Help Needed, Please Don’t Apply

I have been putting off this post, well, actually, I’ve written it out a few different times and in a few different ways and it never sounded right, never felt right. I have finally just decided it’s never going to sound or feel right.

I started chemo again, after a very long and complicated break, with much thanks and some amazing wonderful people, I was able to get into the right program (I’m unisured, remember) and start my chemo again.  And, damn, if it didn’t just kick my ass and throw me down.  It was horrible and tomorrow, I go again.  I can’t even tell you how much I am dreading it.  Each time, I think I’m ready for the drugs, that I am prepared, I’m not.

Sadly, I wish, the drugs were my only obstacle.  The reason, I have not shared or been open.  I have been hiding.  Hiding my shame, my anger and my bitter disappointment.  In myself.  Shame, that I’m not coping well with this last round of chemo, anger that my body, the meds are destroying everything.  Hiding while I try to figure who I am, what I am doing.  Disappointment is a funny thing, it becomes harsher as it’s directed at ourselves and our internal voices perceive it so largely the negative vibes can no longer be shaken off.

I never wanted to be consumed by my treatments, have my health and medical take the drivers seat in my life, yet, that is exactly what happened.  I realize that I am lucky, that this won’t last forever… In fact, I have one last treatment of the Red Devil and then I switch treatments and will be done with chemo mid-November!! Woot, rite?

Yes, that is a good thing. Only, I am struggling.  Struggling with what the drugs are doing to me, the ironies of the medicine that is supposed to be healing me, is slowly eating away at my mind, stealing what health my body had and is carving into the person that I am and turning me into someone I don’t know.   I don’t know who I am anymore.

The Chair

That is more frightening to me then the Cancer ever was.  It’s not about having “Chemo Brain” and forgetting milk at the store or lunch with a friend, it’s not about throwing up in the nearest trash can on 6th Ave or Central Park or in the Subway station ( actually, not as bad as it sounds, NY has lots of trash cans), it’s not even the fact that I “forget”to temper my tongue and speak my mind before I filter it.  I struggle with everyday things, with what my body tells me versus what my mind wants to do.  I can no longer tell what is the drugs and what is me.  I fight with myself constantly, pushing harder and then giving in. Tamping down feelings and temper tantrums, only to have a single outburst over a silly thing and crying jags.

It’s a lot, I’m going through a lot.  My mind acknowledges this.  My body hates it.  I despise it.  There is a lot of confusion in my head and a lot of screaming (as one’s inner voice can only do)!! There is no shame in my weakness, yet I am overwhelmed with it.  I turn down offers of help, not because I don’t appreciate them but because I don’t know what to do with them, I don’t know how to ask for what I am looking for… I don’t know!! Yea, that’s a lot of I don’t knows coz guess what… I don’t know and that is agonizing for me.

It is no longer enough to talk with my friends, to turn to twitter for amusement and cheering up.  I feel myself withdrawing, spending more time in my head and that is not a good thing.  I am spinning in this never ending tilt-a-whirl that is full of sickness and confusion.

Now, before, y’all get your knickers in a bunch and start in on me… I have already come to the conclusion that it’s time for help.  I’m crazy and while I occasionally do stupid things, I’m not dumb.  I, also, know it’s going to take some time to get my groove back and become balanced. That forevermore, my life is changed and change is good.  Even though currently, the changes are bleak and dismal.

I don’t know what is going to happen over the next few days, since I have chemo in the morning and I’m ok with that I’m well stocked in Jello and sprite (Both of which, I really, really don’t like) Hmmmm, I wonder if I could find someone to make me some Jello Jigglers maybe that would make it more palatable!!

Soo much fun!!

 

28 Replies to “Help Needed, Please Don’t Apply”

  1. My darling girl,

    I am proud of you for writing this. If you ever want to talk, you know how to reach me – heck, I could read a book to you over Skype if it would help you relax. Seriously.

    Anything we can do – we’ll do. You’ll get through this if you only stop being so hard on yourself.

    1. Thanks, M!! I’m a Mind over Matter kinda girl and rite now, my mind is kinda bonkers trying to figure out what matters and what is the drugs skewing all that 😉 It’ll sort out!!

  2. You have so much courage and still a wonderful sense of humor! Talking is good so let’s connect via Skype or G+ whenever you need my friend.

  3. Hey, thanks for sharing this- I’m thinking about you, and sending the best healing vibes I can muster. And yes, we’re here for you – that’s why we call SOBCon a family. 🙂

    Many blessings, and all the best,
    Terry

  4. Brandie, there so many people who care about you, and when you forget something, they’ll be there to help you remember. I have a college roommate who had chemo for breast cancer, and for a while she was calling me her “college memories.” Cute – but she was terrified. (She has also regained most of those memories.) I don’t know that those of us who haven’t gone through chemo can really imagine, but I do know that the first step is reaching out, and you’ve done that, and there will be lots of people there. We’ll even do a GPS map for garbage pails all over NYC if that will help.

    1. Lol!! Aww, thanks, Linda!! I am quite grateful there are tons of trash cans all over, xcept in Harlem, not so many there!! Luckily, I don’t need to go out much. I can’t wait for you to be back in town so we can have coffee or tea!!

  5. This is truly one of the most moving, brave things I’ve read in a long time.

    First things first, I live out on LI but I’m in Brooklyn and NYC all the time, if I can ever pick up some Jello for you I’m at your service – 516-882-7712. I have no idea how to make jigglers but I bet my wife or daughter could teach me. Happy to deliver.

    Second & more important, people are made to lean and be leaned on. If you’re anything like a lot of us you probably prefer to be the one who is strong for others to lean on. I’m so impressed that you’ve reached out like this by writing, please always reach out to someone or everyone and fight the urges to withdraw. Lean on someone, it’s ok.

    You’ve been an inspiration to me today by sharing your struggle. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Jeff!! We should grab coffee when you are in town sometime!! I’m sure your family does know how to make jigglers and if they don’t let me know, they are awesome and so much fun!! Especially around the holidays!

  6. Brandie – Can understand what you’re going through, since I’ve seen this in my family. I’d also say that its very brave of you to write this out and we’re all here are wishing the best for you.
    Not sure what I can do from India, but if there’s something where I can be of help from here, remember, am always there for you!!

    Cheers to the bravest girl I have ever known!!

  7. Brandie, thinking of you we miss you. Appreciate your transparent sharing thanks for sharing the journey with us. Will pray for you let me know when/if you think of something else. Be well friend.
    Joe

  8. When my Mom passed away a few years ago, I got the job of calling assorted family and friends to tell them. It was bad enough to say my Mom had died–to say it over and over was horrible.

    I deliberately delayed calling a good friend who had already lost both her parents. She asked what she could do. I don’t think she expected my request: “Tell me what to expect. Don’t sugar coat it.”

    She gave me the best advice possible, under the circumstances. “It’s going to be hell,” she said. “But you just have to live through it and eventually it gets easier.”

    Or, in the words of Winston Churchill, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

    The same advice served me well last year when my Dad was ill. He recovered, but it was hell, and there were days I couldn’t make my brain focus on anything else.

    I offer the same advice to you: Keep going! We’re all so glad you’re nearing the end of chemo. Hang in there! There will be a day when this is over.

  9. Brandie,

    You are the bravest person I know. Sharing this took so much courage. Lean on your friends know that whatever you need to say or are thinking about is OK, share it. You are loved!

    I wish I could come to New York and give you a BIG hug:)
    I am here to listen and talk ~ ANYTIME!

    xo Kelly

  10. Please know I am thinking about you and cheering for you. I know from experience when needing help, that it is not always easy to ask for help. I would be happy to do something- even if it is keeping you company, doing an errand for you, whatever…but for now I will search for jello jiggler recipes. What about them don’t you like- the texture or flavor or?

    Hugs,
    Beth

  11. You are such an amazing person. So brave, strong and so open. I cannot even begin to imagine what you are truly feeling right now; yet amid it all you have written this amazing post sharing so much with us. I wish there were more that I could do; that we all could do. Saying we are here for you doesn’t begin to do justice to the words you have shared, to the fight you are fighting or to the pain you are experiencing. I know this much though; within this space – both online and IRL you are incredibly loved by many….by so many. Never, ever forget that. We are all here – thinking about you, sending you positive thoughts and wishing you continued strength to fight the Cancer and to win. There is no doubt about it – you are surrounded by people who are here for you every step of the way. Take as long as you need to get your balance back. None of us are going anywhere. Hugs and everything else good to you my friend. Thank you for being the incredible person that you are.

  12. My heart is SO heavy Brandie. When I was in NYC I didn’t know what to say, if I should even broach the subject. I wanted to chat and spend time with you, but we were going here and there and I never found the time and for that I’m sorry. I know there’s nothing I can physically do from MN, but I will be praying for you. I know how hard it would be for me to admit to needing help so I empathize with how hard it must’ve been for you to write this post. If there’s anything tangible I can ever do we can skype or tweet, whatever you need right at that moment. You need to verbally vomit how your feeling and thinking, I’m just a call or message away. You need to physically vomit, I’m ok with that, too. I’m a mom of 4 and I’m willing to hold our puke bucket for you! Anything, Brandie…anything!

  13. Wow… so this explains a lot. Perhaps in the future you need not be so brave and share a bit more. I am not back in the city until the week of the 17th, but please reach out anytime and let me know if there is anything I can do.

    You have the heart of a lion and the soul of a saint Brandie…

    “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

  14. Brandie – Brave and moving writing.
    It is so great to see so many rallying around you.
    I am here and thinking about you and sending good vibes.and sending good karma. (Do you feel the karma – I am concentrating very hard.)

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