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Anger and Denial Pretty Much Sums It Up

September 13, 2010

My friend, Cam, was the last person I had to tell that I had breast cancer. I finally let her know on Friday. By e-mail. I know. That ain’t right. But you know what? Sometimes I need to tell it in my own way. In a way that lets somebody have their reaction to themselves and then edit it for me.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering how good of friends Cam and I are that I got diagnosed with cancer at the end of January, and here it is, the beginning of September – without her knowing.

Cam and I are good friends. Great, deep friends. I love Cam. It’s just that Cam’s got two small boys (who are the cutest boys, ever) and she works full time plus (she’s in commercial real estate, doing what I used to do. I know exactly how busy she is), and this is where our friendship is at this point in time. We were closer before kids and when my kids were little, but then, well, you know how it goes. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. It is what it is. (Hi Cam! That is my quote for just about everything these days.)

The reason it was so difficult for me to tell Cam about my breast cancer is because I watched Cam go through the loss of her best friend to breast cancer, back in the day when I hardly knew what breast cancer even was. And Cam’s best friend and cousin, Amy, had a hellacious battle with cancer. Amy didn’t get cancer-lite, which I sometimes refer to  my breast cancer – on my better days. Amy had to put on full armor from the minute she was diagnosed. And she had Cam right at her side.

She was so at Amy’s side that I didn’t want Cam to go through that again. I remember some of Amy’s battle details that Cam told me about. Broke my damn heart. Fucking cancer. I wanted to wait until I was “better” before I let her know about my cancer. After the fact.

But then somebody wanted me to be their Linked In linkee pal, and I did. (Even though The Big Nugget says I have no business having a Linked In account because I have no professional linkage) But then Cam’s name popped up. How, I don’t know. It just did. So I sent her a quick e-mail saying hello. Which got me an e-mail back. And then it all went downhill from there, for poor Cam.

Sorry Cam. I didn’t want to tell you I had breast cancer. But, it is what it is so I did what I did.

We’ll have lunch. Soon. But I’m glad that Cam didn’t wait for our lunch before she gave me a call this weekend. Because it was awesome to talk to her and let her know that I’m okay, mostly  just bald, and partially feeling sorry for myself.

I  wish I weren’t starting to feel weird about running into  my childhood friend, Lauri, on Saturday. And then telling the last friend that I needed to tell about my cancer.

Makes me feel like I’ve come full circle and now it’s okay for me to die.

That would just piss me off if this was some sort of precognitive shit going on.

And this, my friends, is what cancer does to you. It fucks you up, dangling an early death over your head.

Cam asked me if I was scared. You know what? Cam is the first person who asked me that. I think. And I told her that I wasn’t scared. Because mostly, I’m not. But I left out the part where I sometimes get scared that cancer might kill me. And then I get over my fear because I get pissed off that cancer might kill me. And being angry trumps being scared every time for me. Which is why I’m a whole lot of pissed off about this stupid cancer.

I’ve been so busy trying to schlepp through so much of this crap – the finding of  the first lump, the needle biopsy, the diagnosis phone call, the bilateral mastectomy (fuck! I had my breasts removed. do you know how fucking huge that is?), going to an oncology office, getting chemo, losing my hair, having my intestines turn on me, dealing with my older child’s issues (if only I could share, you’d wonder how I’m still walking and talking today), lymphedema, hair that seems to never be coming back…

…and I still call this Cancer Lite.

Denial. It’s a grand thing.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Fran permalink
    September 13, 2010 10:46 am

    It’s fuckin’ cancer…fucks you in a new way…everyday!

  2. September 13, 2010 10:59 am

    I didn’t tell most people until after I finished radiation, which was a couple of months after I finished chemo…

    And mine was “lite-er” than yours. I still have Waist and Knee. (At my age they sag a bit, but they don’t match any more…)

    I knew that it happened, I had good family support, and I knew I was going to get better. I knew that I would write about it, but not during it. There are at least four posts at the end of 2004 and the beginning of 2005, but I am indeed better. Five years better.

    I have hair, but it’s just as bad as it was before the chemo. I didn’t inherit the cancer from my mother, but the hair is another story.

  3. September 13, 2010 11:44 am

    Fucking cancer, indeed! I’m so amazed at how much you’ve been through in the last year or two. Even half of that would have laid me low for years, for sure. You’re an amazing woman, Kathy.

  4. Floweer permalink
    September 14, 2010 9:24 am

    Cancer stinks. You have chosen to address it – name it – challenge it – and move through it. Such courage. And grace. Your honesty is great. I am there for you. Can’t wait for more beading classes – and laughter!!!!!!!!

  5. Leslie permalink
    September 15, 2010 1:37 pm

    Somewhere, someplace out there in the continuum of time, there is some kind of amazing and wondrous and h-u-g-e reward just waiting for you. Seriously.

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