Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake

Why did I eat that cake? If the scan next month comes back with unwanted news, I will circle back to this day, and I will hate myself and always wonder. 

I'm afraid of everything now. Afraid to eat sugar, afraid to dye my hair, afraid to stop being afraid. 

I read books and articles on healing from cancer all the time. Juice, cleanse, stop drinking coffee, stop eating meat, sugar, dairy, (insert food group here). I've done all of these things. Please, universe, promise me it won't come back. I don't know if I could handle it again.

I practice yoga and meditate every single day. But so did MCA from the Beastie Boys. And he died. 

I do my daily juicing.  I don't eat meat. I load up on fruits and veggies. But so did Steve Jobs. And he died. 

The author of the world famous book, 'The Anti-Cancer Diet' died from brain cancer. Why do these facts swim through my mind? I wish I didn't know them. I wish I could seal myself off from New York Times Health Sections or AOL home pages that always scream headlines concerning cancer. Yet, I don't want to be seen reading Star Magazine. Vapid trash is what my husband calls it. But sometimes I need to escape into something the shuts my brain down. Quite the conundrum.

When I get angry, I get scared. But I mustn’t stress myself out. Stress causes inflammation in the body. Shit, now I'm stressed that I'm stressed. I throw up my hands . I'm doing all that I can. I tell myself that will have to be enough. But what if it's not?

I know I need to love my body. Or, at least, this is what I' m told. But lately, I'm annoyed with it. Annoyed that I can't run and I still need to nap during the day and that downward facing dog and plank position are so difficult to do when you have a pump the size of a hockey puck jabbing you in the ribs. 

I know I need to forgive all of the people I thought would be there for me who weren't. I tell myself that I shouldn’t hold a grudge, but I do. I shut them out; they don't exist for me. You don't get the chance to hurt me twice. It's not zen for sure, but I’m Irish.

Now, I hold tighter to the people who are in my life. I often wonder what people would have remembered about me if I had died on July 18th, 2011 (the day before my diagnosis). I didn't like myself too much then. I'm glad I've had the opportunity to change some things, repair some relationships, and forge some new ones. This can't be it though. I didn't survive almost 2 years of treatment just to mend some fences.  This isn't “Highway To Heaven” for God's sake. There has to be more.

But can I get to the 'more' if I'm stuck in the 'afraid'? Damn these people who claim to have found the answers and written them as gospel. You're confusing me and paralyzing me with fear. I don't think you have answers any more than I do. We are all just guessing and hoping. Maybe your regimen has some science behind it, but it boils down to hope, nonetheless. I've known too many people on macrobiotic diets who had recurrences. There are no certainties, no guarantees.

We do what we can.  And  then, once in awhile, we eat cake. 


  1. Spark up & chow down Leenie! Ya been through more than enough as to where you should be able to enjoy even the littlest things! Just make sure you wear clean underwear in case you get hit by a bus!

  2. I'm going to have cake AND coffee!!! Xoxo

  3. I have thought that very thing, I was actually glad to read it from someone else. It is confusing and scary. For me lung cancer, 3 lymph nodes a spot in the top bone of my rt arm, lucky for me I have a mutated gene ALK that responds to a targeted drug xalkori' Last pet scans show no new growth and shrinking of the cancer. I have changed my diet, stinkin thinkin, every thing the same as you, BUT there is the worry scared thoughts, I guess it is normal I just know you gave me some comfort knowing I not alone.. Thank You...

  4. You are absolutely not alone. You have a community of people with the same goals, the same fears, the same hope. Glad to hear your treatment is working for you!