Cancer is so not fair.

It just sucks.

It’s such a bitch.

I hate it.

One badly timed comment; one errant remark.

That’s all it takes to go from normal to an emotional wreck. Suddenly I’m on the verge of tears–in front of other people, which is awful, and in front of one person I’d rather take a beating than cry in front of. Pride is a terrible burden sometimes.

Just one comment.

All was going according to plan at my pre-op appointment until one little utterance, slightly misinformed on the doctor’s part and hugely misinterpreted on mine, sent it all akimbo.

I was ready for this next revision. Six days and counting. Schedules rearranged, favors called in, sacrifices made…again.

I had signed up for this revision and was willing to go along with it quite voluntarily, even though it meant more pain and downtime and missing out on some important stuff. Well, important to me anyway: the annual Halloween tennis tournament at our club, which my runnin’ buddy and I won last year and hoped to recapture this year. The rest of the tennis season, for which I’ve only played 2 matches total for the entire season (and lost both, BTW, so suck it, everyone). Our regular Sunday morning match & beer-drinking with our buds Christy and John. Lots of tennis will not be played by me while I recover, yet again from yet another revision. The last-minute Halloween rituals, in which costumes are finalized and trick-or-treat dates are secured. All of this will be superseded by yet another recovery. The everyday, average tasks and duties of a regular life. All put on hold, in pursuit of a normalcy that seems ever elusive, just out of reach.

All I want is symmetry and improved shape to my newly created breasts.

Is that really so much to ask?

I’m well past the point of buying into the BS of “Bummer about the cancer but at least you get new boobs.” That dangling carrot didn’t quite pan out for me. Thanks to the ol’ post-mastectomy infection and a much-more-complicated-than-expected reconstruction known as The Big Dig, the prize at the finish line of my cancer “journey” isn’t much of a prize at all. It’s more a reminder that no matter how skilled the surgeon, no matter how many versions of revision I endure, my body is never going to be the same. It’s never going to look like it did before cancer shat all over my head at the ripe old age of 41.

I’m not stupid. I don’t expect my body to look like it did pre-cancer. I don’t expect my life to be carefree and manageable like it was pre-cancer. But I really didn’t think it would be this bad, this hard. I really didn’t think it would be so bloody difficult to deal with the reality of cancer day in and day out.

Sure wish someone would have warned me.

Because I bought into the “get through the scariest, worst experience ever and you’ll live happily ever after.” And silly me, I thought I was dealing with all the repercussions of the post-cancer life.  I’ve faced the ugliness head-on. I’ve tucked my head and kept on truckin’. I’ve plastered a smile on my face and counted my blessings. I’ve poured out my feelings — good and bad — in an effort to “deal with it.” I’ve done the research and shown up for all the required appointments. I’ve endured more poking, prodding, and pinching. I’ve suffered through humiliations large and small. I’ve managed the pain and the crazy emotions. I’ve found myself smack-dab in the hell that is chemically-induced menopause and lived to tell about it. I’ve made a point to take my medicine, literally and figuratively, even when it tasted like poison and burned my insides to a crisp. I’ve learned to accept that schedules don’t matter to cancer, that there is no way to predict or prepare for the twists & turns that comprise this cancer “journey.”

I thought I was dealing with it all, and dealing with it quite well.

Silly, silly me.

Thank you, google images. 

8 Comments on “CANCER SUCKS”

  1. David Benbow says:

    A lesser woman would have thrown in the towel long ago.

  2. Eddie says:

    You ARE dealing with it quite well. It just happens to be extra sucky. You’ve been a rock through all of this, so getting knocked off center is a surprise perhaps, but it’s not surprising. Give yourself persmission to take a day off and be scared, angry, go ahead and cry, don’t suck it up, refuse to keep trucking. Even Sisyphus took a break when the rock rolled back down the hill on him.

  3. You still have your sense of humor, small comfort that may be. We all fall for that “happily ever after” scenario whether our trials are large or small. Don’t beat yourself up about it, please, please, please. Big hugs and remember, tomorrow is another day.

  4. Heather says:

    You are certainly traveling a long, difficult road. I hope you can vent and cry (and laugh or drink…) whenever you need to. Positive thoughts headed your way and hope the latest goes well.

  5. Jan Hasak says:

    Cancer really is so unfair, so life-altering, no matter how much people like to sugarcoat it. The enormity of post-cancer impact boggles my mind. Keep on writing; I can tell it is very therapeutic to you. Take deep breaths and know that we are all rooting for you.

  6. CC says:

    Cancer does suck!! I too kept thinking “just get me through this” and now all I can think of is that it might come back. There is no “getting through it” because there is so much more that “results” from it. AND… just to vent… I can’t tell you how many people said things like “well, at least you will get fake perky boobs”, “at least you won’t have saggy boobs”, blah, blah, blah. How can anyone possibly think that these fake things look better than real ones? It isn’t a “free boob job”! Cancer sucks and chemically induced menopause sucks too. Hang in there!

  7. Patti Ross says:

    Oh, my , yes: Cancer is so very, very sucky. Thank goodnees you are strong, courageous, insightful, honest, witty and willing to share. I think of Mother Teresa who said, “I know God will not give me more than I can handle. I just wish he did not trust me so much.” Of course, that could mean that God is rather sadistic or at least has a very warped sense of humor.

    A bumper stiker comes to mind as well, “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” Let’s just take each day one step at a time and enjoy the small moments that do not suck and the people who make it all worthwhile.

    With Halloween around the corner, I bet with all of your experiences you could help create a truly scary haunted house–that takes a trip through the doctor’s office perhaps!

  8. Love this post. I so relate! It’s so true I wish somebody had warned me about all the %$@# too. (Though I’m not sure I would have listened!)

    What would we do without this online world? How would we get through it? It’s truly been my salvation.

    You are out there blogging in the trenches, being real and being honest, and you’re helping women (and men) you don’t even know with every word.

    Keep telling the truth, my friend. I will do the same. Deal?


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