November 22, 2011


Oh, you know, we've been busy in the last weeks.  Usual stuff and everyone's well.  I could brag about Olive stuff, but you'll just have to come see her for yourself.  I had a few very busy weeks at work and am very happy that it's a shorter holiday week--one might say that I'm "thankful"!  We'll have a nice day up in Wausau to see my immediate fam, and then to Milwaukee for a couple of days while Ben finishes crafting something...

I went to see the movie 50/50 a few days ago.  For those of you not familiar, it's a movie about a young guy (late-20s?) that is diagnosed with a rare cancer and is given a 50/50 survival rate.  You see him through the diagnosis, chemo, surgery.  It's a dramedy.  It was alright--not a heavy hitter as far as movies go, but to watch the cancer journey from the outside was tough even if they glossed over a lot.  I was crying pretty decently at different times.  The hardest parts?  Well, you get to see the perspective of the people supporting him through it--his best friend, his parents--and to feel the powerlessness, how much they want to do SOMETHING to make it better but struggle, and how it feels to them when he's not telling them what's going on.  It was also hard to watch him panic before going into surgery and just think back about how numb I must have been at the time of mine. 

So what were my takeaways?  Well, mostly about the feelings of those around you when you're not telling them how you're really feeling.  There was a part of this journey when I just couldn't hide how hard it was for anyone--it was written all over my pained, green face.  But now, when I'm better and am trying hard to get back to normal, I forget that nobody can tell what it's like to be me at the end of the day, that it sucks that enjoying a normal day with Olive & Ben takes a lot out of me and makes me hurt at the end of the day...  So I'm talking about it, including making it clear to Ben that I'm tagging out for a break because I physically need one.  I don't want to belabor what it's like, but my upper body is fragile by the end of the day.

The other piece that I'm still thinking about: at the end of the movie, his surgery was kind of set up as a success, meaning that he was done with it all.  He had a clean slate and came out on the good end of the 50%.  I don't feel like the end of treatment was a clean slate for me.  There is too much carry-over into how I feel every day to make it feel like a fresh start--it's still recovery.  I guess I could just take the mindset that it's a new chance to make the most of my life, and I feel like I am in a lot of ways.  But dang, it would be nice to feel reinvigorated.  I am not going to be taking on heroic, inspiring, survivor-y things for a while because by the end of the day, I have given all I can.  I would love to get to a point where I get beyond that and where I can start reaching out and doing for others.  I hope that the coming seasons will bring that around for me.

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