I know….. I had said that this blog had come to an end on December 1, 2015. But I find myself drawn back here over the last couple of weeks. During my treatments this blog was my safe place, my place to share my darkest feelings. I had moved past that time in my life, yet here I am again. NO… my cancer has not returned. I think I have what I have heard others talk about. Survivors Guilt. I have such a fear of recurrence, but on days like today, instead of fear, I feel guilt. Guilt because I am continuing on and some of my friends are dealing with the ugly fact that they have had a recurrence.
Before my own diagnosis I’m not sure if I had my head buried in the sand, or if I was just ignorant when it came to breast cancer. I thought that if breast cancer was caught early, and if you followed your doctors orders, that you would be cured and continue on your merry way. That, I have learned, is bull shit. I think for that, I can thank the “October Pink has exploded everywhere” campaign. I now know that despite fighting breast cancer with everything that you have got, it can still come back and attack your body and spread to so many other sites. How? Why? So much for early detection!?!?
Throughout the “life” of this blog, I met several other ladies who were battling breast cancer as well and we formed online friendships that were as real as any other friendship. We were able to share the thoughts and feelings that we attempted to hide from our loved ones. A couple of weeks ago one of those ladies passed away. I remember that I was relaxing in a bubble bath and playing games on my phone when I had an email come through alerting me of an update on her blog. Even though I knew that the unthinkable could happen at any time because she had been so very ill, I was still not prepared. She was originally diagnosed with Stage IIB breast cancer, the same as me. A couple of years later the cancer returned with a vengeance.
Back in August 2012 I met a very special lady, “MJ” while at the cancer center where I was about to start my treatments. She is a breath of fresh air. Always so positive. Absolutely bubbly. She was my pod mate during chemo. We sat next to one another for 14 out of 16 chemo treatments. She made me laugh (sometimes I would cry from laughing so hard). She kept my spirits up, and I always looked forward to seeing her despite the reason for our meetings. We understood one another. We knew exactly what the other was thinking and/or feeling without the words needing to be spoken.
I remember feeling frustrated, sometimes angry, and sometimes jealous because MJ seemed to breeze through treatments and surgeries while I had one set back after another. My chemo port never wanted to work right. We would get a good laugh out of the “darn port won’t work again yoga” that I had to do in order for the tubing to cooperate enough for the nurses to use it. I had complications from surgery which required several additional surgeries. I was so happy that she did not have these issues and everything went so well for her, but I would get frustrated because I wanted to know why I was having so many problems.
Her cancer came back. Stage IV. I HATE those words. In 2012 she was stage IIB the same as I was. Today she had to return to the chemo department. I know from my own personal experience, when I go back to the cancer center for my appointments, I cannot even make myself look in that direction. I have been back to the chemo department one time since I finished and that was to have my port flushed. I can’t handle it. I can’t. Today, she had to go back in there. I talked to her this afternoon and I tried so hard to be positive for her. To let her know that I am here for her. If she needs anything at all, I am here. But let me tell you….when I got off of the phone with her I had the ugliest cry that I have had in such a long time. I cried until I almost made myself sick. I couldn’t drive. I was so full of anger and I want to know “WHY??” Why?? Why?? I don’t understand. She has such faith in God. She has reached out to him throughout this entire battle. WHY? I am so mad. I am so full of guilt. I feel guilty. Why would she even want to talk to me? Is she wondering why her instead of me?
Where is the cure??????