Home » Uncategorized » Sometimes you have to wonder…

Sometimes you have to wonder…

So, I haven’t been posting lately because I feel terrible. I have been trying to fight off depression and trying to get my strength back now that I am done with chemotherapy.

It’s harder than I thought.

I was ready to celebrate. Instead, I feel so…terrible. I have to say I’m not thinking clearly lately. Things have gotten so far away from my control that I’m starting to hide. Pretending that if I just get through one more day…just one, that things will get better. How, I don’t know.

I feel wracking envy of what other people have. I’m ashamed of myself. It’s just things that they can do that I can’t. Things they have that I can’t have. I thought if I could just act normally, things would BE normal.

I hate this. I hate to post things like this. It smacks of whining. I’d rather kick and scream and fight. Not sink, whining and beaten, to the ground.

But I am so lost. I’ve lost myself. I have to get back up. I have to fight again and I’m so tired right now. I just want to sit. Isn’t that terrible? I love to read. Blogs. Books. News…read and read. It’s not good. It’s escapism and I need to focus. Right now. Not tomorrow. And as much as I know this, it can’t seem to penetrate. I cry at everything. Everything. God, it’s so tiring to ask for help especially when you know you are going to burst into tears. It’s humiliating.

It really is. I can’t just sit. Things don’t get done. I sat and stared into space for the past 2 weeks and now all hell is breaking loose. Again.

I lost my insurance coverage, including the $221 a week I was living on. I can’t fill my prescriptions and the rent isn’t paid. In fact none of the bills are. So what did I do? I bought a car. Is that thinking clearly? I needed a car. It was a good deal. I bought it before I knew my insurance was ending. But I can’t seem to deal with anything anymore. Chemo kicked my brains ass. I feel like I lost half my I.Q. and then some.

I can’t confront anyone about what is making me unhappy. I can’t talk to anyone without crying. I can’t DO anything. I sit. And sit. And sit…I stare at the wall. Out a window. A book, anything to prevent me from thinking of my life.

My one time life. I need to get up. I need to stop crying.

That’s how I feel.

I got up today and took Otis to the dog beach. I didn’t want to. I miss Haida and it reminds me of him. But I went. I sat and cried there, hiding it because there were people. But I went. I walked on the beach.

And I wondered why some people have it so much harder than me and they handle it. They keep going. They don’t lose thier spirit. They take time for other people. They stay involved and aware.

Not like me. I just sat there and watched my life crash. But now…I have to face the wreckage. That’s what it is now…my wreckage. My smoking ruin.

It’s a start.


13 thoughts on “Sometimes you have to wonder…

  1. Oh, Laura. You have been through so much. There is no shame in crying. There is no sin in being angry. Cry until you’re empty. Rail until you’re hoarse. When you come back from that place, you’ll find yourself again. Maybe there on that beach. Or in your garden. Or even in your bed.


  2. You just finished chemo. Your body and brain are completely depleted. You have every right to sit and stare and read and cry and do whatever the hell you feel like doing. There is no shame in that. Very few people understand what you’ve gone through. Healthcare in this country is ridiculous and it sucks. Cancer sucks. Being poor sucks. My heart goes out to you, Laura.


  3. Okay, how about a game plan. Do you have access to music? Can you make your own mix-tapes? I know–it’s so 70’s-80’s. But you can use a CD. The idea is to counter the blues with positives. Start with tunes that get a little blood pumping. No Amazing Grace. I’m sure you give the Universe thanks for what you have. You need to feel some adrenaline. How about I’m So Excited? When you get up and feel like crap, start the soundtrack of your new life. Tell yourself I’m playing happy music until I snap out of it.

    Step two, the bedroom is for sleeping. Yank out the books, magazines; unplug or move the TV. Decide what hours the bedroom is open and post them. No fair entering and napping all day. Do you have any lights in the room? Turn the clock away from where you sleep. Shut down light. When you sleep you want to sleep. No other stimulus.

    Step three: What to do about the daytime? Start small. A budget for a week. Not even a whole month. Life is short. Live in the now until you can handle longer term thinking and planning. One telephone number to call in the search for help. Make the first call to someone and ask for help getting done the basics. I need someone to go with me to the American Cancer Society to see what resources I can apply for. I’m weak and tired so make me go. As a person who “kept going like the Eveready Bunny” let me share a secret about how I handled this stuff. I took others’ help. I don’t mean I waited for it to be offered. I called up and asked people to help me. Take the mail you cannot open to someone who cares about you and ask that person to make an Excel spreadsheet of dates, payees and amounts due. Ask someone else to take you to the library to make photocopies of what most charities want to see–driver’s license, a utility bill, proof of income (or lack thereof). make several copies. Ask your doctor’s office if they can point you in the right direction for applying for disability. The point is to make all tasks small and call in the reinforcements to see you through it.

    Step four: Here’s something I learned as a lawyer–it’s easier to fix someone else’s problems. So get someone else to help you fix yours, not just help you complete a single task. Have someone call the pharmaceutical company that makes your meds to see if you can get help from them. Ask your doctor’s office if they have any free samples. Tell the receptionist or nurse that you cannot afford to fill prescriptions.

    Step five: My guess is that some of the malaise you feel is chemical. Let’s not forget that you’ve been poisoned by treatments. Don’t start calling this depression or laziness or failure. It’s circumstances. I’m dealing with challenging circumstances. This is a test. Okay, now you’re thinking I’m a little bit nuts. But I’m not. If you have not been depressed before then think positively. This too shall pass.

    Step six: Explore some of the ways people use their blogs to make money. You can have ads run on your blog. You can create a PayPal account for people to donate money. Do you have stuff you are “so over” that you can leave it at a consignment store for sale? How about a garage sale. You have your pride. Don’t let it get in the way. Tell people that you’re having a garage sale to pay medical bills. Let someone else write the sign. I’ll bet you people will come by to see if they can help.

    Here I go again. Let me know if you need more ideas. Laura, there are people who have never even met you who care about you! That says YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY!


  4. Even one of these is overwhelming. All of them, well, I think it is NORMAL to feel the way you do. Chemo has stripped your body of, well, YOU. Your cells will never be the same. I have memory loss from chemo to the point where I am on altzheimer’s meds. It sucks you dry. And to be at the lowest point physically and have all this on your plate is almost more then I can imagine. I think the insurance is the biggest and most pressing concern. Can you apply for Medicaid until you are sorted out? Perhaps the oncology social worker can give you some ideas.


  5. You are not alone in hitting a wall after treatment.. The body just can’t take anymore.both mentally and physically.. It is ok to ask for help there is no shame in that and it is ok to cry.. The worst time for me was when I finished treatment and now I work with cancer patients I see this very often… I think we expect life to go back to “normal” but it just doesn’t and then that is the last straw… Talk to someone… Let them know how you feel.. There is help out there… Please….


  6. Helen’s point is a very good one. But you say you are behind on bills and lost your source of income. Seriously, contact the American Cancer Society. There are resources that can help make it a little easier. Ask for ALL of the types of help you need. That includes emotional support and understanding. Is there a Gilda’s Club in the area? The charity that works in memory of Gilda Radnor has all kinds of programs for people trying to cope with cancer and the effects of its treatment. Are you close to Seattle? http://www.gildasclubseattle.org/For cancer and support related resources, as well as to locate resources in your area, please call or visit the website of the organizations listed below:

    Cancer Support Community
    888-793-9355 – available in Spanish
    American Cancer Society
    Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    National Cancer Institute
    National Institutes of Health – Health Information


  7. I don’t know if this is any consolation, but my mother did her Phd on stress levels in Cancer Patients. The result? The most stressful period, contrary to what anyone may want to believe, is post treatment..don’t beat yourself up..it’s the cancers last charge, hang in and do whatever you need to do because that’s the most important thing xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  8. Be patient and kind to you, dollface, cry it out, scream it out, sleep it out… I know it’s terrible right now but it will pass and I predict you’re gonna come back swinging, stronger and sassier than ever! And when you do, we may all just fly out to Seattle, mob your house and throw a huge WP part-ayyy!! 🙂 XOXO


  9. Laura, We all handle life crises/changes differently, and I’ve been one to just sit and stare, unable to think clearly, and I’m terrible about pushing real life to the background and thinking that if I push it aside I’ll never have to deal with it. What I needed (and what you need) is somebody to come up alongside of you right now and help you get back up again. It wouldn’t take much help, but sometimes we’re just too tired (and as you said — too humiliated) to ask and people don’t get it. Heck, those closest to us don’t get it! If we’ve been strong in the past, it’s an “expected” that we’ll remain strong all of the time. It doesn’t work like that! I wish I lived near you because I’d come help you. Sit down next to you and we could get you moving again. It’s so darn hard trying to do it alone!!!!! You need some financial help, some encouragement, and a few good spoonfuls of hope to get you going again. And, somebody who will take a few walks with you, go for a ride with you, and sit down and help you with your decision making. (Grief makes our thinking so darned foggy!)

    I’m going to pray with all of my might that somebody who lives nearby will pick up on your needs and get you perking again! My love to you!


  10. How can someone nix a cancer patient’s insurance coverage and sleep at night? That’s terrible! They should have to meet you face to face and explain why. They can’t send an agent or any other representative. The person who made that decision has to see you and look you straight in the eye and explain why an insurance company cannot afford to help you out any more.

    May you be blessed with Herculean strength in this hour of need.


  11. Laura, hang in there. I feel so bad and lousy I can’t help or stay near you. I would go to you and we’ll cry together. You deserve a break, a BIG break in life. I don’t have right words to comfort and encourage you. I pray things will better better and easier for you asap. Lots of hugs!


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