Catching Us Up

During the last week of April, I:

1. Saw my ex again.

2. Had the worst pain episode ever. I could barely walk or stand up straight. I was nauseated.Aleve wasn’t touching it. It was right before I was scheduled to leave for NYC, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to go. Sitting on a bus for 4 hours with THAT level of pain, was not going to happen. Luckily, it only lasted for 36 hours or so, and was gone just in time for my trip. I wasn’t wearing jeans; it happened for seemingly no reason, but it was a different kind of pain: not sharp and stabbing, but dull and pulling–which is exactly what they told me scar pain feels like. I’m completely at peace about it. It’s obvious what this is.


I just read this, and feel compelled to share:

It’s a man’s first-hand account of his wife’s death from ovarian cancer. It’s long, and not an easy read. Please, read it anyway. It’s generated a bit of controversy (at least in the comments section), due to it’s graphic and raw nature. It chronicles the ugly of dying and cancer. Of course, nobody wants to talk about that. There are actually people commenting that the piece is disrespectful to the memory of this woman…

FUCK THAT. This story of ugliness needs to be told, too. It hits so close to home, reflecting my experience with this wretched disease almost verbatim: the cancer being “everywhere”, the drug-induced psychosis, the wounds that couldn’t heal, the twisted bowels and volcanos of crap and bodily fluids, fistulas, infections, the wound packing–and subsequent screaming and begging and crying and bargaining, and the “pus-covered tapeworms” (you’d be shocked to know how unbelievably painful it is, to have cotton ribbon stuffed into small holes in your stomach, and I have a high pain threshold). Nobody wants to talk about this stuff, and that’s understandable. But then, all us cancer survivors are frustrated and lonely, because nobody understands what “cancer sucks” actually means. How could they, possibly; when all we want to remember Nicole Teague as is a beautiful, brave, gracious martyr–just like on television. True, she was all of those things, but to gloss over the ugly is to gloss over the unfathomable amount of pain and suffering that she endured. Truly, it disrespects her memory to NOT tell about the ugliness. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: what cancer patients go through, in an effort to survive, would be best described as barbaric, and that’s still putting it mildly. I read Matthew Teague’s essay, and I don’t understand how I am still alive.

Please read it. Please “go there” with me.


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