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View Diary: Monday Night Cancer Club: On "Grounding" (for Earth Day) (47 comments)

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  •  Grounding is what happens (7+ / 0-)

    when you don't have enough airspeed to transition to flight, and the plane doesn't quite make it into the sky.  :-P

    I would agree with you on the camping aspect...my "happy place" is a little scout camp on Lake Rossignol in Nova Scotia..a place I've not seen in almost 15 years now.  

    I shed many a tear after I was first diagnosed - I wondered if I would ever see it again.  (Looks like I might make it back now.)

    But on my road to recovery, I've got a question for you all.  What say you about "survivor's guilt"?  I read the story today about the lead singer from the Divinyls...she was only 53, not much older than me.

    I also have two friends that were diagnosed back about December.  My lady friend has breast cancer; she's already been through surgery and is doing well with her treatment.  But the guy I know at Scouts is not doing so hot; there's some concern this may take him after all.

    Why am I doing so well with this?  Why aren't my friends?  Should I feel this way, even about people I don't know?  

    I guess it's the metaphysical question.  How come I beat this, but other folks can't??

    I prefer to remain an enigma.

    by TriSec on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:34:37 PM PDT

    •  ooooh, I didn't think of that one~! (9+ / 0-)

      The diary might have taken an entirely different shape had I done so.

      I understand that Nova Scotia is divine. My husband's best man has property there and spends as much of the summer there as possible. Since he's a school superintendent, that means a few weeks every year. I hope that we will have a chance to visit him there some time. And I hope that you get to return to your happy place even sooner than that.

      The question about survivors' guilt is an excellent one. I think it deserves its own diary--by you, or by anyone else who is inclined to weigh in.

      It's particularly intense, in my experience, when the person you know has the same type (and stage and grade) of cancer. That was sort of my experience with the Kossack alliedoc, who unfortunately had a recurrence of endometrial cancer almost five years after her original diagnosis. The first time around, the stage was so early that her oncologist advised her that no other treatment besides surgery was necessary. Lo and behold, the cancer roared back and then she was gone within a year of its reappearance.

      Closer to home, I had a choir friend who had a recurrence of endometrial cancer when I was first diagnosed myself. There was something about her, all along, that did not bode well for her long-term survival. I don't know exactly what I was picking up, but I know I wasn't alone in that assessment. (It wasn't merely the "looks healthy" BS; something less tangible.) And indeed, she did die about a year after her own recurrence.

      There are several MNCCers who've had the experience of going through clinical trials and remaining as the last person standing. They might have some additional insights to share.

      But eventually where I've come down is to say to myself that just as cancer is a condition that emerges from within each of us, from the malfunction of our own cells, the trajectory that the condition takes in each of us is as distinctive as we are. Yes, it is possible to aggregate statistics of response and survival, but in the end we are each unique.

      If we knew the answer as to why, we'd be a lot closer to effective treatment.

      May your friends, and you, do better than anyone expects for a long time to come.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:53:11 PM PDT

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    •  The husband of a friend screamed at (9+ / 0-)

      me years ago when her cancer returned. I did not know I was the only one aside from him who knew, and he was in such agony he cussed me out over the phone for half an hour. I never told her and I don't think he did either. I felt brutalized but I also understood. It's true; not everyone is a "f--king miracle!" Life just is. Some people get all possible treatment, the latest and best, and still die. Others, like me, haven't a chance, multiple doctors say less than a year, and twenty-five years pass. Right now, with one friend, I'm learning about faith. He's sure he's going to live. He was diagnosed a little over two weeks ago with brain cancer, stage IV. He had his 10th radiation treatment today. It's in his brain, his adenoids, his liver, his lungs, and his vocal cords are paralyzed. But until he decides otherwise, I'm ignoring all fact and rationale, and believing he'll make it too.

      Forget the guilt. Just remember this: time is maleable. We need to rush to accomplish wonders in this life. Despite this, we must take time to be considerate, give our hearts  - we have all the time in the world to improve relationships. We have no time for those not worthy. During those times of guilt, take the time to give some of your heart away; the guilt will go away too.

      "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

      by cv lurking gf on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:08:51 PM PDT

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      •  Powerful and direct response, cv l gf. (7+ / 0-)

        Thank you for answering from your heart.
        I agree with you: until your friend decides otherwise, then you believe, too. I hope he defeats all odds.
        And also:

        We have no time for those not worthy. During those times of guilt, take the time to give some of your heart away; the guilt will go away too.
        Beautiful.

        Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:23:32 PM PDT

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    •  Oh, I think cancer is a crap shoot. (7+ / 0-)

      I see women who are 4 time survivors at Gilda's Club and I'm sure they thought they beat it every time.

      I remember one woman replying quite snottily to my treatment plan by saying "she did everything she could to treat her cancer because she wanted to live".

      Side effects of her treatment were what killed her.

      Some women I meet had no cancer for 20 years after their initial round and then it came back with a vengenge. Some were given 2 weeks to live and it's been 10 years since then.

      Who knows? My stats are that a certain percent of women survive for 5 years or more cancer free, a certain percent live less than 5 years after diagnosis and a certain percent die from unrelated causes.

      I like to think that those unrelated causes are from being hit by a bus and I am just grateful I live in a town whose public transportation sucks.

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:09:52 PM PDT

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