And Now. For Something Completely Different.

Things are going well on the cancer treatment front. My symptoms are subsiding. Reducing the steroid doesn’t seem to be causing any untoward effects. I had energy today. So I thought I would get away from the subject of cancer just for today. Some things have been bothering me, and I need to rant a little. I’ll understand if you don’t want to read this. And nothing here is directed at any one person. I’ve been letting these things rankle for a while, and I need to clear the air.

I am sick and tired of reading memes that are re-posted on Facebook without any attempt to determine their veracity, or even if they are relevant. You know the ones. Lamenting how today’s youth have no respect, wear their pants around their thighs, etc. How do you think they got there? Parents have been lamenting the vagaries of youth since Old Testament times, and probably before that. If you don’t like how youth these days are behaving, then do something about it. Volunteer at a school. Help out with foster kids. Teach kids respect for themselves and others. Quit complaining.

And on the subject of memes, the political ones make me want to scream. I get that some of you don’t like our President. I get that some of you don’t like our Congress. But really, Obama has been president for 6 years. He’s not going anywhere for 2 more years. Get over it. Just because he won’t release his college grades doesn’t mean he’s stupid. And no, he’s not a Muslim. And yes, he’s a US citizen. No matter what you think of him as a person, he is our President. If you don’t like him, you’ll have your chance in a year or so to elect someone else. I hope you like who you get.

And on to religion. I’m tired of whiny christians complaining how they’re being persecuted. Right here in the US. Because some people don’t want God in the public sphere. That’s what the Constitution is all about. Freedom of and freedom from religion. You want to see christians persecuted? Go to a country that is predominantly non-christian. Here in the US you can worship in any church you choose. Or not. You can stand in the middle of the street and pray if you want. There are other religions that are just as valid. Being non-christian does not make one immoral or less than human. And the Constitution is supposed to guarantee there is no one religion given preference above all others. But let’s face it, Christianity is favored above all others. Non-christians have to fight to be recognized in things such as taking an oath of office.

And let’s not even get started on the 2nd amendment! You do know there are other amendments, right? I sometimes wonder if people realize that we also have freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Although reading the news these days one wouldn’t realize we have these freedoms. Protests are contained to small areas by militaristic police departments. I see protests in other countries and wonder what happened here in the US. I witnessed the 60s first hand. Our generation fought for women’s rights, civil rights, against the war, for peace. And I wonder where all the protestors went. Are today’s young people so out of touch with current events? I see a fascination with celebrity, with ‘reality’ shows that aren’t real, and a lack of interest in voting. The recent mid-term elections are proof of how low we have sunk. Money has taken over politics and we live in an oligarchy that isn’t going to change until we become galvanized to take back our country.

I could probably go on about the decline of intelligence, and the lack of proper grammar, and any number of things. But I’m tired, and I need a nap.

Onward and upward.

And so it begins…

First let me say I’m not writing this for sympathy or for attention; I’m writing this blog so that perhaps I can help someone else on the same journey, and so I can process my own emotions. And Second, this was not easy for me to write. I have been going back and forth about whether I should even publish this; there is no waffling about writing it, just about publishing it.

A few days ago, actually on Thursday, October 17th, at 4:10pm, I learned that I have lung cancer with metastasis to the liver.The following day, we had our first meeting with the oncologist. I learned that because the cancer has metastasized, it’s probably Stage 4, and there is no cure, but with chemo, we can hopefully shrink the tumors and extend my quality of life. I had blood work done and will still need to have a biopsy, a full body PET scan, and an MRI of the brain. Only then can we start chemo.

Looking back, I can see all the little signs I either missed or ignored. And I should never have started smoking and I should have quit sooner. But I can’t waste my energy on woulda-coulda-shoulda.

My doctor was wonderful – holding my hand as she gave me the news. The first thing into my head was how am I going to tell Steve? I knew on a gut level that I had cancer. What I didn’t expect was the metastasis. I made it home in one piece and then fell apart. It seems so unfair that I was looking forward to retirement and now the future is so uncertain.

Friday was a blur. I went to work like always and had to leave for a few hours for our meeting with the oncologist. He is a leading researcher in lung cancer and spent almost an hour with us after being an hour late because he spends as much time with each patient as that patient needs, and I like that. I went back to work but I’m not sure how much I got done because I felt so removed from everything.

There are so many questions, but they can’t be answered until all the tests are complete, and I’m impatient to start the fight. I think I’m still in a state of shock on one level while on another level I’m ready to fight. I know the odds aren’t in my favor – the survival rate for lung cancer is very low – but that is no reason to give in.

I have periods during the day when I’m fine but then the reality will hit again and I just want to scream and cry and hit something. I’m angry that my body has betrayed me; I’m angry at myself for not taking better care of myself; I’m angry that I may not have a chance to enjoy the retirement I dreamed of; I’m angry that my partner may have to go on without me. But I’m also trying to view this as a new learning experience.

I spent Saturday feeling sorry for myself, crying, or napping. I allowed myself one day for self-pity.

So I will continue blogging as long as I’m able, and I will continue my Gratitude Journal daily. That will force me to keep a positive attitude. 🙂

So peace, joy, and love to all. Hug those you love today.

Holidays

Did you know that the term ‘holiday’ began as Holy Day? Did you know that the holly and the ivy were considered sacred by the ancient Druids? Did you know that the Christmas tree is a continuation of the practice of bringing greenery inside the house in winter to make sure that Spring comes back?

There are so many traditions this time of year, no matter what holiday you celebrate, or don’t celebrate. Chanukah, Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festivus, New Year.

So whatever you celebrate, thank you for a wonderful year with your comments, your blog posts, and your support. May Peace and Joy surround you now and always.