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Catching up on your love notes

11:16pm. March 31st 2014. About to read a few pages of Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips in bed before dozing off. 

How I’m feeling: Happy after my first day out and about with a friend in 3 weeks. It was also nice to have done some “non-cancer patient” stuff. You know, go shopping, eat lunch and talk about stuff other than the Big “C”. 

Last night, I was having a really rough moment. I think the fact that I have cancer is only now starting to sink in. Over the past few days, I’ve had my first experiences telling complete strangers that I have cancer when running some errands to accommodate this new chapter of mine: pharmacists, my optometrist and wig makers and fitters. I don’t quite know how to tell people. In fact, I think I’ve been saying something like “So….I’ve recently started chemotherapy” It’s been very interesting to hear and feel how others are responding to it. Even (or especially?) complete strangers. I’m also feeling my energy level taking a little bit of a toll. My body and mind is definitely not letting me forget that I have cancer and that I need to focus on my treatment plan.

To try to lift my spirits, I brought out the cards I had received over the past few weeks, spread them out on the floor and read them one by one. Here’s my Leia right by my side laying on top of some of the piles of info sheets I have to go through tonight before I head to bed. I love her so much.

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I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to visit me at the hospital, stayed with me and held my hand, let my tears soak your shoulder and chest, gave me wicked massages, kept me company through the night in-person, helped me go to the washroom, change my clothes and bathe, talked me through my toughest and darkest moments on the phone, email, Facebook and via text message. Often (when I was allowed to), I would turn to my Nexus 5 as a painful procedure was being done on me to help me shift my focus away from it. Thanks for being there through the bloody and painful biopsies, the moments my breathing airway would close up to just a few millimetres, the dozens upon dozens of times I was poked with needles, the infections and bruises I got as a result, and my mental and emotional breakdowns.

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  • 39 of you swung by the hospital (and some of you tracked me down hard because after all the room changes, I myself didn’t even know which room I was in. You ninjas!)
  • 26 of you texted me
  • 11 of you emailed me
  • 16 bouquets of flowers delivered my way
  • Countless things shipped and brought over to make me smile and help me be a little more comfortable
  • And hundreds of you posted on my Facebook wall and sent me Facebook personal messages

I will never ever forget how each of you impacted me through this beginning of this chapter of mine. Some of you came from afar and were whom I haven’t seen or spoken to in years – some as far as 23 years ago. Some of you opened your heart and have felt compelled and inspired to tell me how you’ve always felt about me and about life. I can’t be more touched to have inspired you to do so. While I am still catching up with responding to each and every one of you, I can tell you that I have read, listened and have absorbed all of the positive vibes, encouraging messages and and loving support you all have given me. I have no idea how I’m going to get through this, but I have faith in the fact that with your help – I know I can find my way.

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If you know me well, you’ll know that I’ve never had an issue committing to anything even while knowing that things are bound to get messy, painful, exhausting and unbearable – but I’ll always fight tooth and nail to get to great.

The difference here is that I didn’t have the choice to commit to this in the first place. I didn’t CHOOSE to have cancer. Not me. Not ever. I’m an energetic, healthy, giggly, active, professional, dorky, downtown dwelling woman in my late 20s. I don’t understand how and where cancer fits in to that. WHAT. THE. F#$!

I’m trying to find peace in the fact that there is nothing I could do and can do to make this go away right now. Really trying. Really hard. Every single day.

While I have no control of being in this situation I’m in right now, I believe that seeing the opportunity in things – is choice. As most things are. So, I’ve decided to claim some control from where I can – right now – and look at this #$%@ing, unpredictable, uncomfortable, cancerous ride as an opportunity. This has already begun to change me tremendously. I can feel it run through my veins right alongside the chemo medicine. And as I spend more time with my most loved ones after this situation entered my life – I’m noticing it is beginning to change them as well.

3 replies »

  1. Twitter brought us and many others together years ago and here we are now, Facebook friends, sharing in each others good times and bad times. You you have an army behind you, in front of you and beside you and that army will help to get you through this. Sending you tons and tons of love and good vibes. -Sandy

  2. Carolyn, allowing us the gift of sharing your journey just confirms for me what I already knew: you have a spectacular heart and are truly, truly, an amazing woman. Love flows to you from everywhere.

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