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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

WHEN IS A GIFT NOT A GIFT?

I seem to have been going through a writer's block. My mind  switched off in a pattern I'm starting to become aware of - enforced resting time.And its worked. Today I woke up feeling better than I've felt in ages. The shingles are dried up and going. The head is clear and I haven't needed a nap today. It's so good to feel well.

So as a result today was catch up day. I caught up on paper work. I rang my favourite number (Centrelink) and ONLY was on hold 37 minutes and 20 seconds. But its ok because I caught up with what I had to do. I caught up with one of my nieces for a coffee and a gossip and I caught up on some housework and cooking.

Its sad isn't it when you get joy out of doing the most basic things without feeling unwell and chronically tired. But its good too and I'll take it.

One of the things I also had to do today was explain to my insurance company for about the hundreth time that I don't have cancer. I have a condition which increases my cancer risk. They just don't get the word risk and it is hard to explain it sometimes. It is so annoying even having the conversation. I am a bit superstitious and I would prefer not to tempt fate. BUT I rely on these people so it was a conversation which had to happen.

Yesterday I read an article posted by an online friend. It was written in 2010 and called Smile! You've got cancer. The writer went on to describe people who told her that cancer is not a problem or an illness but a gift. She begged to differ and I tend to agree.

I couldn't have written this in 2009 and 2010 when I had my diagnoses. It was all too raw then. But trust me there is nothing about those years I can't remember. and when I read a quote from the article " breast cancer opened my eyes to the joy of living" it angered me, saddened me and totally pissed me off.

Some one dared tell me once that I got off lightly because I didn't have chemotherapy. I remember looking at them and walking away. I lost both breasts and had two reconstructions. This involved moving the muscle from my back to my front. I got infections, set a record (probably world wide) for being attached to a drain and  took tamoxifen which made me feel like a ninety year old woman with severe arthritis. To this day its uncomfortable when I sleep. My breasts have no feeling - none whatsoever. You could stick a pin in them and I wouldn't feel it. The tattoos which I paid big bucks for to simulate an areolar area have faded and I will probably die areolar-less because it was a waste of money. Bras don't fit properly because one boob sits slightly off centre. And before you all say go and whinge to the plastic surgeon, you can't. You sign on the dotted line that you are going to get a pair of boobs that will not be like your old ones...just as close as possible.

If that's getting off lightly, I'd hate to see what getting hammered feels like.

Now I'm not advocating sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and I'm not advocating hiding in a corner, but I agree with the author Barbara Ehrenreich when she talks about being angry.

I wasn't angry in 2009-2010 because I was too busy surviving, being super Mum, super teacher and super human. But I'm sort of angry now in a managed sort of way. You see really I just wish it would all go away.

But it doesn't. Its everywhere. At the bakery they have pink buns. In Target there are special pink clothes and you may remember an old post of mine at the radiologist, getting mega angry because it was festooned in pink and white balloons and looked more like a party was going on than a fundraiser. I officially hate pink. But I deal with it well and I even wrote on a "pink lady"at the bakery fundraiser because the money is necessary.

But I hate pink and it certainly hasn't opened my eyes to the joys of living.

I read about women who go on and do great things after their "journey" (don't even start me on that word). They climb mountains, run marathons, cycle around Australia. I remain innately lazy. Not even breast cancer changed that.

Breast cancer did not open my eyes to the joys of living. It changed me in so many ways , some are good and some are bad. But I remain essentially with the same attitude I had before which is:

SITUATION - what do I have to deal with                                                
ACTION - what needs to be done to deal with it
OUTCOME - why am I doing it? What am I hoping to achieve?

And with regards to the outcome I am realistic. Some days I am positive. Some days I am negative. Often I am angry that I have to deal with so much. And I hate pink.

I certainly don't indulge in endless positive thinking which masks how I feel and when I'm annoyed (like now) I write blog posts to let off steam. And I then feel better...even better then I felt this morning! So that's good.

Till next time...xxx








28 comments:

  1. I think it is easy to give an opinion when did not go through a certain situation. There will never be enough words to describe exactly how you felt and feel. I can only wish that you have more "good days". Take good care. #IBAbloggers

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    1. Thank you for your kind words.

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  2. All I can say is "wow, you've been through a lot!"
    #ibabloggers

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    1. Thanks. Yes I have but we move on.

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  3. Gift? HA! Where's the receipt? I want a refund. Well said - as usual!

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    1. You need to read the whole article. Emmi posted it recently. I want a refund too!

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  4. How dare someone say you were lucky! I hate that. I don't think anyone who has dealt with a disease like yours or cancer or anything else would tell someone else going through health issues that they're lucky. Since when is it a contest about who has it worse?! People are ridiculous.

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    1. As I said I walked away before I did or said something bad. People haven't a clue. Like you said it's not a contest and it's certainly no gift.

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  5. Sorry to read the above.
    Virtual hugs coming your way
    xoxo

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    Replies
    1. and virtual hugs back in return xx

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  6. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again. People just don't think enough before they speak. I know sometimes people even mean well but then they go and say the dumbest stuff.
    I enjoyed reading your perspective. Thank you for sharing. #BigTopBlogParty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Say, do, and think the dumbest stuff. And only open their mouths to change feet.

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  7. Well you make a mighty fine Gif. That is a great explosion. It is good to let it out sometimes and I just hope you can find hope and strength and understanding from those around you.

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    1. I'm all good. Just a reaction to the article and my perceived gift.

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  8. I cant begin to understand, however, I can say you are very brave to go through all that you have, maybe those that said you were lucky didnt know what else to say, I agree with Suzi, people do say dumb things. Hugs to you and thank you for sharing on Oh My Heartsie Girls WW this week!!

    Wishing you well.
    Karren

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  9. Hello. I *hear* you with regard to where your focus is and that's okay. No matter what you are feeling, it's perfectly fine. Check out the book of the same name, "Feelings," and it might give you some insight....not that you have time for it. But, it could be worth a glance?

    The act of giving necessitates a reciprocity of some sort, whether this is noticed, acknowledged or not. You were given a gift, one that some of us would not be able to stand up. You've survived! I stuck by mother when she got it and I felt all of these aforementioned feelings.

    My point? I'm glad that you're still here to talk about your experiences and whatever you feel about it, it's totally cool!

    Take care.

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    1. Thankyou for acknowledging my right to feel how I want to feel. Maybe my gift in retrospect is to be stronger in my knowledge of myself.

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  10. Wow, thank you so much for your honesty in this post. You are definitely a fighter! You are a very strong woman and you have been through a lot, you are allowed to be angry! Thank you for sharing! I hope you will join us next week on the Link-It To Me Link-Up Party!

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    1. I'm only angry about the gift bit cos I lost the receipt and can't return it.

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  11. It can be hard for people to relate when they haven't walked in your shoes. I appreciate hearing your thoughts. Thanks for joining the Oh My Heartsie-Girl Wordless Wednesday Linky.

    Shellie
    www.thefabjourney.com

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    1. I agree with you but in this case the author has and while she's entitled to her opinion, it's obviously different to mine.

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  12. You have been through a lot! Sending you HUGS. Glad to hear you're feeling better today.

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  13. Oh wow! This was an interesting read. Really do feel for you. You're so strong! *Big hugs*!!

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    1. Thanks Bethan. Thanks for taking the time to read it xx

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  14. The ignorance of people NEVER ceases to amaze me! The kicker of that is, these people that say these (idiotic) things don't realize that what they are saying is wrong on SOOOO many levels!! They do mean well, but they don't picture themselves in a situation like that and/or just really don't know what to say. Stay strong and maybe try this thing that I use quite frequently, selective hearing!! Peace & well wishes! :)

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    1. As my Mum says, we have two wars - one for in and one for out!

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