Wednesday, September 16, 2009


These last seven weeks have been a very hard time. I'm practical and I really tried hard to be sensible and wise for the kids. I've been looking squarely at (and dealt with) the impending loss of my breast. I've been dealing with some really terrible pain which interferes with sleep. The tiredness makes the pain harder to deal with, and so the cat begins to chase its tail. I have been, I'm sorry to say, fearful. Miraculously, I've gone from understanding that cancer was back to hearing the words 'there is nothing in your breast' and 'whatever it is in your shoulder, it has not infiltrated your bones, so this makes metatastic breast cancer unlikely'. It's been explained to me that chronic pain is actually unfortunately not a rare side effect of chemo and radiation, although my pain is not where they would expect a problem. The doctor matter of factly tells us that palliative care is hugely important and that getting a handle on the pain is going to be the biggest priority right now.

I've driven to Pittsburgh twice this week. I will get up at 3 AM and head out on that long drive there one more time. I'm concerned about the lung thing. On the same token, is there a lung thing? What about the pelvis? I don't know anymore. This is all so confusing. I'm gladdened by the news, but afraid of the issues that haven't been addressed, and still, there is this truly awful pain in my shoulder. I find myself sitting here tonight trying to make sense of it, and I can't. I want to cry. I desperately want to cry. I think that it would help. I want to cry tears of gratitude, and relief, and frustration, and release, praising tears, cleansing tears that will wash the seven weeks of fear right out of my body.

I don't know how to feel. I don't know what to think, and worst of all, I can't cry. Who would have thought that good news would come as such a shock?


Lesley said...

Debby, If I were closer, I would come over and give you a super huge hug and let you cry on my shoulder until my shirt was dripping wet with tears and then I'd let you cry some more. I would even share in your tears with tears of my own. For all both of us have been thru and are going thru and the whole stinking journey. *HUGS*

WhiteStone said...

Crying is good. Go ahead and wail. Take as long as you need. I find that a good howl is good for the soul and for the body and for the mind.

Even Jesus wept.

Then dry your tears and get ready for your trip tomorrow.

Roxanne said...

Oh Debby, I wish I could come and hug you and help you to cry and pray with you and ride with you to Pittsburgh. You have been through so much physically and mentally. Please know I am praying hard for you tonight. Have a safe trip tomorrow. Hugs to you. xoxoxo

WhiteStone said...

Well! Just read the last line of my previous comment and it sounds a little curt! And cold! Oh, man, I could not be cold towards a good friend in time of such stress. So... what I mean is crying is good. But I know you have good strength in spite of your disavowal of such, and so in knowing that you have strength, I'm encouraging you to keep slugging it out, keep moving forward. Rest in the knowledge that God knows your steps before you take them. And He is with us all the way. Every step of the way. Bless you. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow and in prayer for you and Tim.

Anonymous said...

I love that word unlikely - may it turn into good news for you. Thinking of you constantly and sending healing thoughts and prayers your way - hope they arrive safely and help all the others. BB is away today but she will probably log on tonight no matter how late she is.
Yes, you have to get control of that pain. I have learnt to understand that. It is so easy to worry about getting 'hooked' or being thought a hypochondriac. Pain does multiply with tension if it is not properly controlled so do be guided by your doctor and your pain. You will also do your immune system that has to do the major job of looking after you a big favour, as pain inhibits it too.
It is Thursday here so have a good day there and hope you get a really good outcome.

Love and hugs Barb

A Novel Woman said...

You probably don't know what to feel or think because you don't know what you're dealing with yet. You're in a state of limbo. This too shall pass.

As for shoulder pain, I had a frozen shoulder last year, common in middle-aged women particularly those who do repetitive work (even something as simple as typing on a keyboard at the wrong height/angle) and the pain was so intense it kept me up at night. I was shocked at how intense it was. I delivered an 11 pound baby without as much as an apirin, so I know from pain.

The pain you feel right now keeps you from sleeping, affects your thinking, etc.,all of which erode your coping skills. The doctors are right. Once they help you get the pain under control, you'll handle everything else you need to manage a little easier. Hang in there.


Anonymous said...

Crying can be an odd thing ...I remember sitting stony-faced through my FIL's funeral ... it wasn't that I didn't want to cry, its just that I physically couldn't. Yet today, when I heard that someone I barely know has cancer (adult leukemia), I wept buckets.
This doesn't sound right anyway I write it, but I hope you know what I mean when I say I hope you can cry soon. ...and I hope that you get some answers on the remaining questions.

Lydia said...


I'm so glad that you have gotten all ofth good news that you have received. I can only imagine that the cumulative stress of waiting can play some funny games with your head.

I know you will come out with your head back on straight, but fuddled and upset and whatever is OK for now. You will make your way through.

I'm keeping you in prayer for and through your next Pitsburg visit.

Bush Babe said...

OK. I never cry at important stuff to do with me. The stuff that's life-changing and huge. Never. Well hardly ever. But when it comes to silly stuff on the TV, like other people's family reunions, or house makeovers for worthy strangers, or horse races... hand me the tissues people! It's pathetic...

And on that note, I have prepared a little something at my place tonight for you Deb... if you are anything like me, it might relieve the tention a little.

Caroline said...

Yes, you need a big fat hug from everyone you know. I can relate to the pain thing. I have back issues. I found when I wrote down what hurt when (what was I doing that started the pain), my doctor was better able to diagnosis and treat my pain. I would push your doctors for some sort of plan to treat your shoulder pain - not cancer? Well, whoop-de-doo, you don't need chemo but how about some pain meds, PT, therapy, injections or something!

Kelly said...

Life can be so confusing (for lack of a better word) at times.

Hope today's journey gives you some clear answers.

(((hugs))) and prayers!

PaintedPromise said...

i'll add my wish that i could be there to hug you. you could have my tears too (yes you have me dripping again)

with tongue in cheek i say, try Reader's Digest... i can't get through the darn thing without bawling {eyes rolling}

jeanie said...

Can I cry for you? Honestly, I don't need the racing hormones to cry at happy and at sad - but I know what you mean in a way because the important things don't get cried over - that is when the stoic comes in and the coping takes control. It isn't about unfeeling - it is about being a survivor - and you are in so many ways.