There have been times in my life when I have agreed with the title of that old song, “Silence is Golden,” by The Four Seasons. But my silence here has not proven to be one of those times. As the days following my last post crept to weeks and then to months, I couldn’t believe that so much time had passed. But I still felt powerless to do much about it.
Call it the result of unrelenting exhaustion. Call it the result of a muddled mixture of intense pain and a haziness induced by strong opioid painkillers. Call it an inability to balance new/worsening symptoms with life and its demands. Call it what you will, but whatever it was, I just wasn’t able to pull myself through “it” to find the energy and space to write to you.
I value our time together. I value our relationship. And I didn’t want to just pop in to do a quick, crappy post while I was in the midst of feeling as though I was caught in a tailspin.
YOU: “So, is it over? Are you better? Is this going to be a terrific post that was well worth the wait?”
ME: “No. No. And no.”
YOU: “Aw man, I was hoping for something riveting and inspiring.”
ME: “I’m sorry, this post will be neither. But I figured that if I waited any longer, the gap would just widen and it would be even more difficult to return. So I am here, for better or worse, with a crappy post just meant to let you know that I have missed you and that I do value our relationship — probably more than you’ll ever know.”
ME: “And, given the nature of some of the emails I’ve received from some of you, I felt that some of you might be wondering if I’d gotten much sicker and perhaps moved on to the great blue yonder. To be honest, I would wonder the same thing, especially because some of my “virtual” cancer friends (cancer bloggers or online breast cancer community friends) have disappeared in this way when they’ve died. Silence. Then, after a few days or weeks or so, a husband or best friend or mom will pop in to say, “Sorry, _______ died last month. I know she’d want you to know.”
YOU: “Well, I didn’t want to say it, but, um, yes, maybe “that” thought crossed my mind. This is a cancer blog, afterall!”
Okay, all kidding aside, I wanted/needed to say hello. I wanted you to know that you are still in my thoughts. I wanted to respond to the kind emails and messages I’ve received.
And I wanted to apologize for such a long silence.
Sure, I’ve felt crappy. Sure, I’m struggling to manage life and the boys and everything else while feeling so cruddy. But you’ve come to mean a lot to me and I owe you more than this silence. Plus, this is a cancer blog, so I should be blogging about feeling crappy and about the ins and outs and ups and downs of this whole experience.
I know I should.
But I wage this positive vs. negative battle with myself all the time. In my day-to-day life, I try to be positive and upbeat because this is what is expected of me. So it is difficult for me to give myself permission to be “Debbie-Downer” in my day-to-day. And sometimes that cup runneth over to my blog, too. If you’ve been reading all along you know that this doesn’t happen often — I usually don’t have much trouble “telling it like it is” and spreading some gloom here! — but it does happen sometimes.
I’ll try to elaborate a bit more on how life has been soon. But for now I wanted to end the silence. Close the gap. Get back on the horse.
And I wanted to thank you for sticking by me.
I’d also like to know how you are doing… During my silence I have not only been a bad blogger, but a lousy blog reader. But it isn’t because I haven’t thought of you. In fact, I enjoy reading your blogs far more than I enjoy creating posts for my own, so I’m certain I’ve missed you much more than you’ve missed me! So if you have a moment, please drop me a line / leave me a comment to let me know how you are — and I promise to pop over to visit your blog soon.
And I will be back soon to fill you in. Even if I just write crappy one paragraph posts. I’ll shoot for “quantity vs. quality” rather than the “neither” I’ve been giving you!
p.s. For old times’ sake, I’ll include a few photos that happen to be in line with The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. Okay, “on purpose” rather than “happen to be.” But you know how I like pictures! This week’s challenge topic? “Inside.” Participants are asked to photograph “something” inside “something else.” [There’s more to it than that, but I’ll give you the skinny version in case you are tired, too!]
You know how I love my dogs, so I’m giving you photographs of “Ginger Inside Kevin.” Or “Little Dog Inside Big Dog,” because I refer to them as “Big” and “Little.”
Kevin is a Heinz 57 rescue who we brought to live with us after my dogsoulmate, Mattie, my mini schnauzer, died of cancer in 2009. Ginger was a “Christmas/chemo/mastectomy/more chemo/radiation/and still more treatment gift” my sister gave me after I’d had a bunch of chemo and my bilateral mastectomy, and then was then destined to go through more chemo and radiation and other treatments. My littlest sister, Laura, thought she would be a wonderful snuggler and that she’d make it easier to get through the difficult days, so she wrapped her up for Christmas… And what a wonderful gift she was/is.
Well, ever since Ginger/Little’s arrival, she has ruled the roost. Though significantly smaller than Kevin, she is definitely the alpha. From the very beginning, she would climb into or onto Kevin and he wouldn’t move a muscle. To this day, if she climbs into his curled up body, he stays in this position until she is ready to get up — mostly because she’ll bark at him if he moves an inch! And since they are coincidentally almost identically colored, it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Most pictures of the two of them together look as though I’ve snapped a photo of Kevin with a small dog-like growth protruding from his neck or back.
A looong explanation for a few photos!:
***Good night and thank you for visiting. Thank you for helping me through the dark days, even when you don’t know you are doing this…***