I Was A Support Group Drop-Out.


(Originally started January 31, 2017 via DayOne Diary)

So this post will be about how I’m a horrible, horrible person.

I REALLY was a support group drop-out.

Actually let me amend that. I AM a support group drop-out. A cancer support group drop-out to be exact. Shortly after my first major surgery and after we had moved to our current city a friend of mine suggested I go to this place that offered support groups for cancer patients and survivors. With adjusting to life post surgery, living with cancer and being a new mom I was a little overwhelmed. So I went for a while. Then I left suddenly and I haven’t gone back.

And though I think I should go back and I that I NEED to go back because I am so on the verge of losing my shit on the daily… I don’t. I don’t know why. Scared maybe? I know the exact reason I left.  It was because there was one lady in my group who had the same shit as me (Neuroendocrine Tumor of the Pancreas). She had the same surgery, same recovery time, same everything. She was even a Filipina although older than me (she had grandchildren and was in her late 60’s) and she had been living with her cancer for about 3 years before I was diagnosed. I met her during her 4th year of dealing with this shit.  A few months into this group she ended up finding a spot on her liver. And then another. And then another. And then less than 4 months later after finding the first spot she fucking DIED. It was that sudden. It was that swift. She had no options. Her slow growing cancer had turned into something that just took over her liver so quickly with no chance to find a suitable treatment. Her insurance wasn’t cooperating either.

The minute she got worse I fled the group. I know. I’m horrible. I couldn’t deal. I just couldn’t face that shit. It was so sad. I was terrified of talking about “how it made me feel” and if I had any suggestions on how to make her feel supported. I had no idea. I was literally months after my own surgery that was a beast to recover from. She was getting sicker and then she stopped going to group and we only got updates from another member who would visit her. They kept encouraging me to try and reach out and be there for her. The group leader kept emailing. One woman kept calling. I just couldn’t. She had the SAME EXACT THING I had. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that even though I was getting scanned and monitored, the thing that was just cut out of me could come back and seriously fuck my shit up. And even though this was a quite few years ago, before my own NET’s spread to MY liver (I’m thinking major Karma here folks), I COULD NOT handle watching her die. KNOWING she was going to die. That she was now in hospice. That this could be the same path I could end up being on.

See? Fucking horrible.

I somehow justified this in my head with the fact that I had JUST become a mom. Autumn was not even 1 yet. I could not fathom getting to finally be a mom and then having to leave my cutie little baby alone because my body decided to be a total asshole and get cancer. The whole “It’s not fair” ear-worm kept singing in my head. I hate that. It seems so selfish to me to say that. Of course it’s not fair. This whole thing isn’t to ANYONE who gets it. But what do you do with that AFTER you find out you have this. That you have to live with this. That you have to fight it. That maybe you may succumb to it. When I thought all these things THAT should have been the time I kept up with the group. Got counseling. Something. I did not. I kept my head down. I enjoyed my “quiet time” when the cancer was dormant. I learned to be a bad runner. I enjoyed my baby and watched her grow. I started feeling like I could really beat this. Of course, this was before it became this stupid piece of shit that surfaced after my wedding two-fold (seriously, TWO cancers???) and that I’m currently dealing with.

After I found out my cancer spread my Auntie, my fellow cancer warrior, died. I found out I had cancer shortly after she had been diagnosed with hers. She had become my fellow fighter in this ridiculous disease we both contracted. Hers was so much worse, though. It was so rough on her. She had more surgeries than me. More hospital stays. More chemo. It’s so unfair how after so many years of fighting that it would also take her so quickly. In February of 2014 she was doing great and at my wedding. Smiling. Dancing. Having fun. She got sicker when I found out mine had spread and by December she had succumbed to the evil that is cancer.

I lost my shit.

On the inside. Never really on the outside. Don’t get me wrong. I cried like a baby at the memorial. My mom, her sister, had to lead me away and comfort ME. How selfish is that shit? Her sister died and I’M the one who needs comforting??? That again… my horribleness coming out.  And after I reigned it in I just couldn’t, for some reason, let others see me just lose it again. It’s hard keeping up this façade. I miss her to this day and I think of her often. And the familiar “It’s not fair” ear-worm creeps back into my head. So I came home from the memorial and started writing a blog post. I wanted it to be a memorial of some type. My own eulogy for her that I had recited in my head but couldn’t say out loud. But I couldn’t finish it. Because every time I sat down to work on it I literally “ugly cried” all over my computer. So my eulogy stayed (and still stays) unfinished. Unspoken. Unknown.

And then I stopped writing. Only writing short little things in a diary that I never posted and sporadically at that. Every time I looked at the unfinished post about my Aunt I ugly cried inside and a little on the outside too. To this day I still can’t finish that post. Three years later. And though I have things to say, I found and still find myself just. Not. Saying. Them. Most likely because I still can’t face shit. Like when that woman in my group died. Like when I think of my own mortality. When I think of what happens to my family after. Will Autumn be ok… and will she remember me. She is so young. Will she even know how much I fucking love her? What I’ve been trying to teach her? How I fear she thinks I’m too harsh when all I want to do is make her understand the things in life that took me 40+ years to figure out and I how I know that’s a ridiculous thing to do but I still do it. I worry about Matt. How will it affect him? Will he be overwhelmed with Autumn (I know I am sometimes)? Will he remarry and really… how the fuck do I even feel about THAT shit??? And if he does, will Autumn call HER mom? (my mind is really just too dark and twisty sometimes. but that’s where it goes)

I really should go back to the cancer group thing. These treatments can really fuck with my moods. It’s hard to reign in the anger and the fear and the “It’s not fair”-ness of this whole situation. Especially when more of my online cancer friends and real life cancer friends keep succumbing to this shit and I find again that I’m a horrible person because I’m constantly withdrawing. But I still can’t. Not right now.

At least I’m writing again. Maybe if I can finish the post about my Aunt, maybe I can go back. But for right now at least I have this blog as a release with my three (maybe more?) readers. Where I can realize that there are times I am the most horrible person ever. But I’m human and I recognize my shortcomings. So maybe Karma won’t kick me too hard in the ass. And maybe the redemption I seek will come to me someday. With some luck, sooner rather than later. Hopefully not too late.

We’ll see.


2 thoughts on “I Was A Support Group Drop-Out.

  1. Goober, you hit it right on the nail when you said you are human. You have every right to be scared, hell even terrified of what you may have to deal with. Cancer in itself is terrifying. We have all seen it in some way with people we love. Maybe not at the same level you do, but I have lost friends because of this f***** up stuff called cancer. You are doing the best you can with Autumn and with Matt. And you can mark my word they understand that and they know that. No it is not easy for them. And it sure isn’t easy for you. But you are not selfish. You are not horrible. You are a friend who has a sucky disease, and you have family and friends who will love you through it all. Don’t forget that. You are human, not horrible


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