My outlook. My thoughts. My opinions. My expectations.
*Here is a majorly rambling rework of what was supposed to be my post back in June 2018, on the anniversary of my diagnosis. It's not a flowery post. And I also feel the need to express that I'm not going around all gloom and doom, pissed off and sad all the time. And I'm not all cancer all the time either.*
*Additional edit, July 2019...I can't believe I'm still re-working this stupid thing! GAWD*
*Final Additional Edit: This is coming out on the 10 year mark of my first sit down in the chemo recliner. Whatever.*
A rambling muse that's been running around in my head.
You know how sometimes an experience can change the way you think, or feel about a person, place or thing? And how, sometimes, that change lasts a long, long, looooooong time, and other times not so long? Maybe a week, or a month. A year...maybe longer?
Example: "I couldn't eat hot dogs for about 10 years after I got food poisoning from eating some when I was about 12."
Or, like the time you just weren't in the mood to do a thing because of the bad day you're having, but maybe you'll want to do the thing tomorrow, hoping it will be a better day.
Might last a day. Yeah...
I still think of my life in terms of "bc/ad" - "beforecancer / after diagnosis." And I am for sure a different person after cancer. Pretty sure not for the better. Some people claim that getting cancer turned out to be a "gift" in their life. Made them feel a deeper gratitude and stuff and they are SO much better off for having had it... This is not, nor has it ever been my feeling about having to go through all the shit that one goes through because cancer happened to you. And I'm not trying to tell anyone how to do their cancer. However you do/deal with it, it's right for you. Likewise, please don't tell me how to do or feel about my cancer.
I find it more and more difficult to be honest with some people abouthow I feel. Because, apparently, there are still those who will shame you for still being pissed off that you had cancer. Or be all annoyed because you are going through a bit of scanxiety on mammogram day. Because, you know, I'm 10 years out. I'm not supposed to think about recurrence or metastasis or have any non-flowery feelings anymore. Cause so many others have it so much worse...worse cancers even. (There are no good/better cancers out there btw...) BUT, let me remind you, again, 30% of those diagnosed with early stage breastcancer will become stage IV. Still. STILL!!! Let's not take off on that tangent.
When I first started taking my lump around to the doctors, I was assured that it's "probably nothing because the mammogram was clear, and there is no family history, and being not quite even 40 years old....probably just a fibroid."
Yeah. So I hoped for and expected the absolute best outcome when I went in for the re-check.
And that went well, didn't it?! Stage 3 infiltrating ductal carcinoma with 4 of 15 positive lymph nodes.
So yeah....my expectations of things, of results and outcomes....changed. For the worse. I get it. It does bother me. It annoys those close to me, too.
It seems that I now anticipate the worst result in everything. Not just cancer stuff. Everything. I do, however, always hope for the best. Wish for the best outcome or results in anything and everything. And at the same time, expect the absolute worst.
Cancer did not make me an all new and improved version of myself. Didn't make me stop and smell the flowers more or anything. (I'm more, stop and smell the toast burning...so...) If anything, I think it amplified everything about me. The good, the bad and the ugly.
In a recent (well, recent at the time of the first draft of this post! lol!) conversation, I was told that I have "such a pessimistic outlook". Well, sorry about that. These days...and especially these days, in our majorly fucked up world....plus all the cancer crap...yeah....I'm pretty pessimistic and pissed off in general about lots of things, while still managing to seek out fun and try to enjoy life. And yes, I do try to live in the moment...but that's a hard one for me lately.
Look, I'm pretty sure I've always had a pretty pessimistic outlook, in general. And now, probably even more so.
Lately, I don't even recognize myself in many ways...this country....this life.