Saturday, March 22, 2008

What I Meant To Say

I was talking to my Mom about some of the issues I discussed in my last post and she told me that the post might not convey what I meant to say. So, here is some clarification.

I like it when people ask me how I am doing. Even if my answers are vague and/or sad, I like to be asked because it makes me feel the person asking cares about me. I like to feel cared about and supported; doesn't everyone? So, just in case I made anyone feel bad with my last post, I am sorry and please keep asking me how I am doing if you are interested!

On the other hand, and this is not what I said but was in my mind while I was writing, there are a couple of approaches to my having cancer that I really dislike. 1) The Pretend Everything Is Fine Approach. My grandmother just ignores the fact that I have cancer. She never, never mentions it. If I mention is, she just says something like, "I know you like your doctor and that's the most important thing," (weird, because I actually don't really like my doctor--nor do I dislike her, but I have never discussed my feelings about my doctor with my grandmother!) and then changes the subject back to whatever inanity she is going on about that day. As you might imagine, I do not bring up my cancer when talking to her.
2) The Pretend the Person With Cancer Does Not Exist Approach. The approach makes me feel robbed and angry. My brother has not only decided not to talk to me about my cancer, it seems he has decided not to talk to me at all. He lives on the west coast and I live on the east coast, and he came to visit me in September after my lung surgery, which was great. However, since that visit I have only talked to him once, when I called him (after getting voice mail several times before reaching him), and he only talked me me about some governmental policy matter before saying he had to go. I guess he's come down with terminal self-centeredness? Or no longer wants to know me since I have a big depressing problem? Am I no longer worth his time? Was I ever if I can be dismissed so easily?

One more thing. If I am talking to you and I mention my life span or dying, please do not tell me that I have plenty of years left or that no one knows what their life span is. While it is certainly true that any of us could be run over by a bus tomorrow, not all of us have adenocarcinoma. I do. Yes, it is true that the possibility for me to live long enough to meet my grandchildren exists. I know this and I hope for it. However, at the same time, I also have to live with the fact that can no longer buy life insurance. I have to have a CT scan every 3 months for the next 2 years. I live with the chance of recoccurance every minute of every day. Dying and death are big concerns of mine. I will probably die of cancer, and probably before you. So don't dismiss my concerns about life span and death. Let me state them and if you feel like asking me about the subject, do so. If you don't, just remain quiet and I will notice you are not responding and the subject will fade away.

Up until my diagnosis with cancer, I always thought I had 120 years or so. Now, all of a sudden, I find that I may have only 5 (or less!). This has had a HUGE impact on my life. One of the main reasons my family has decided to sell our house and move is because we do not know how long my life span is. Captain Obvious and I both want to do things now, because we do not know how much time is left to do them. This is also the reason why we have been traveling and visiting friends. It is fun to hang out with people we love, to give and receive love and support. We don't know how many more visits there will be, so it is nice to experience them now. Yes, it could be that I still have 20 or 30 more years to live (remember I am only 34) and in that case, these visits and travels build relationships that are important to me and to Captain Obvious for the long haul. See? By living as if there is not much time left, I am also improving my life for the long haul.

Life is so precious and beautiful! Every second is a sparkling jewel! I hope you can see this too!

2 comments:

christina said...

dear rose,
you don't know me, my name is tina and i am a "tango friend" of your parents. when you were first diagnosed your parents shared with some of us in the tango community in asheville what was going on. in one of our e-mail exchanges your mom gave me the link to your blog, and i have been reading it on and off since then.
i like your parents very much and i feel a strong connection with both of them but unfortunately there really has not been much opportunity to explore that very much, i don't see them very often at all.
anyway what i wanted to tell you is that even though i don't know you in person, i do care about you and about how you are doing. i think that your blog is very brave and probably/hopefully therapeutic to a certain extent.
i do believe in the power of "prayer" (in the widest sense, i.e. holding someone in your thoughts, holding someone in the light, whatever you want to call it) - so just know that there is one more person out there who is holding YOU in her thoughts and in the light!
namaste
tina

Lance Noe said...

I love you! hehehe

I love when you get bitchy and in your face, it always makes me smile!

p.s. I love you!