Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thoughts for Others

I have the long awaited follow up post about my journey with Dad nearly ready to go.  Though not quite finished.  It lives in a spiral notebook, sloppy script, words crossed out, waiting for its ending.

Despite having experienced the journey and enjoying the wedding, writing the ending is not something easily accomplished right now.

That post seems flippant, too quick to take lightly the unbelievable luck I had in being able to make that trip, travel with my dad, see my family, watch my cousin get married.  I can't post that right now because in this moment, I don't feel that way.

In the past week, I've read the words of two bloggers documenting their last days, one from Inflammatory Breast Cancer, the other from Ovarian Cancer.  Both ladies were diagnosed in the spring of 2009...like me.

I can't begin to know what is, or was, going through their minds.  I don't know how they managed to leave their doctors' offices after being dealt their new, shortened reality.  I guess it's like anything else...get out of the chair, move your feet, open the door, drive home...

I'm so sorry for these ladies, these young mothers having their lives cut short.  These women who sat in an office in 2009, as I did, but heard a very different prognosis.

I am not writing now out of survivor's guilt.  It's sadness.  It's anger.  It's a little push back into advocacy and a renewed desire to make sure people everywhere know what a crock pink fundraising is.

I'm writing with a mission to get everyone to sign up with Love/Avon Army of Women so researchers can learn the causes of Breast Cancer in order to understand how to prevent it.

I'm writing to say Ovarian Cancer is real and deadly, though it does leave some signs if we only know to look.

And finally, I'm writing to remind myself to appreciate the good stuff, even the not so good stuff, because it can all go away in an instant, blown by the winds leaving nothing, but words hanging in the air.

My thoughts and prayers go to Ashley's family.  I did not know her as she wrote her final words on Ashley: Warrior Mom.  My thoughts and prayers go to Tina whom I followed at Tina's Journey, almost since I started blogging.  I didn't see it ending this way.

I've mentioned in previous posts that I rarely write directly, as I am now, on my blog.  I almost always write in a notebook and then revise, revise, revise in search of the perfect sentence, tone, whatever, but today, at this moment I needed to share the emotion I sense building up.  The whole reason I write to begin with.  I may regret it tomorrow, but for now I feel better for sharing.

I love our blogging community.  I hate cancer.

xoxo





13 comments:

  1. Stacey, I read their blogs and I'm achingly sorry for them, for their families, for you, and for all who have suffered these losses. And today, more than anything, having just lost another good friend to cancer myself and having had my recurring vivid nightmare about my mom's final days again last night, I'm feeling even more furious than usual at the underlying collective helplessness and precariousness that permeate anyone touched by cancer--which is, basically, everyone I know. This is an age of technological miracles--yet the medical miracles we've been promised since I was a little girl still elude us. How is that possible?

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    1. I don't know, Wendy. I wish I had the answer. I'm sorry for all the sadness you've experienced. We've all known too much. It's beyond frustrating. i guess we can only keep talking. What else is there?

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  2. Stacey, I'm glad you wrote. I feel so much the same way right now. I'm sad that so many are dealing with mets, I'm tired of going to funerals, I'm tired of having new patients with breast cancer. I feel like we're surrounded. Meanwhile, I have my own diagnosis anniversary coming up. In a way, it all makes me even more determined to get back my life, to feel better and get more fit, so I can do as much as I can to make a difference & to enjoy my life. Does that make sense? Hugs, my friend.

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    1. Hi Kathi, I know what you mean by surrounded. The walls do seem to be closing in at times, and then there's the other times, when cancer seems far away. They're sometimes few and far between, but are definitely the ones worth focusing on. Hopefully, you can push right past your anniversary. It sounds like you're on the right track and makes perfect sense. Inspirational, actually. Thanks for that and hugs right back. xoxo

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  3. Stacey,
    Your words are beautiful and describe the thoughts so many of us have: What must it be like to be in their shoes; Will we find ourselves there; How did an idea so right go so wrong? I'm glad you're going to support the Love/Avon Army of Women. They have my support as well.

    I've been fortunate to spend several days with Susan Love this year, just one on one, and she's the real deal. It bothers me that some in the breast cancer community have already begun to say she "hasn't made a dent" in the problem, that her organization is "another cult of ego," plus they've begun to find fault with her foundation's underwriters. We must stop this angry blanket attack on every group that takes money from "evil corporate America." My blog this week is about just this subject, what I call Pink Rabies, a reaction to what I think is advocacy run amuck. I'm so disappointed that this blind fury may lessen the ability of groups, like Susan Love's, to find funding.

    Brenda

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    1. Hi Brenda, though I've never met Dr. Love, I agree with you about being the real deal. She seems so. I'm not sure how anyone can find fault with the Army of Women. How can recruiting women for the sake of understanding the causes of breast cancer be about ego? I don't see it. I'll check out your post soon to get a better understanding. Thanks for writing.

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  4. This is the hard stuff. The hardest stuff. Today I’ll try and follow Tina’s advice to eat something wonderful and tell someone that I love them. Cancer keeps ripping through lives . . . I hardly know what to say about it. Thanks for writing this post – I’m sure it was good for you to write, and also it’s good for us to read.

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    1. Thanks for writing, Catherine. It was good for me to write, to let go some of the emotion these sad stories always bring. I know I'm keeping Tina's words in my head, front and center, these days. I'm so thankful for our supportive community. Sometimes, it's the only place to turn.

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  5. Stacey
    I don't know what led me to your blog this evening, but I'm grateful to have found your writing which so poignantly describes the confounding mix of sadness and anger that is the color of cancer. I hate it. Isn't it a terrible irony that cancer is the thing that has brought so many people together in this virtual world? Like you, I have been lifted up countless times by this blogging community. I may never meet any of these women, but I would be quite lost without them.
    I am an unwilling conscript to this battle, but I have also signed up for The Army of Women. I don't know what else to do other than talk about it, write about it, rant about it, take part in the research ...
    I don't think you will have any regrets tomorrow.
    y

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  6. Oh, Stacey, I hear you. I followed Ashley's blog briefly and she commented a few times on mine. Her story was and still is heartbreaking. And now Tina, who you and I have been following. It does reignite the feelings of anger doesn't it? We have to put that anger to good use and keep on advocating however we are able. Sadly, and fortunately too, there are many of us in this community to help share the load. We really are all in this together. Hugs to you my friend.

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  7. I am so sorry to hear about these ladies. So sad. Words fail me. I have signed up for Dr. Love's Army of Women, and every time an opportunity comes up for which I am eligible, I enroll in the study. It's the least I can do. May you find peace in the support of others who read and write on this topic. xx

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  8. Hi Stacey,

    I totally understand the sadness. I read a few posts by women in their last days, and it is completely and utterly heart-breaking. I also love this blogging community, but cancer stinks. I wish there were no such thing in the world, and I, too, can't imagine what was going through these women's minds when they received a grim prognosis. Thanks for the excellent post.

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  9. I'm glad you didn't revise and rewrite--the world needs to hear the unbridled emotion and realize there's more to this disease than pink ribbons and survivor stories. I'll never forget sitting in a conference room at MD Anderson with my mom's team of doctors after her last clinical trial. We gathered to hear the verdict on whether the trial drugs were working to arrest her ovarian cancer. She knew the answer was no, but she sat and bravely heard the docs say the only thing to do was go home and set up hospice. I'm glad I didn't have a blog then, because capturing that moment in a post would have haunted me, as the memory of that day does. I'm so grateful that Ashley and Tina did blog about this terrible topic, because while it is immensely heartbreaking, it's also so very brave and so very necessary. Isn't it ironic that if not for cancer, all of us might never have connected via our blogs?

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