I'm in a support group for people with metastatic cancer, and one member always responded to the bus analogy by saying, "Maybe anyone could get hit by a bus, but this bus has my home address." I think you acknowledged a continuing issue. Well said!
As the husband of a 17 year stage 4 survivor, I find that this article started to raise some interesting points. Disappointingly there was an abrupt ending to the very short article. I would have liked for her to go deeper to help me understand. The getting run over by a bus analogy, however is weak. As my wife tells me, I will never be able to understand truly her reality. But that's also true of any other human on this planet. I will never be able to understand completely their reality, because I am not that person.
At least I am trying to understand her.
I enjoyed reading Martha's story and I agree that we live in a strange stage IV metastatic breast cancer world! We look fine, our treatment is working, we seem to have no side effects, BUT... the bus is still there and will hit us right away at anytime and not even us would notice it. Thanks Martha for sharing your feelings =) I was diagnosed in January 2000 with breast cancer stage III. But I'm stage IV since January 2008... Still here talking about it!
Thank you Martha, finding the 'words' is so helpful. You get it. I get your words!
I sure wish I could SHARE your words with my friends, with my family, but I just can't do it.
As you said " These are not the words our friends want to hear, and often they are not the words we, ourselves, want to say. For me, acknowledging the negative feels like a tempting of fate. Do we really want to say out loud what we know to be true?" So true Martha!
I just don't have the courage to tell them the really bad side (the sadness and frustrations in my head and heart), to deal with their questions, with their sadness and worry. There is nothing they can do, and nothing I can do to help them. I remember my first diagnosis 13 years ago, and I ended up feeling like I had to 'help' and 'care' for others deal with my treatment while I was the one needing the help and care. I can't do that now. It's an entirely different situation - there is no winning this one. So, I'm trying to keep those sad faces and broken hearts away for as long as I can. Even if it means I'm traveling this road more alone than ever before, and it sucks.
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