Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Who do you surround yourself with?

My hair, week 17 PFC. It will lie down nicely
now with no product in it. Also, I got my
eyebrows done!
Quick update before my philosophical thought for the day: 25 treatments down, 8 to go (3 whole breast, three "boosts" to the tumor bed only). I'm very, very red. Yes, I have all kinds of creams that are soothing. I alternate between Aquafor, 100% aloe, and a homemade salve of comfrey, lavender, and olive oil (I think) that someone gave me. They all bring temporary relief. I'm not in agony, but the patch under my arm is uncomfortable and there's some itching. There's some swearing that happens when I have to lift that arm, even with the bandage on it. However, my energy level is reasonable and I'm driving myself to appointments most days. And now for the thought for the day...

I've often said that this journey has been made easier because of the people in my life. Michael taking great care of me and the kids pitching in, various friends who visited, came to my hair funeral, drove me to appointments, chatted with me when I was lonely, or even just hit the "like" button on my posts. I have received so much support through all this, I had no choice but to face it all like a warrior.

I hear horror stories in my support groups about cancer patients whose partners/family/friends abandoned them. It makes me sad for them, but it reminds me to be grateful for what I have. I'm lucky to have grown up in an awesome family who love me and support me no matter what I do. I'm continually amazed at the encouragement I get from not only friends, but people I've never even met.

Under my arm after treatment 25. This pic
doesn't do it justice and I can't seem to capture
how red it is. That darkish batch at the top
really is that dark, and the red bit
within that is broken skin. 
But, it's not only luck. I didn't just happen into this awesome circle of people. Over the years, I have culled people from my life who are a drain on me. I can't stand those who are constantly negative, always complaining about their horrible life. So, I just don't associate with those people anymore. Sure, we all have our bad days and have reasons to complain. I certainly have complained plenty in the past few months. And if you're having a bad time and need to vent your frustrations, I hope I'm as good a friend to you as you have been to me. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the people who never have anything positive to say. Who take the pessimistic view on everything that happens. Who tell you how many people they know have died from the disease you're currently fighting. Life is just too short to live like that.

I also don't have toxic people in my life. People who make me feel bad about myself and my choices. People who don't support me. I don't expect everyone to run over here and make me breakfast or drive me to a doctor's appointment--in fact, there have been some people I hardly heard from after I announced my diagnosis, and that's OK. They couldn't deal with it or didn't know what to say, or it didn't occur to them to reach out, or whatever. I don't mind. The important thing is, I didn't have one single person tell me I got cancer because I'm a bad person, or that I deserved it, or that my treatments are all wrong, or complain that I'm not being a good friend or pulling my weight or doing enough for someone else, or a whole host of other ridiculous things I hear about from other people.

I'm blessed to have some exceptional friends, who are generous with their time and love. They are amazing and a role model to me!

I'll say it again: life is too short to be unhappy. Live joyfully, and don't keep toxic people in your life. They don't deserve you. If someone makes you unhappy or frustrated every time you talk to them, cut them off. You'll thank yourself!

I am constantly humbled by how good you all are to me. I fear I don't deserve it, but I'll take it and be grateful. If you need me, and I'm too self-involved to notice, please tell me and I'll be there for you if I can. I'm just kind of a dolt sometimes and forget to think about others, but this experience is teaching me to be a better friend.


  1. Just reading this now–and I agree wholeheartedly. You ROCK, girl! Where's that "notworthy" smiley when you need it? ;D