Jul 082005
 

I was in the bathroom today and because of the way I was standing and the way the light was coming into the room, I was suddenly aware of the return to regular-life-ness of my eyelashes.
And then I remembered what life was like a year ago, as they slowly fell out, one by one.

This post-chemo era is a funny time.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not nostalgic for the thigh-slappin’ good times that chemo provides.
It’s just that now, everything seems all normal on the outside and I feel like I spend so much time scrambling to keep up with real life, and to also take the time to think about all the things that happened last year.
I dunno.
Sometimes it’s easy to get lost.
In fact, it’s probably easier to get lost now than it was last year, because I am more on my own now.
And that’s not a complaint. It’s an observation.
Sometimes it’s all a little overwhelming.
And, even if I am bouncing back, things are pretty scrambled on the inside.

It’s funny, because I seem to be pretty open about talking about the whole cancer escapade, and I find many people look at me with a sort of polite horror, not unlike wiping dog crap across a white carpet with your shoe.
People seem so freaked out about it, I start to wonder if I should just shut up about it.
Don’t wanna spoil their buzz, after all.
And then I start to feel like I am just getting all dramatic and making shit up, cuz explaining it to the non-cancerous civilians, well, it can all start to sound a bit dramatic and even I think I am full of crap.
It’s all very weird.

I am very grateful that these other gals who went through the OVCA nightmare are out there, blogging and keeping it real.
There is some sort of validation I get from that that I don’t get other places.
And I have this feeling that we are doing this very interesting thing to the whole experience of cancer, us OVCA bloggers.
Mark my words, folks… this is about a type of patient empowerment and I think it matters a lot.

So, thanks, gals.
You make the strange trip a whole lot easier.

 Posted by at 10:06 pm

  7 Responses to “A word of appreciation for my eyelashes”

  1. Well think folks squirm at emotional vulnerability pretty much any time….moreso with Da Big C though, most likely.

    Whatever. Not an issue for a lot of us. However, that look of pain and confusion on my face as you tell me about stuff most liikely indicates the need for a cookie.

  2. I know that look of polite horror. I often just ignore it, but sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t. Maybe I should just shut up sometimes. Especially when I realize that I am talking about my REPRODUCTIVE organs and and the surgery which was done to remove them and the fact that I have hot flashes and slap stickers of estrogen on my body to combat them. It also doesn’t help that most the people in my life are men and they get ooged out by girly stuff at the best of times.

    I love the ovca bloggers. I read what is written and nod my head with agreement every time. I agree that this is patient empowerment. Ovca isn’t easy to talk about, but I feel as though all of us help break down that reluctance to talk about it. And that is good.

  3. Apparently there is an article about cancer bloggers in the latest issue of CURE (do you get this in Canada?). I haven’t read it yet, but it should be interesting.

  4. Hey Cancerbaby,

    I don’t know if we have CURE magazine here. I’ll have to check that out.
    I have been thinking for a while that it would be a great thesis to write, the impact of blogging on cancer patients.
    I think we are much more well informed that patients even 5 years ago.
    And that can only be something that ultimately helps.

  5. Hi,
    I just read your blog for the first time tonight after having it finally occur to me that there are probably ovarian cancer bloggers out there. (Thank you CURE mag.)(I’m normally only a knitting blog junkie.)
    I had my 4th chemo today (wow, I’m looking forward to this weekend) and I have to say your phrase of the “thigh slappin’ good times” you had last year just made me burst out laughing – nothing beats a good dose of sarcasm. It felt very good to laugh about chemo time.
    And I already know what you mean about the strange reactions you get from some people when you have a hankering to ramble about your experience – as much as people know cancer is a life-threatening disease and chemo is not a picnic, a lot of people just don’t understand how it effects you so profoundly-physically and emotionally. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had two people stop me and ask if I was having chemo and tell me they were cancer surviors and to hang in. Having those people approach me and giving me their support was really winderful because you know they’ve been there. I have some wonderful supportive friends and another great group of friends/aquaintances/some close to strangers (people from my daughters’ school and 4-H group) that bring us meals (they were bringing them twice a week but now I’ve limited to them to just the week of chemo, I was feeling wierd about when I usually do feel up to fixing dinner for at least 2 of my 3 week schedule)…I’m rambling, sorry, but I think cancer patients/survivors are the only ones that can really look you in the eye and know what you’re going through.
    I look forward to reading back in your blog; I hope there are other funny bits in it as well as all the low/rough bits. Best wishes for a healthy future and enjoy those lovely new lashes. Martha

  6. And now I just looked and it seems CURE magazine is free and looks good, but they don’t seem to have a paid subscription option for those of us who aren’t rezzies of the United Snakes of America.

    That’s a drag.
    Now I want to read this article on cancer bloggers.

    Damn.
    I mean, sure, we can all get married here, but where the hell is my free cancer magazine?
    I paid my dues!

  7. Yep, the internet has changed the cancer experience in massive ways. I didn’t even have a computer until Robyn was 5 years post treatment. The moms I know now who have a boy with leukemia have such different….not necessarily support…but channels of knowledge, information, communication, and yes, support available to them. I had all the support I needed in the 3 dimensional world, but it would have been so helpful to have been able to share the journey with others in our shoes.

    No room for envy but I’m sure glad it’s here now…..and it is a great thesis topic….now how to get into grad school.

    PS: Maybe Sky can get a copy of the mag. I’l look into it.

    Susan – always willing to talk about cancer for some reason

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