It’s not New Years, but I’m making a resolution, and that is to honor the word “Boundary.” Boundary. It’s my word for today, the rest of the year, and forever. Before cancer hit, I didn’t know how to set boundaries with people. Or maybe I knew how, but was too afraid of being assertive enough to stop people from draining me. I allowed others to … Continue reading the story "5 Ways to Set Boundaries"
Post Archives tagged ‘cancer’
I judged him way before I met him. There I lay, on my sofa, swearing up and down that I would never, could never, ever see an oncologist. I was in limbo. My surgeon told me that day -- Almost-Botched Biopsy Day -- he was pretty sure I had breast cancer. Pretty sure, but not definitely sure. (Two days later, he … Continue reading the story "‘Oncologist’ Turned On a Dime"
Chemobrain is real. Ask any patient receiving or who has received chemotherapy. Some of us recover fully from the cognitive dysfunction resulting from toxic chemicals dripped into our bodies. Others do not. And some, like me, recover a bit after treatment but never seem to quite regain their mental sharpness and stamina and focus. For me, chemobrain has been a sad, frustrating reminder of cancer. … Continue reading the story "Chemobrain: War, Then Peace"
I’m a relatively content person. Yet doctors’ visits conjure up sadness and fear and grief. Since cancer turned my world upside down, appointments with physicians are so difficult. I appreciate my physicians tremendously. Besides their high competence, they have superior people skills. They talk to me as my doctors, offering sound medical advice, but they don’t treat me like a patient. They treat me like … Continue reading the story "Wearing A Game Face"
As many of my readers know, my mom had a recent medical scare. A mammogram had revealed an abnormality, but an ultrasound ruled out a malignancy. As I said in a previous post, “benign” is becoming my favorite word. I thank everyone in cyberspace for their support and prayers. The collective support of this fabulous online community buoyed me up when I was down. While I … Continue reading the story "Benign!"
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I became a stigma. After finding out about my diagnosis, my mom’s first words to me were “Don’t tell anyone.” I cried, telling her I needed to talk to people about this. Her response was, “Nobody needs to know about it. Don’t tell our family or your friends. They will tell everyone about that “thing” you have.” My … Continue reading the story "Secrets and Lies"
Sometimes paths are clear, and sometimes they are challenging walk-throughs. When people are healthy, they take the clear path for granted. Guess which path the ill must walk? Blogger Carolyn Thomas posted a comment on my Illness and the Workplace post that piqued my curiosity. She mentioned the term “healthy privilege,” which I had never heard before. What I discovered turned out to be the … Continue reading the story "‘Healthy Privilege’: ‘I’m Healthy, So Are You’"
This piece is based on my diagnosis and treatment years ago. One of the issues people with a serious illness face is that feeling of life spinning out of control. To this day, I have control issues, especially when seeing my doctors, and it stems from my breast cancer experience. “You will see the oncologist on this date,” my chemo nurse politely tells me. “But I have … Continue reading the story "Cancer as Dictator"
The post is already written; all that's missing is artwork. Shown here is a first draft of a nude that will complement that post. This is one of the models whom I sketched with pencil in art class years ago. Now I'm trying to bring her to life -- to convey what I want to say -- with oil paints. … Continue reading the story "Menagerie Mondays: Naked"
“But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen…” -- T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” I’ve been at it again. Doing what I do so well. Postponing visits to my doctors. I have no excuse – except that I’m scared shitless. Adding insult to injury, because of my procrastination, my medical appointments will now pile up like a multicar wreck. I’m … Continue reading the story "No More Magic Lanterns, Please"