Death and Denial

As I had expected round eight of Taxol had me in the bed most of the weekend with horrible pain in my legs.  After a while I just get tired of watching Netflix.  It’s then that I turn to my iPad  to see what’s going on with my fellow bloggers.  Their posts bring a break from my boredom.  Leave it to me to come across the post that takes me to the place I try not to go.  It was titled Death and Denial on the Cancer Ward:  Refusing to accept reality can be shattering to family.  Here’s the link,  http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/14/death-and-denial-on-the-cancer-ward/

It was disturbing to me as a mother.  Initially when I was told I had stage 4 breast cancer I thought I was on my death bed.  My local thrift store benefitted greatly from my despair.  I went through my closet and got rid of almost everything.  It’s practically empty now.  My thought was, how hard would it be for my family to have to go through my things and get rid of them.  I couldn’t imagine, so I did it myself.  I cleaned out my kitchen, all those cute little Tupperware molds that my husband would have no use for are now gone.  The little useless nick nacks that I had sitting around are also gone.  It was a devastating time for me.  The shock of a stage 4 diagnosis is crippling.

Once my treatment began and I had spoken to other women who where living with stage 4 breast cancer my attitude changed.  I realized this cancer wasn’t going to kill me immediately.  It’s true, I will probably die from breast cancer and maybe I won’t live to see 50.  But for now I am living and I feel good.

I was honest with my children from the start.  I told them I had stage 4 breast cancer and that they say it’s treatable but not curable.  My youngest, T.J. is 10.  He has type 1 diabetes and takes insulin daily.  I told him my cancer was in a way like his diabetes, I would always be on some type of treatment for it. Now I wonder if that was the wrong thing to say.  It’s hard to think about dying and leaving your loved ones behind.  I’m 39 and I can’t imagine how hard it would have been to go through my twenties without having my mother around.  I have noticed myself trying to make my little one more self sufficient.  I have always been so overprotective.  Last year if he would have asked to walk  to his friends house alone I would have said no.  Friday I said yes, but call me when you get there.  I guess in the back of my mind there is the thought that maybe I won’t be there to protect him and maybe it’s time I let him be more independent.  It’s so hard to think that way!

My Javiee and I had a discussion about this last night.  He hates to see me cry.  Last night we cried together.  He can’t fathom the idea of me not being here.  He says he has faith that God will get us through this and give us our time together.  As for me, I have faith, too.  I have been through a lot in my 39 years and now I am truly happy.  My life is good! I feel so good!  I’m going with that!  If there comes a time when things are looking bleak I will be honest with my children.  In the meantime, I will treasure my days with them and work on making them independent individuals.  I guess that’s what we should all be doing anyway.

 
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7 thoughts on “Death and Denial

  1. Tammy, you are amazing. You are facing so much and you still shine so beautifully. I treasure your days with your beautiful Javiee and I celebrate the joy you bring in to this world. I am with you on the good days and the tough ones, yet you are so strong on your own. I understand that you and Javiee can cry together, yet at the same time know you are both filled with so much love.

    • Susan, Thank you so much for your support! It means so much to Javiee and I! You are like family to us! Even though we haven’t met, we just love you! Your words always bring us comfort! Thank you!

  2. Cancer is treated as a chronic illness in many cases.. The quality of life is good .. Why spoil it with fears of the future… Live every day and enjoy.. I think you are doing the best thing for your family…

  3. Hi Tammy. I finally got the courage to read your blog a few days ago. It is beautiful and you are amazing. When you subscribed to my blog when I was diagnosed I couldn’t do the same for you when I saw you were stage 4. Everything was too raw. I know I am so lucky to have been caught early and I wish I had a magic wand for you. Sending you lots of love from the other side of the world.

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