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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wrestling with Demons

I've not written much here lately, not because I I'm intentionally ignoring this blog, but because I'm wrestling with some demons, survivor guilt, and feeling overwhelmed by life.

It's not fair to burden others with this, but I'm going to blather on about it for awhile now.

Right before Christmas, one of the members of my Crazy Cancer club died, leaving behind a husband and three young children.  Shortly after Christmas, a friend who already suffers from a serious and life threatening illness was also diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of cancer.  A third member of my Crazy Cancer Club had some bad reactions to chemo, ended up hospitalized, and has since quit treatment and called in  hospice.  And the husband of one of my oldest friends is, tomorrow, being biopsied to determine if the thing in his brain, a thing which is affecting his ability to walk and tend to himself, is indeed cancer and what kind.  Regardless of whether his tumor is benign or cancerous, it's nasty, deep, and going to have some significant impact. 

My friend recently said, "I now know what you mean by it's always with you.  I open my eyes in the morning and within seconds think 'this is my reality.'"  And yes, in general, I'm in darn good health.  The pain of neuropathy is mostly gone.  I occasionally, maybe once or twice an evening,  I'll get a shooting neuropathy pain, but it's short lived and they don't take my breath away like they used to.  I've got some lack of sensation in my feet and the very tips of my fingers.  I don't notice the stuff in my fingers, but the stuff in my feet is a constant reminder of what I am now.  I have to constantly, multiple times daily, work on range of motion in my arms.  I move like an old lady when it comes to shoulder rotation.  Again, this doesn't affect my life, per se, but it's a constant reminder.  The numbness of my skin and muscles in my left arm is annoying.  It's just another constant reminder.

It's just always here. 

So, a friend and I went to visit our other friend who just entered hospice.  Hospice means you are actively dying.  Sooner rather than later.  Yes, once we are born, we are all fated to die.  Yet, when you are in hospice, you are acknowledging that death is nearby.  She looks like she's dying.  She's lost a lot of weight.  Her skin is gray.  She's up, around, and bright eyed, but she's a little more distant.  And I imagine she'll get more and more distant.  Whereas I wake up and think about ME, while she's in the most me-centric stage of life (outside of infancy and early childhood), she wanted to know about my kids, my husband, my job, my health.

I don't know if I'd be able to be that way.  I'm too selfish, too ego-centric.

I can't even keep a blog entry focused on others.  In my survivor's guilt, I'm still ego-centric.

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