We were interviewed by CN8 on Friday. That is the cable news station. October is breast cancer awareness month. They did a piece about the cancer support organization hat has been helping us, The Breathing Room. They have been really good to us and have provided us with tickets to great adventure and movies. The aquarium and Franklin Institute as well. So CN8 asked us to discuss our experience with them. I think it airs on Monday night at 9pm, 11pm, and Tuesday at 9am. We do not have cable so let us know how it turns out.
I am so glad that Kelly wrote all those powerful thoughts down. It is very challenging to let people in during a time like this. I too have days where I feel like hiding. Away from the world that knows I am “sick”. I want to pretend that I am fine. I want to keep things to myself. But the desire to help others just wins out. You may think well how does this help others? Honestly, from the comments I think it does. I think there are so many people out there who have loved ones with cancer, I think the blog just gives a bit of insight regarding the struggle. I also have a great hope that maybe someone will have read the symptoms and know before I did that there could be a problem. So I do not mind my public cancer as much as Kelly…but it is sometimes difficult for me as well.
The thing that is really hard is the great number of me who touch me and see me naked on a regular basis. When you are healthy you are only naked in front of the people you chose to be. Not me. I am expected to take off my cloths, don a gown, and let whatever specialist, med student, technician, or janitor touch my breasts. It is part of my “care”. Sometimes it makes me cry. I did not sign up for this. I do not want to be naked in front of all these people. No less than 15 different people have touched my breasts in the last 2 weeks. And none of them are married to me or paid me for the privilege. I WANT MY BODY BACK!!! I want my privacy back. I want to be able to say “No.”
It is the theme of my life right now. I want my hair back. I want my breasts back. I want the my old body back or at least the way that it felt to walk in my skin. I want my old life back. The frustration makes me want to scream. I am about to get an operation that will last 5 hours. Everyone in the room will see me naked. Every nurse will inspect my wounds and touch me. The home care nurses as well. Then the follow up appointments. The radiation oncologists. And the list goes on. And without any end in sight. No one will ask for permission. No one will chat me up first. No one will tell me they still respect me when its over.
I feel like I used to hug people more before all of this began. Right now I am so touched out that I keep a little distance. It is a sad truth. I do not love any less. I just want to keep a small piece of myself private.
Daily I experience a new challenge, lesson, or emotion about my new diagnosis. They are never what I would have predicted. This particular makes me feel extremely powerless. Maybe more so than other things. I am not powerless over my chemo symptoms (acupuncture and prayer) I have not been powerless over my treatment. But being vulnerable in front of these strangers….totally hopelessly powerless. I wish that I was an exhibitionist and that this was no big deal. But truthfully, it kills me.
So my public cancer is not just about the blog or an interview. My public cancer occurs behind pulled curtains.