How are you? How do you feel? You doing ok today?
Ok. Fine. Yup.
Those are my standard answers. I consider myself an original ” I’m ok. I’m fine.” girl. I figure I can only answer “not good” or “not really” only so many times before I become annoying, even to me. Beyond that, though, I answer in the positive because I want to be ok…I want to be fine.
It goes back to my two-year-old “I do it!” attitude. I don’t want help (unless I want it), and I don’t want sympathy (unless I want it). I’m a contradictory soul. I don’t want to be perceived as weak. To me, weak means I can’t take care of my family, I can’t do my job, I can’t live my life the way I want to live my life.
I hate the phrase “battling cancer.” I really do because I hate the idea if cancer kills someone, we say he or she “lost” the battle with cancer. To me, the connotation is if a battle is lost, the question becomes a question of trying. I don’t think anyone battling cancer isn’t trying, even if they choose to stop treatment. They made a choice. Cancer treatment sucks.
I don’t want to “lose” the battle. I don’t want to be seen as weak. I don’t want pity.
I want to live. But, I also want to be fine…ok. I want to answer “yup” and mean it.
Today, if you ask me how I’m doing today, I’m going answer “ok…fine…yup.” But, I don’t mean it. Not even close.
I’m in pain today. A fair amount of it, truth be told. I don’t want to say I’m not ok or I don’t feel fine because I don’t want to be seen as weak. I don’t want to be a burden. I don’t want to be an annoyance. I don’t want to be an object of pity.
But, I’m not ok today. I’m not fine. I’m not doing ok.
I told A last night I was having a wuss night. I have a nasty radiation burn in the crease between my expander and rib cage. I have radiation blisters on the underside of my expander. It hurts. And, to make everything more fun, I fell yesterday and landed full force on my right knee. It immediately swelled and turned lovely shades of black, blue, and green. So, I told A I was in pain, tired of being in pain, and broke down into tears. This morning, I discovered a new blister on the underside of my expander, and for kicks and giggles, the skin in the crease is peeling and very painful. It’s a legit burn. It hurts. I know it could hurt more. This could be worse, and that’s the approach I’m taking today, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it DOES hurt and it IS painful.
Oh, and my knee is still swollen today, not as much, the bruising is livid, and going up and down stairs is awful.
I have seven treatments left after today (today is treatment 21). I know the radiation pain and burning is only going to get worse…probably significantly worse. I know the next two weeks are going to be awful. Or, that’s what I’m preparing myself for since I’m already burned.
I tried everything to stop it or lessen it. I’ve done pure aloe. I’ve used coconut oil. I’ve used Aquaphor. Maybe those have lessened it or helped it not be as bad, but it’s getting bad, and I don’t think there’s a way to stop what’s going to happen. Whatever happens, though, I do not want a break from treatment. I don’t want to stop. I’m so close to finishing (please, God) radiation. I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. I know it’s going to be painful and at some point, I’m going to break down into tears, sobs, and a pity party. I just don’t want to be told we have to take a break because of the way my skin is reacting.
I want to be ok…fine…yup. I want to be able to answer with those words and mean them.
But, I don’t mean them today. But, I’ll lie and say I am ok…fine…yup. For the most part, I’ll get away with it, too. A doesn’t let me get away with it. I can try that with him, but all it gets me is a glare and silence until I give him a real answer. Others let me get away with it, and I’m kind of glad they do because I feel guilty unloading on people who just innocently asked, “How are you?”
It’s just easier to answer “ok…fine…yup” and not burden them with my troubles.