I can’t believe it

Posted on May 20th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

When there is a lull in treatment, when there are no tests or procedures for a time, it is easy to sit in amazement and think, “I can’t believe I have cancer! This cannot be real!” I have, on occasion, made the passing comment to Elizabeth, “I can’t believe this is actually happening”.

I guess it is more of an issue when I am feeling okay and have no physical pains to remind me, but overall, it is still very easy to disbelieve the reality of what is going on.

Maybe it would be easier if there were a direct connection with a cause, like smoking and lung cancer, where I could rationalise using cause and effect reasoning – then it maybe easier to accept the reality of the situation. But with no known reason for all this going on, it does make it hard. I suppose it is similar to some tragic accidents where a bad set of circumstances results in great loss. It may be able to be explained technically, but rationally it still is hard to accept.

So the question of “Why me?” goes hand in hand with the question “Why not me?” as there seems no way to justify either of them. I know that I don’t want it to be me, and I don’t want it to be anyone. I have had enough for a time. It is just as well because I have only maintenance therapy scheduled for the next 12 months in the form of a tablet. I think I can handle that.

I am going to try and not think about the future treatments. They are more difficult than the one I have just been through, carry more risk, and are less successful. It is one of those situations that I guess we have all been through where you have to get through something that you just hate. You would do anything to get out of it, but you know you have to do it. It is just soul destroying at that time.

I know that when they tell me it is time for the next batch of treatment it will be an appropriate time for my weeping. Not just for the discomfort and the risks, but also for the toll it takes on those around me who get me through. I dislike watching this as much as they dislike watching me go through what I go through. I hope it never comes to this. I really do.

7 comments.

Lynne Warrington

Comment on May 20th, 2008.

Cam,
There are times when we just don’t know what to say.Sometimes it’s best to just listen than try and say anything at all.This is one of those times for me.

Love to you both
Lynne xx

Cam

Comment on May 20th, 2008.

Lynne, your response is perfect then. Thank you for your honesty, understanding and ever listening ear.

Much love back,
C

Beth

Comment on May 20th, 2008.

Reluctant to trespass after the sweet brevity of that lovely 1st message…

I am not sure that even cause and effect helps anyone grasp the reality of a situation better than a nebulous link. If someone gets lung cancer 30 years after giving up the cigs, it’s still difficult to accept the link, despite what the specialist says. If someone has an accident and breaks their back, they are left to struggle with the consequences long after the horse is sold. It is not the event but the ongoing process that is within our daily vision. Turn the telescope either far back or far forward and it seems so disconnected.

Amazing thought … Previously, how would people have known which diseases were caused by infection, cancer, malnutrition, genetic or autoimmune pathology? How many treatments were unnecessary and harmful, done in ignorance, but amplified distress? How could we have predicted or prevented sickness? Now we have the benefit of understanding the nature, management and risks of many illnesses that would have been so misunderstood before this time. We are armed with information, understanding, new technology, appropriate intervention and support which enables us to fight with positive expectations. At least we have that. And faith…

Cam and Elizabeth,
You have every reason to be fed up. You’ve fought so hard. It’s time for a big remission, I think.

PS. Mum always said not to suffer the pain of a dentist’s chair before you’re sitting in it.
(You seem to have this concept already)

Cam

Comment on May 21st, 2008.

Thanks for your insights and wisdom Beth. Funny you should mention it, I have a dental appointment this afternoon.

cmh

Renya

Comment on May 21st, 2008.

Hi Cam,

It is interesting how we always try to find the meaning of things, Why me? Why not me? At times, at the end of the day Life just is & what it dishes out sometimes just really sucks!

It has been 10 years since I almost died from Bacterial Meningitis and I still can’t believe it. Looking back though, God saved me, so many instances leading up to me eventually going to the hospital that were changed because of my faith and his guiding voice. Listening and knowing got me to that hospital and had I not gone I wouldn’t be here. Even people of another religion and faith changed circumstances that helped save me.

Sometimes the greater is that I can’t believe the circumstances that saved me rather than I can’t believe it happened.

Faith, hope & love to you both

Ren.

Toddy

Comment on May 21st, 2008.

‘Can’t believe it’… perhaps better to deny it? Perhaps not…

Re cause & effect – I think I get what you mean. When you hit your thumb with a hammer (not that you would be manually ham-fisted enough to do that!) it hurts immediately. You squeeze your thumb, shake it all about, curse the hammer, and it starts to feel better.

When something like cancer strikes, it umm… doesn’t really ‘strike’ – it just kinda sneaks up on you, with effects and treatments both slowly creeping into every aspect of your life, in the same way that the cancer seeks to silently invade your body. How do you maintain a fighting stance for so long? When it all feels normal, it’s pretty hard to make yourself believe that it’s not.

There seems to come a time (from only brief observations of a few folk) where you just need to ‘live with it’ as much as fighting it… In living with it in the quiet times, you get to rest your brain, your soul, your body; ready for the next wave of antagonism to come.

Gee – I feel like I’m competing with Ali!

Uh, what was the question?

At least the dentist made you forget your chest for 1/2 hour!!

Denial – lovely place to visitl I’d hate to live there!
:)
Toddy

sojourner

Comment on May 21st, 2008.

As you continue this journey of walking beside, may the awareness of His presence sustain and the feel of His arms wrapping around carry you through!

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