I Have My Reasons

This cancer thing is getting old.  You know, it’s been three months since I found out I had breast cancer and two months since my upgrade.  I should have picked another disease.  Something easier to manage and less annoying.  Why?  Well, let me posit a few reasons.

1. It’s a death sentence.  There are other diseases I could have gotten that aren’t necessarily fatal.  I could have alopecia, for instance.  And before you alopecics (??) bitch, from my point of view it’s not so bad: no waxing and you’re not going to die.  I could have gone for psoriasis; flaky, patchy, but you won’t die.   Breast cancer?  Not my friend.  I know it will kill me, I just don’t know when.  Put one in the suck column.

2. Helping the sick friend gets old.  Look, I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s only a matter of time until my colleagues and friends look at their combined calendars and ask, “It’s been two/five/ten years. . . and she still needs assistance?  When will this end? ”   It’s only a matter of time until people just feel put upon to help run errands, etc.  And maybe they won’t feel that way, but I do!  I have to put up with a lot of crap: tests, medications, office politics, whether or not I continue to sink a hefty percentage of my monthly income into my retirement or scale back so I take care of myself now.  Wills, arrangements, etc.  It’s a pain in the ass, not to mention morose.  Oh, and I have to live through every freaking Pinktober from here to whenever.  That’s two hash marks in the suck column.

3.  The medical machine.  For the past month I’ve been hurting and nothing significant has been done to help me feel better.  No, I have narcotics for temporary relief, an insurance company withholding permission for a test my doctor wants to run again (that I think is over kill), a freaking cane, and a boss that is balancing his good intent and sincere support with the real-time demands of the workplace.  The pressure to make plans is already knocking on my door.  But it still hurts.  I don’t know if it will subside, get better, heal, or further break down.  Doctors don’t know either.  But life goes on whether I feel better or not.  Cancer doesn’t care.  It doesn’t give a shit.  It doesn’t care that it’ll kill me and that it will probably kill my career.  Three in the suck column.  It’s getting crowded in there.

4. I haven’t done my laundry in two weeks because free washers and physical ability haven’t synched up.  Great, now I’m going to put out money for someone to wash my clothes?  Good, suck more of my money away, breast cancer.  Thanks for nothing and another tick in the suck column.

5. I’ve hired someone to clean my apartment.  I mean, what the hell?  I can’t clean my bathroom anymore?  Any idea how awful that can be for someone who takes pride in their home?  Believe me, I’m not hiring someone because I want to spend the weekend in The Hamptons on my yacht with Buffy and Spence.  I wish.  Every time that person cleans my house is a reminder of what I can’t do.  It was okay when I wanted to hire someone to do the floors and baseboards so I could free up some of my time, but now that it’s a necessity it blows.  Yep, another mark in the column.

I have a great sense of humor and it carries me through a hell of a lot, but there are the days where I just get pissed and feel helpless in the face of this thing.  No one chooses a disease and I am being facetious when I even ponder what I would choose if given the option.  But I didn’t choose it.   Neither did my family, my friends, or my colleagues.  Indeed, you’d have to be pretty screwed up to choose getting sick in any way, shape or form.

And given that I had no choice in the matter, why do I feel so compelled to apologize for it?  I apologize when I ask for help, when I call out sick, or when I call a physician.

Make that number 6: apologizing for something that isn’t even my fault.

Fucking breast cancer.  More unfair and unbalanced than FOX News.

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25 Responses to I Have My Reasons

  1. I have breast cancer AND psoriasis, double suck 😡

    Actually the psoriasis is nearly as bad- because of course I can’t do anything halfassed and have a severe debilitating kind of psoriasis.

    Where do we sign up for our new cyborg bodies?

  2. The Accidental Amazon says:

    The whole cancer sleigh-ride is a constant process of lowering one’s expectations. Sigh. And yes, it gets really old, really fast. My mantra is ‘I rant therefore I am.’ Rant on, my friend.

  3. Heart-wrenching post. And you have every right to bitch. Breast cancer is a real f*cker.

  4. CinVT says:

    ““Fucking breast cancer. More unfair and unbalanced than FOX News.” Best line on a breast cancer blog, ever.”

    What she said.

    Yes. It pretty much just all fucking sucks. And I feel like I have to apologize because there is a chance breast cancer won’t kill me. It is just going to fuck up my life and the lives of everyone who cares about me and my career for awhile. Still. Suck.

    • Scorchy says:

      Never apologize. This crap–no matter what stage–is horrific. We’re all in the same boat and at the mercy of the sea.
      I told my oncologist that it just wasn’t fair and he said “You know what? You’re right. It’s not fair at all.”

      Fucking breast cancer!

  5. “Fucking breast cancer. More unfair and unbalanced than FOX News.” Best line on a breast cancer blog, ever.

  6. Susan says:

    I hear you too. And I agree bitch away. There are good days and bad days with MBC….you didn’t choose this path and sometimes it just piles up. Please always speak your mind, because if you stop having something to say, you are going to scare the cahonas out of me when this is about you….! Don’t be mad at me..I am sending you hugs and prayers……..

  7. I always love a rant. And yes, you do have your reasons! Please share this on Monday if I forget.

  8. estey4 says:

    I like to keep a list of things I will no longer have to worry about. Like the three rings of keys I’ve had for 15 years, and will not throw out, because one of them will end up being very important. Cleaning out the shed, or having enough money for retirement.

  9. I was going to say what Katie said, but then I saw that Katie already said it, and thats when I wrote that I was going to say what Katie said.

  10. Marie says:

    And don't apologize.

  11. It feels slightly ridiculous “liking” this post. I wish there was an “I have nothing helpful to say, but I want you to know I hear (read) you” button.

  12. Knot Telling says:

    Oh, honey, I hear you. Been there… AM there. Every single one of those things. Down to and including the sense of humor and the apologizing.

    What also sucks? I don’t have anything encouraging to say. I’ve been living with this for longer than you and I can’t say it gets better. It does not. Metastatic breast cancer is progressive and terminal and while I have learned a lot of coping mechanisms – among them changing my vocabulary about it because the power of words is real – every new normal feels like a defeat.

    I try not to remember that the longer I live with mbc the closer I am to death. I try to remember to be grateful for what I have had and what I do have. I try to enjoy each day as much as I can. But… reality.

    And sometimes reality just blows.

  13. Katie says:

    Shame on your for not choosing a more lifestyle-adaptable illness. That really was selfish of you.

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