Thursday, May 27, 2010

My life is brilliant

One reason I thought long and hard before writing my last post is because, well, it’s more personal than I generally like to get about things. But then, as is usually my way, I thought “Oh, fuck it”, and also thought of the greater good. Where sometimes I just figure that there are things that need to be said, because putting them out there will have some benefit to others. Such as –

1. The BC women out there who think it’s just them going through this stuff, that it’s atypical or freakish. And our doctors aren’t much help in this regard. Ask them about one of these side effects that gee, almost all of us seem to have, and they just shrug their shoulders and give you a wry grin, as if to say “Umm, sorry, not really my area of expertise.” In spite of being oncologists. Because again, they don’t know how any of these treatments affect the younger crowd.

2. The women going through this shit, who want to be better understood, who want this information out there, so that the people we love get what we’re dealing with, even after “active” treatment is over. So they don’t think we’ll have our surgery and be done and be off shopping at Target on the way home. Because it doesn’t end – cancer is the “gift” that keeps giving.

3. The friends and family of those going through this shit, to help them better understand what the deal is and for them to get a better grasp on the reality of breast cancer. Because most of us have no clue until it’s entered our lives, which I’d say is pretty normal. We all have the things that are important to us or central to our lives in some way, that we know more about than most other people do.

I was thinking about this the other day when I was talking to Motya, and I mentioned to her that Kelly Preston was my hero, for getting pregnant at the age of 47, which gave me hope for my own Miracle Baby in the future. And Motya went off on these celebrities who keep hidden the fact that many of them use donor eggs, and so they perpetuate this myth that it’s soo easy to get pregnant in your 40s, thus giving people false hope. At which point I decided I no longer liked Kelly Preston.

Then Motya mentioned that at least my people had cool spokeswomen, like Christina Applegate. At which point *I* went off on my own tirade, against Christina for going on interviews after her treatment and proclaiming “I’m 100% cured, I know I won’t die of breast cancer” blah blah blah. Again, perpetuating myths that are harmful.

Harmful how? Well, when I was first diagnosed, I of course went through all the typical stuff – “Oh my god, I’m going to die, I can’t die, my house is too messy, oh my god I’m going to die.” In other words, the usual.

But then after a few weeks, I started to feel a little…embarrassed. For making such a big deal out of all this. For letting everyone else make such a big deal out of it. I mean, they’d just remove the lump and that would be it, right? That’s how it works these days, yes?

Obviously not. And I don’t think the groups or organizations or people who promote those lies are doing anyone any favors.

But while I’m glad I wrote it, because I do think it had the intended effect, I have to say that I’m the one who really benefited the most. Because so many people responded either on my blog, on Facebook, etc., that it brought me to tears, just thinking about the goodness of the people I’ve been lucky enough to have around me. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I truly have the most amazing people in my life, that I’m fortunate to call friends. And what’s also amazing is that while I have “real-life” friends like Stacey and Kristen and others, as well as newer friends I’ve made because of the Big C like Tracey and Tammy, there are just as many who I’ve actually never met in person. Yet I feel like I know them - George, Noreen, Kim, Molly*, Rita, Gisela, too many others to name – and I consider them also among my dearest of friends. And in this respect, in spite of my crappy Schleprockian existence, I can honestly say that I am….blessed. That’s the only way to put it.

So even though I’m balding, broke, fat and surly, I always remember the one essential truth, that life is good. Living is good. Being alive… good.

I’m reminded of that every day, and I have my friends to thank for it. Would that everyone were as rich as I am.

*Oops, I actually did meet Molly, at IronSpud. See, that's called Tamoxibrain, for which the motto should be "never failing to help you make a total ass out of yourself. " It's truly a pink gift.


Molly said...

Hey, hey! We've met! *sniff* I guess that lunch at the pizza parlor in Coeur D'Alene meant nothing to you....

LOL :-)

Kim said...

I appreciate you bring honesty and reality to this crappy cancer diagnosis. The only good thing that came out of the cancer card that I was dealt is that I can call beautiful and amazing women like you my friend. That has made my life very 'rich'. But of course the unwise want us to run around town boasting that I am lucky to have had cancer and I am the cure (which I am not because we all know Kona is the cure). Love you Tasha, the Triathlon Goddess!

JoJo said...

You said it life is brilliant. It may not be perfect, and it may not be ideal, but it's my life and I am living it to the fullest. You're doing the same and I'm lucky to be a little part of it. I knew there was a reason we connected. Well, besides the obvious...that triathlon goddesses are drawn together!! ;-)

From said...

Tasha, this is the first time I've logged on to your blog in close to a year. Maybe you remember me from Slowtwitch (Dupee TriClub?)... my husband is the one who used to play hockey at Johnny's Icehouse, too (he's since ruptured both hamstrings and on hiatus 'til Fall, if not indefinitely). Anyway, I am sitting here laughing my ass off and getting choked up at the same time (and not just because the Hawks won The Cup!). I admire your courage, your humor, your snarkiness (sp?)- all of it. It's inspiring and clearly what gets you through, along with your wonderful friends. All I want to know is: when are you going to write a book??!