Cancer Lesson #79: I Thought I Had Something to Say.

Cancer Lesson #79: I thought I had something to say.

I started blogging about cancer because I thought I had something to say. Or maybe I just had something I needed to express.

Looking back, I see myself as willfully naive, almost arrogant, about sharing my experience. And I’m no longer sure anything I can say has any value.

You see, in February, my friend Pat died of ovarian cancer, nine days before her birthday and almost exactly four years after being diagnosed. Some birthday present, eh?

Today I talked to a friend whose daughter-in-law also recently died of ovarian cancer, a death that was not peaceful or painless. And it struck me as it always does, why her and not me?

How is it that some of us get to live at least a little longer, while others — who have endured much more — seem to die too soon?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel guilty because I’m still here, only incredibly fortunate and grateful. But I can’t help but wonder, “Why me?”

Nor is this post is a plea for compliments about my blog. Instead, it is an explanation for my absence.

Since my friend died — actually since it became clear there would be no happy ending to her story — I lost interest in posting to both my blogs. Anything I could write seems impossibly superfluous.

My words can’t bring Pat or my friend’s daughter-in-law back. These sentences won’t cure anyone, so why write them?

Why, in fact,  write anything when infographics express more than anything I could say?





10 thoughts on “Cancer Lesson #79: I Thought I Had Something to Say.

  1. Because, my dear, writing can help us make sense of things that are senseless. It can help us wade through the incomprehensible. And even though words and sentences may not cure, I have no doubt they can bring hope and comfort to someone who may be struggling to find meaning in the midst of their sorrow and worry. It matters, far more than infographics can convey. Hugs, my friend, and keep writing, whatever and as often as the mood strikes.


    • Thank you, Marin. Your first sentence reminds me of how I felt when I first started this blogging journey. Cancer IS so senseless, and writing about it has helped me gain perspective in the past. Perhaps it will again in the future. I shall try to persevere and appreciate the encouraging words.


  2. Why write anything? Because you have the ability to verbalise with clarity the stuff the rest of us only feel in some confused way. Pat is gone, but not forgotten by anyone who knew her even slightly. Tomorrow, I see the oncologist for CT and bone scan results she ordered in a big hurry when I saw her last week. If it turns out to be crappy, I’d still want you to post. If it turns out good, ditto. You wave the flag of hope, of triumph of the human spirit, of humanity undefeated.
    “Death comes to us all; we can only choose how to face it when it comes.” (Robert Jordan)
    I shall face it extremely grumpily, as I’m sure I’ll still have plenty of things I want to do…. but not until my time comes, whenever that may be.


    • Kate, I am sending positive thought your way. I hope the news is NOT crappy not only for your sake, but also (selfishly) for mine. I so love reading and seeing the many ways you put your talents to use, and your posts always brighten my day.


      • And I love your Lessons series, so I’m asking you seriously not to stop writing them, please.
        Today’s news will be crappy either way: either in a big way, and it’s time to pull on my kick-ass boots again, or in a lesser way. The bad stuff we both know about, but if it’s just something they can’t quite put a finger on, and let’s try this, that or the other treatment, I’ll actually find that harder to deal with, since it probably means this much extra pain for, well, forever. I won’t stop blogging, since there has to be an antidote to the crap, don’t you think? Somewhere the darkness doesn’t creep in? XXXXX


      • You’re right, Kate. I will say that writing about things forces me to really think about things, and I don’t plan to stop. I’ve just been unsure how to approach my “lessons” with this new attitude. I will work on it and be grateful I’m still here to do it. Thanks for the compliment, and I’m sorry your news will be crappy. Sometimes the not knowing and messing about trying to find out is much worse than knowing what you’re up against.

        Your boot comment reminds me of a key fob I bought. It says, “Sometimes I have to put on my big girl boots and remind myself I know how to use the pointy end.” I love that for some reason and am glad you plan to continue to kick ass. XXXOOO (The Os are hugs. I think only we Americans do that with the XXXs.)


      • Cancer Lesson #79.5: Sometimes, the news is: You’re not going to die. Yet.
        No secondaries. Just a F…..g painful pinched nerve between L4 and L5, staring us right in the face on my bone scan. Next steps are medication specifically for nerve pain, keep up the heat packs, and an MRI scheduled to take a really, really close look at whether I suffer and they fix it, or whether I just suffer. The Kick Ass Boots can go back into the wardrobe. I want my fluffy slippers…. oh, and a hot water bottle 🙂


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