Pinky Pie

It’s always darkest before the dawn & me

Posted on: October 14, 2009

One of the pearls of wisdom that I apparently passed on to my kids was the expression; “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

It’s clearly not original, but no copyright remains on it.

I said it to remind my kids from time to time that things always seem the worst before the get better. And they do get better. There are ups and downs in life and the scary part about being young is that you think that if you are in a funk it is permanent. Neither a down mood nor the effects of chemo are forever.

I was absolutely convinced that I was going to get through chemo simply with my good looks, charm, humor, writing, walking three miles a day, friends and family support, and great inner strength. It would not be so rough – not for me. I mean I had all that stuff going for me.

Hah!

To say that chemo is hard is to trivialize it. It reminds me of Mattel creating Teen Talk Barbie in 1992, which spoke random expressions. The most famous was, “Math Class is tough!” The legend of this doll often was shortened to have her saying, “Math is hard!”

Always a role model for girls because of her enlightened view of the world and perfect figure, Barbie has had more than her share of careers over the years. Frankly, that girl cannot keep a job. 🙂

But the idea of saying anything close to “Math is hard” was not welcomed by those wishing to encourage more girls in math and science careers or to simply seek the best in themselves.

But I digress. Chemo IS hard. It is much harder than I imagined – it’s not the getting of the cancer-fighting poisons that is so rough. It is the overwhelming feeling afterwards that felt like I was hit by a truck.

“Pickup or semi?” one friend wrote on Facebook.

“Pickup with the first one and semi with the second,” I responded.

Then I began to fear by the fourth treatment it will be a full convoy running me down.

Frankly, the last few days I’ve felt like not only did a truck run over me, it backed up over me a few times for good measure.

In the midst of all that darkness, one of my grown babes reminded me that dawn was coming and it apparently has. I do feel better.

I’ve also come to realize that my expectations have been way to high for myself. I need to cut myself some slack and realize that even with my good looks, charm, humor, writing, walking three miles a day, friends and family support, and great inner strength that I will have dark days.

As much as I’ve wanted to be the funniest breast cancer patient ever who tap-danced through chemo, there will be times when I simply cannot do it all.

But dawn will come – right after the dark.

However, I would officially like to request that there be no dawn for any lingering cancer cells in my body. For them, only darkness. And lots of it.

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4 Responses to "It’s always darkest before the dawn & me"

Awww, Sue. You’re still the funniest breast cancer patient in my heart. Even if you’re not tapdancing.

Hi Susan– I am not sure if you remember me- I met you in Festival foods a week or so ago –My name is Anita a/k/a Al.
I have really enjoyed reading your entries. As someone who is also going through breast cancer treatments, I can truely relate to all of your emotions. Thank you for doing this. Keep clickin’

AL

PS Love the hair (or I mean no hair)

I do remember you. I’m glad you didn’t think I was too much of nutcase speaking with you.

And, I’m letting it all out, hairwise. Thanks for checking me out.

Thursday – This morning on WPR, I listened to an interview with Barbara Erhenreich (sp) about her new book, “Bright Sided.” It looks hard at the recent flood of positive thinking books, lectures, and interviews. She is asking for more respect for the reality of those who suffer, refusing the gurus who want us to imagine ourselves straighaway into health, fame, and luxury. Erhenreich herself had breast cancer; her message seems to me to be the one I would prefer: find the balance between the pink teddy bears and the hell of chemo.

Nancy

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