blog that I like and respect. They know who they are.

They don’t worry me and that’s the point. I know they like me, care about me. But they don’t see me. They don’t know me the way my sisters and brothers and Mom does. My family would look at me differently. I don’t want them to. I don’t want them to be sorry. Or sad. I don’t know who else has this that can walk up to me in the street and know my feelings. I don’t know them. Some of the people who belong to Arms Around Bainbridge? My co-workers? It got handed around and now I don’t know. It means I can’t be critical or mad or sorry or sad. I can just be optimistic.

Well, fuck that. I am NOT FUCKING OPTIMISTIC!!!

I don’t think about the cancer often because when I do I freak out. I feel like absolute crap. I have no energy. My legs feel as if they weigh 500lbs. I’m losing my eyelashes and eyebrows and the steroids are making me bloated and fat. I have an 18″ scar to remind me of all the stuff they took out of my abdomen and I’m fish white except for that red red scar. My gums are receding and I’m losing teeth. I have no wind so it’s hard to walk. I look like a monster.

I can’t even draw or write. My handwriting! What happened to my handwriting? I used to have beautiful script. I loved writing. Not typing. I would write and then when it was good I would type if up. Because I love writing. Now my handwriting doesn’t even look like mine. It slants to the right and it’s not neat. I can’t draw either. That was shocking. I used to draw. I loved pen and ink. Now I can’t concentrate. I can’t make straight lines. I start something and it looks like a 10 year old did it. It scares me. If I survive this YES I SAID IF will it come back like my hair? What if it doesn’t? What IF?

So lately I lie there in bed looking out the window and I think of all the scary things and I want to write them down. I take a pen and write and I see my handwriting and it scares me. It makes it worse, being reminded.

I have shitty odds. Women are dying of this every day and I’m not ready. What can I compare it to that isn’t some hackneyed cliche?
Well, guess what? I write. So I can compare it to something and have it come out NOT sounding hackneyed and cliche. But not when I get people who correct me.

“Don’t say that Laura.”
“Oh, you’ll pull through. You’re strong.”
“Try and visualize a positive outcome.”
“Did you hear about _____? Their ____ beat ovarian cancer.”
“Don’t say that. Don’t say negative things. Don’t say anything bad it means we’ll have to think about it. DON’T SAY IT!!! Don’t say it, please pretend with us. Please don’t think about it. okay? Pretend with us that it is imaginary monsters. Please pretend you are alright. That everything is working. That you are the same.”

So can you just stop reading this? Please. I’m asking nicely. My alternative is to stop writing at all. I’ve thought about just changing it. Just take the blog and go somewhere else and not tell them. Not tell anyone. Just for the peace I feel when I write. To have that back.

Go read someone else’s blog. There are so many upbeat people here who truly believe. Who write for the best reasons. I am writing to save my sanity. Most days I DO believe. Really. I think about all the things I want to do, to change, to try, to really TRY this time. But that’s not all the time. Sometimes, when I can’t get up without breathing hard, I DONT NEED YOUR SYMPATHY. I don’t need your worry. I JUST want to get through the day, that hour, that minute. That’s all I want. So please anyone who knows me, who see’s me…stop. Stop reading this. I don’t want to lose this.

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16 thoughts on “The Truth About Me

  1. Your blog, your rules. Some people handle precisely this problem by writing in “draft” and not “publishing” for a little while. Then, you have the option to publish at a later date when people will be less inclined to wonder what they can do for you. I have another suggestion, too. I’ll send it by email.

  2. This is your blog Laura, you can scream all you want. No one can take this away from you. You deserve to be happy, sad, scared, weak and vulnerable all at the same time. i don’t feel sorry or angry with your writing but i do share your joy on days you are up for it. You have a witty humour and you are intelligent. I do take some lessons each time i visit your blog. Que sera sera… one day at a time 😀

    • Sam you are amazing. The way you look at life, the way you write, it makes me feel as if I am there with you. You make me want to get out and get something done. Or get something EATEN.

    • Thank you Sam. You’re attitude is worth emulating. You are the witty and intelligent one. Anyone who reads your posts can see that. Thank you for the encouragement. It was needed and appreciated. One day at a time…

  3. The truth is always the best read, Laura. Always. Even for the people who know you and love you. I wish I knew you. I don’t know what good it would do you, but I wish I knew you.

    • I wish I could believe that the truth is the best read. How does it go? ‘The truth shall set you free.’ I’ve spent a good part of my life trying to comfort and support the people I know and love. It’s a big part of who I am. I can’t write if I think I’m hurting someone. I wish I knew you but you know what Andra? Sometimes, when I read about you and your life, I know if we lived closer together, we’d be friends. And that makes me feel good.

  4. Please don’t stop writing because I’m reading. Your writing is funny, important, interesting and gives a snapshot into your day, your life and cancer journey as you see it. I love reading your thoughts & stories!

    Just today I was telling someone how well you’re doing. I was also saying I was surprised you’re doing so good. Both my parents had cancer. I’ve watched it twice & know It’s not pretty. You’re fighting for your life. We all know it.

    There’s no secrets. Say what you want.

  5. I understand that writing this Blog – truly writing it – is like leaving a private diary in your local coffee shop and saying help yourselves anyone to my inner most thoughts. All of them. And I don’t know if I could do that and handle those repercussions. This post has also made me think about some poetry I wrote some time ago when I was struggling with infertility…there is a resonance..

    I know you want understand,
    but how can you know the wound
    from the wounded?

    How can you know how hard
    it is to pretend on a daily basis,
    around the people
    that you love?

    Can you understand?
    I know that you try,
    but the truth is you can’t.
    And that hurts me as well.

    Except I am now on the other side…I don’t know the way forward, but it has to be the path that gives you strength and freedom.

    Sending huge love,

    Kate xxxxx

    • ‘Except I am now on the other side…I don’t know the way forward, but it has to be the path that gives you strength and freedom.’

      Kate, that poem said it all for me. I cried every time I read it. I still do. I have written a copy of it because it forces me to be honest with myself. I may have talked about the road less traveled, but I didn’t have the courage to walk it.

      I have to go ahead and try and purge myself of this lack of honesty with myself. This pretense, as it was put by a good man. No one has asked me to protect them. No one has asked me not to write about how I feel. I am putting that burden on them and it’s not fair. I have to accept that what I write even upsets me. That’s why I write. That’s why a lot of people write. Maybe not comedy writers…but some of them write some pretty painful truths so even maybe even some of them.

      Thank you Kate for dedicating that post to me. When I saw it I burst into tears (again) and ever since then I have been thinking, really thinking, about how this is going. How my attitude is affecting me. I always was too independent. I never asked for anything, not love, not friendship, nothing. If it wasn’t freely offered, I walked away. I walked away from so many things.

      I shouldn’t have.

      Thank you Kate. Next time I’m in London, I’m going to buy you a drink…and give you an apple. Because you are a great teacher.

  6. I don’t think I can stop reading your blog. Believe it or not when I went through the updated feed and saw your post, I was thrilled to see it. Is it too much? or pressure on you? But the thing is I just enjoy your writing. I don’t think you need to pretend anything on your own blog and I don’t feel that you’ve done it.

    I might not know you personally but I think your writing makes me to pause and think and smile and laugh and get emotional sometimes. I see you as the person who has writing style that I love to read. I know that you have cancer but it’s not only thing that I think of you. When you wrote about your chick lit, experiences in the past trips or your once a movie actor, I went along with the journey you conveyed via your words.and I think of you as the person who has experienced something that I haven’t encountered before and you’re kind enough to share with me.

    So I won’t ask you to write anymore if you don’t want to as it’s your decision. But I just can’t stop reading your post. In case you decided to do something with the blog,

    I just want to say Thank you for writing.

    • Thank you. I think it’s people like you, who read this, not because I have cancer but because you think I’m a good writer, THAT is what keeps me writing. I’m SO vain! But it’s true. I like writing and I am often taken outside of myself just by the act of writing. I read your blog faithfully too and I think you know what I mean.

  7. I really hope that, no matter how they know you, your readers take heart in whatever you write and however you write it.

    I know someone who has done a lot of hospice work, and she remarked at how little time the people she cared for had for pretence, and how quickly they saw through it. I suppose anyone living with a heavy ordeal has a low tolerance for any kind of varnish or polish on reality.

    But I think part of reality, worth considering here, is how you write the truth. There’s a power and force to your words that should be cherished no matter how you express yourself. You’re giving honestly of yourself. No matter what happens from here, this will remain, not some jumped up glossy photoshop version of you, but the actual you. I would hope that anyone, no matter how they know you, would see that as precious and be thankful for it.

    • I love what you wrote when you referred to a ‘jumped up glossy photoshop version’ because writing this is so hard sometimes and being honest was the hardest part. Reading what you wrote is so true. I used to have more pretense. I think that part of my life is over, no matter how this turns out. You are an amazing writer. Even more. You are so busy and active that having you take the time to even think for a moment about me is, to me, mind boggling. It has been so hard to deal with this sometimes, I have come to recognize the importance of being read and having people like you read this. That’s honest.

      • I spend so much of my day filled with inconsequential thoughts, that it’s a blessing to read your blog and feel like I’m spending my time on something that matters and someone who really matters.

        I’ve seen what it can be like for people who have to suffer through things without the support of others, or having those around them trivialise what they’re going through. It gets me angry when I feel like people aren’t really listening and don’t understand because they want to talk about who’s having a baby next or what their grandchild is doing or where their next trip is going to be. I’m not saying we can’t talk about that, but don’t talk about it like that’s important above everything else.

        So it’s nice to be here and feel like we can really talk about something. We still have ups and can celebrate those, but we get to talk about the downs and really feel them. Because when you can’t let things out, it seems to follow that people won’t understand you, and if people don’t understand you, it sets you up to feel alone.

        There are a few things I’m able to do in my life that are important. Being part of an effort to make sure you never feel alone with your thoughts is one of them.

  8. Whatever you do, be with this blog, another blog, or no blog, just be you. And if writing is an escape or a way to tidy your thoughts, or get negative thoughts out or whatever you want to call it, then be it too. I know you might feel awkward sometimes publishing your stuff, but you do touch others (i.e. me) By the way do you mind if I send you an email? (tomorrow or over the weekend?)

There is no sin except stupidity.

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