When I was a teenager, I wished my active imagination would always stay vivid. Unfortunately, that wish came true. *** Being diagnosed and treated for cancer unleashes a maelstrom of emotions. But lately I have been wondering if a cancer experience heightens our imagination. We imagine our deaths. We imagine our physical pain and suffering even before we … Continue reading the story "Cancer and the Imagination"
Post Archives tagged ‘PTSD’
This year, my goal – not my resolution – on fitness is to set the bar low. I was never a super athlete. But prior to cancer, I was in great shape and enjoyed exercise. Now, after years of grieving what I’ve lost, I have finally accepted my physical limitations and, with some creativity, have turned them into opportunities. *** After diagnosis and after radiation and after … Continue reading the story "Setting the Bar Low"
I dislike many platitudes when it comes to cancer. The general healthy public likes to give a positive spin to cancer -- especially breast cancer, of course. In fact, so many in our society consider breast cancer the cute, benign sort of cancer, even though it kills and maims. Well-meaning people have tritely referred to my breast cancer experience as a “journey,” as if there’s a … Continue reading the story "No, Cancer is Not a Journey"
“Oooh, that’s one creepy-looking dinosaur!” I told my wide-eyed-but-ready-for-bedtime daughter. “Then read about it, Mommy!” she laughed, pointing at the ferocious dinosaur in one of her favorite books. “Honey, I’m so glad they are extinct.” “Otherwise, they would chase us and eat us?” “Yes, I’m sure.” She yawned. “I’m glad they are extinct, too,” as she rolled over to sleep. It’s now midnight, and I’ve been trying to sleep for hours, … Continue reading the story "Dinosaurs"
Upon hearing that I am cancer-free thus far, people flippantly ask me if I’m now used to the "new me" or the “new normal.” I’m sure they mean well, but I really don’t know what they mean. They are tossing about meaningless phrases. I don’t like being typecast into nonsensical words like the "new me" and “new normal” because -- even if cancer is not … Continue reading the story "The New Abnormal"
In a previous post, I said I was too scared to write what I deemed a risky piece on my blog. This is that post. Throughout my pre-cancer life, many people have admired my fortitude and tenacity. Tarnished by life’s traumas, I still kept my platinum mind focused. Many folks used to tell me I was the strongest person they knew: No matter how difficult … Continue reading the story "Matter Over Mind"
Reconstruction has saved me. I’m not referring to my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. I’m talking about the transformation of my hospital’s Cancer Care Center, where I received my treatments and followups, to the now-named Center for Advanced Care, where I receive followup care. Years ago, I first met my oncologist in the Cancer Care Center, a very ordinary, depressing sort of building with few … Continue reading the story "A Kinder, Gentler Reconstruction"
How many invisible scars do I have? Let me count the ways. During November, the #BCSM community is focusing on the invisible scars resulting from breast cancer. The latest #BCSM tweetchat transcript is here, and comments were flying. Understandably. We, members of the club no one wanted to join, have much to say about invisible scars. Long after I got up from that chemo recliner and long after … Continue reading the story "Invisible Scars"