Tag Archives: spiritual versus physical

Sometimes You Just Get So Low

WARNING: Downer cancer discussion to follow.  Will totally understand if you’re looking for more positive way to spend your leisure time. If you are unable to make a quick trip to a beach (I can’t either), here are some suggestions:  1. Listen to reggae – I use Spotify a lot for impromptu music listening. 2. Go get a frozen yogurt – you know – CherryBerry, Yogo Bowl, whatever your local place is called. 3. Check out the latest RA discovery from Mr. Ascroft:


Photograph by Robert Ascroft. From richardarmitagenet.com, 2012 Promo Gallery.

Whew, that helps.

For me, cancer is such a roller coaster. The goal is to rise above what’s happening to you physically, see yourself as a spectator in the everyday events of your life. Cancer may kill you, so do all these things to make the most out of your life now. But sometime I get so tired of hearing how I should think, what I should eat, do these exercises everyday, just have this kind of attitude. Be happy, you have an incurable disease.

Reasons for the downer attitude: I’m near the end of the two-week chemo cycle. Usually I feel really good by now, the side effects having subsided during the middle of the cycle. But this time was unusually rough, with mouth sore issues to the point where I was unable to eat solid food for a week. I guess it was nice to lose a little weight, but I don’t recommend that particular diet plan. The hip/back pain I deal with, due to a combination of the cancer and a chronic condition I’ve had for years, had been substantially better for the past two weeks. It returned two days ago, at the same intensity as before. That plus fatigue and “digestive issues” due to weird diet and/or chemo, has left me feeling very frustrated.

Here’s why: Because of the extreme side effects this time, I’m afraid my oncologist will want me to hold off on another chemo treatment until my next trip in early June to M.D. Anderson for scans and “re-staging.” That is, they see if/how much the cancer has “progressed” (That’s a misnomer if I’ve ever heard one.) and decide on what treatment to do next. First, that means going about 5 or 6 weeks with no treatment.  Second, I’m reaching the end of the officially accepted treatments for colon cancer. There may be one other chemo drug to try, but then the next step  is to get into a clinical trial, which seems like the last ditch effort to control the disease before they give up on you entirely. At least that’s what it feels like. And it’s scary. For all the talk about reaching the spiritual plane where you find peace and acceptance, when it starts to become real, it’s just damn scary.

Slowly this disease and its treatment seem to be sapping my strength, my resolve to keep fighting, and the “wow, you’ve got a great attitude, you should blog about this” attitude. My body doesn’t seem to bounce back as fast from chemo, the cancer has continued to gradually grow. I just get tired of it all.

You see there are problems we (meaning husband and I) try not to over-stress about because they’re “fixable.” Relationship issues, financial woes, career choices, children’s’ issues, and so on – these will have a end to them. Somehow they will resolve themselves. Cancer – at the stage where I am – is probably not fixable, unless some new medical discovery or a miracle comes to the rescue. Everyone, please understand I’m not trying to downgrade anyone else’s major life issues. Your life causes pain, frustration, and anxiety that you must deal with.  It is not small stuff. Things seem insurmountable and unresolvable. I’ve been there, too. But I need to rant; please indulge me.

Sorry for all the rambling. I just needed to do this – to “grouse” a bit. Do you think going into the back yard and screaming will help? What’s that? More Armitage, you say? Maybe something beachy, summery? And remember the mantra – live in the moment? Ok, I’ll try.


Photograph by Robert Ascroft. From richardarmitagenet.com, 2012 Promo Gallery.