Cancer is not a fight. It’s an illness. Some people don’t get better. Period.
Cancer doesn’t operate on our terms, and that makes people very uncomfortable. And so there are those who have the propensity to create a mythology to cover up the realities of the disease, in order to apply an idealized version of it to mesh with our moral code or cultural viewpoints. It’s a selfish thing to do, and it doesn’t fool anyone. For example, there are no heroes when it comes to cancer. There are people who live, and there are people who die. Sometimes there are reasons, sometimes there aren’t. Sometimes it makes sense. Mostly it doesn’t. As Xeni Jardin has said, “Lots of people suffer through treatment in pursuit of more life. Some cancers don’t respond. Some of us die. We’re not heroes or failures.” There are too many people who are lauded for surviving a disease they have no control over, and so many who are forgotten because they didn’t.
Bless the partners who step up to the plate.
Bless the partners who don’t run when faced with chronic or degenerative or terminal illnesses.
Bless the partners who learn new skills to take care of their sweeties.
Bless the partners who do research and read labels and yell at recalcitrant doctors.
Bless the partners who ask you “is there anything I can do to help you?” and mean it.
"Before the chemo, I had this long, beautiful hair that everyone was always commenting on. But when we first met, he walked up to me and said: ‘Has anyone ever told you that you have the most beautiful smile?’"
I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, “Kiss me harder,” and “You’re a good person,” and, “You brighten my day.” I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.
Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.
But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.
And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.
We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.
We never know when the bus is coming.
[S]he was no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, because yesterday had brought it.
—Neil Gaiman - American Gods (via rachelgoestocali)
jkomaha asked: Hi Eliza, I have a very similar diagnosis as you. 1.4cm IDC triple positive and at least 1 node involved. I have another surgery 11/15 to remove the rest of the nodes. I signed up on tumblr just so I could talk to you so I'm not quite sure how it works. I have not started my treatment yet and was wondering what yours was/is. Also, are you following a certain diet. Jaime (37 in Omaha)
I had 4 rounds of AC, four of T, and 12 months of Herceptin for chemo followed by five weeks of radiation because it had spread to my lymph nodes like yours. If you have to do chemo, consider a port. It saved my veins. I kept a low sugar diet to try and avoid thrush so I only had it once in 14 months of chemo. I avoided eating my favorite foods at the chemo clinic or right after chemo so that my brain wouldn’t associate it. But really, sugar was the only thing I tried to stay away from. I wasn’t hungry very often so when I was, it was whatever I wanted to eat. To keep from losing weight, I started drinking those Ensure drinks that they make for diabetics. The meal supplement ones. Get some frozen veggie bags for your arm pits for Friday. You’ll need them. For me, the pain was like when you have to use crutches for weeks and your arm pits hurt. To keep from freezing your arm, after the superficial heals, try to do the chicken dance. It’ll free up your muscles without causing pain.
You’ll be back here then; you come for funerals.
I’d rather you come back now and got my stories.
I’ve got whole lives of stories that belong to you.
I could fill you up with stories,
stories I ain’t told nobody yet,
stories with your name, your blood in them.
Ain’t nobody gonna hear them if you don’t
and you ain’t gonna hear them unless you get back home.
When I am dead, it will not matter
how hard you press your ear to the ground.
Also, I just want to point out that No Shave November was originally supposed to bring awareness to prostate cancer. And now, it’s generally accepted as a cancer awareness program specifically focused on cancers that primarily affect men.
So when women try to participate,…