Thursday, January 8, 2009

Still and Quiet


That post-treatment/chemo is one of the toughest times in cancer-land. Depression and saddness kick in for many people, even though THEY ARE HEALED! I knew this. I am a Health Pysch major, so I MUST be IMMUNE to this....right? I have handled it allllllllllll so well, yeah? lol!

But, oh, it tis true. Now I am not really "done" with treatment. But going off chemo is a huge transition. Suddenly, the extrovert willing to share, just wants to go into the earth and be as still as a tulip bulb waiting for spring to come. That is all I want. I feel raw, and quiet and hyper aware and physically better....yet also tired on an emotional level. I think many of my friends, although unaware, are feeling the same way. Like we dodged a bullet and in the moment of it, stayed positive and looking at ways out of the situation, and now that I have a moment of safety, are feeling the fears and the saddness that were held at bay. I am not depressed, but I am cleansing pent up fear and energy. It is good.

I don't want to climb moutains, or conquer a new skill, I just want to be really really still, and let a tear streak down my cheek without cause or catalyst. I don't need to know why the tear broke loose, I will just trust it is cleansing old wounds and be kind to it and myself. My mind/body/spirit have been dismantled and reorganized and will continue to be dismantled and reorganized. That is the "gift" of cancer you hear about. Yet, it isn't easy, but is is a blessing. I don't have the energy to be anything but honest anymore. I can't fake it, act happy or perky. If I am tired, I am tired. If I am sad, I just let it sit with me, so it can tell me what it needs to and leave me wiser. I don't resist so much anymore.

I am wary of sharing this, more because I feel so inward right now. But I know people are watching and I don't want to shut you out. Also, I am doing to this blog, to maybe help those on the "outside" learn about what might be going on on the inside of a friend or loved one. It is so hard to approach us. I know. Might you say the wrong thing? Might you acknowledge the cancer TOO much, or not enough? Will the missing eyelashes spook you and you might worry about offending me by staring and saying....."weird".

This is why I LOVE kids. Every kid I know is so purely honest. I have lots of kiddos around me, here is a list of my favorites:

Four Year Old Girl: "Why don't you have a bald head? Is your hair going to fall out? Does that mean you don't have cancer if you still have hair?"
Five Year Old Boy: "Does cancer hurt? Are you hurting right now? Does it make you sad to be in pain? Do you feel pain all the time?"
My daugher: "Where are your tumors? (I point). Can YOU feel them without touching them (some I say)? Why did they get there? How come there are so many?"
Five Year Old Boy: "You look a little different? Is it the cancer making you look different (I say no, the drugs...always positively) Are you feeling better? (yes) Does that mean we will get to see you more? I miss you."
Four Year Old Girl; "Can I get cancer from touching you? Well how did it get into you then? Why did you body forget to kill the cancer cells? Do kids get cancer or only old people like you? (hehhehehe)."

I love that they, without any fear, just ask. I wish we could undo the social stigma of asking honest, compassionate questions without brushing off uncomfortable answers or needing to help. Kids are Guru's of Compassionate Listening. They ask what is on the minds of many of you, and I love them for that...they just ask, and learn, and move on. I like to be direct and honest with them without an agenda or needing anything from them. I want to teach kids not to be afraid. And I LOVE the deep deep look they give me. Like they are looking straight through my body and deep into my soul, with such a curious look on their face.

Finally, I know many of you were waiting for Test Results time. In general, it is "good" news. The doc says I am where she was hoping I would be at this point. No going back to chemo. In general, she said, my body doesn't have any active sites, except below my armpit on the left. Most all of the sites have shrunk to a size they can't detect anymore. And there are a couple of areas they are keeping an eye on, because the cancer MIGHT have spread, but they can't tell for sure. Yes, I know. We alll think of this as definitive. But let me tell you, there ain't a thing that is in cancerworld. They can't see below a certain size, so they can never really say. They watch for patterns, and look at many factors to make certain calls. It is too widespread in me to ever say "All clear" and I am not all clear right now. One site is still active and growing (very little but growing). So, onward we go!

Blessings,
Jenna

2 comments:

MiMi said...

Dear Daughter,
Oh to be a 4 or 5 yr. old to know how to express all that is in me.

Happy you are here to report that it is diminished, unhappy that you will have to be ever watchful.

Awed by the wisdom living each day to it's fullest must bring, joy in the simple things.

Estactic that the way things seem for the moment I can mother and love you for yet another 5, 10, 50 yrs. (lol I realize the fountain of youth would have to be discovered for that one !!)

Pride for the way you have traveled this journey and stood up to this disease and used it to educate and learn from.

Excited that in 6 days I will get to give you a hug and look into those beautiful blue eyes that first gave me such joy 34yrs ago (next weekend)when you opened them for the first time and looked into mine!!

From the heart
Mom

sheilamiller31 said...

I am still going to visualize you "all clear" I believe it can happen for both of us. If there are people out there have beat the odds why not us? I will continue to hold a picture of your perfect health and happiness in my heart and mind. Much love to you.