Okay, so I’ve been wanting to set up a WordPress account and start a blog for quite some time but somehow never got around to it. I’ve been visiting the site, looking around, starting the registration only to abandon the process minutes later; it was time, fear ( don’t know why), unsurety, and whatever other ridiculous reason I could muster that made sense to me then. I even used chemotherapy as an excuse…the truth is I procrastinated and we all know about procrastination. If you don’t, I’ll tell you: Procrastination is the thief of time, that’s what my aunt said…And, better late than never was my grandma’s mantra- and my grandma was a wise old woman. So here I am, and so it is. It is the moment of truth.
That being said, I want to say how much I look forward to getting to know you; I look forward to sharing a bit of myself and my experiences with you…. let you into my world… A world of a breast cancer survivor’s never ending optimism and hope.
I am a five year survivor of aggressive metastatic breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes in an effort to steal my life. I’m not going to tell you that I wasn’t scared. As a matter of fact it was that unabashed fear that finally struck a nerve and triggered the fighting spirit in me. I was tired of being bullied, tired of being scared and tired of being intimidated by this dastardly disease; I was sick of my lack of a back bone. I saw myself cowering like a coward and a scared little child, and it horrified me. I had had it…My back was up against the proverbial wall. There was no place to run… no place to hide, so I did the only thing I could do, I came out swinging because my grandma always said, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going,” and,…I am, so I did…
Some of the tools that I employed during this breast cancer odyssey were poetic and creative journal writing, songwriting and laughter which were, and still are, my saving grace. They afforded me outlets… ways to let off steam, rant, rave and express what was all bottled up inside… to me it meant freedom, a way to divulge what I was feeling inside to the world at large.. breast cancer had to be exposed …
There were days when I was so centered and in control of my emotions I really thought I had it all figured out. There were days when I was the most spiritually grounded individual around; and then again, there were days when I just knew everything was going to be great and without warning I would be angry, spiteful and bitchy for no reason… an emotional, unreasonable, scared, frustrated wreck who was freaking out on the inside. Even when I lost it I held on to that stoic façade. I could, for the most part come up with reasons for my off-beat behavior. I had to stay strong and unscathed in the eyes of my eleven year old. She was petrified as it was, and it started to show in her school work. She must’ve noticed the change in my behavior and that sure didn’t help her or me, for that matter. I felt guilty and responsible. I felt dirty and disposable. I felt useless and cursed because my daughter, who was in the gifted program from first grade, went from the honor roll to being in jeopardy for promotion She was failing in classes that were usually easy for her; she was becoming moody and withdrawn. My daughter, just like my favorite aunt and my best male friend, would not touch me, nor would my daughter eat or drink in anything I used; I was devastated. My once very demonstrative child would no longer cuddle with me or kiss me. It hurt like hell but I was determined to work through this.
*2003 started my years of testings, trials and tribulations but it also started my years of fine tuning, my transitional period, my odyssey to a new reality, my new normal…living with the side effects of six months of aggressive chemotherapy and eight weeks of daily radiation therapy. Neuropathy, severe arthritis in my neck, spine, lower back, hands, feet, fingers, toes, and elbows , fibromyalgia, cardiac aryhtmia, chemo-brain (memory-loss), impaired vision, vertigo, and days of not being able to hold a pen to write or a piece of paper in my hand… sometimes, the pain from holding a bag over my shoulder is just too excruciating. How do you make people understand that being strong and being a survivor doesn’t mean you are pain free? It just means you don’t want to be a bother or a constant complainer… but I digress.
The poem below- which is in my award winning book- Smiling Thru the Tears, came out of my poetic rants and raves against breast cancer. It too won – Best Poem 2005.
“It Hit The Fan”
One day I’d finally had it,
Well I sure cursed Cancer out.
I took the idiot to the bathroom
And tossed my Christian values out
I opened my mouth in anger
And all the filth came pouring out
The things I heard myself say
Still makes me blush, with shame today
Well, I told breast cancer a thing or two.
I told it Where to go… I told it who to screw
I even told it what to kiss
And when it should kiss it too
That day I really lost control
I was on a roll… My dear friends
The truth be told…
I’d have cursed the whole damn world
Until that day I convinced myself
That there was no real pressure
If I could keep talking to myself
And keep tight reins on my temper
Things would work out for the best…
I just had to wait and see;
Because it was just a little test
The Lord was giving me
Needless to say the test God gave
I failed miserably
The pressure just built up in me
And I acted terribly…
I simply lost my temper
Things just couldn’t get any worse
So I locked myself in the bathroom
And like a sailor I started to curse…
“Kiss my butt Cancer
On the right side and the left
Kiss my butt cancer
For invading my right breast
You thought you had me breast cancer
Because my back was against the wall
You thought you had your hooks in me
You tried to make me crawl
But I refuse to stoop to you
You can’t conquer me at all
You can never break my spirit
I’ll continue to stand tall
The very essence of my being
you tried your hardest to disturb
And with every fiber of my being
I kicked your dumb ass to the curb.”
Copyrighted : 2003
I am no push over. The only thing is breast cancer didn’t know that…consequently, I had to show that damn fool that it was messing with the wrong woman. Trust me, it was not easy getting to that state of mind but it was well worth the journey. Stay tuned for the next episode of Choonks’ Chronicles… and thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Hope you’ll subscribe, link to or return to read. Make Choonks’ Chronicles one of your favorite blogs.
Continued good health and wealth, joy and happiness, until the next post …. One love!