Wednesday, March 21, 2012

There is nothing good to say about cancer.

It's been tough times lately in the Pea household. I haven't had much to say about knitting or my garden, so I haven't been posting here.

But I do have a lot of other stuff on my mind, and probably none of it is foreign to any of you, so maybe I will say something about it.

This is my first up-close experience with cancer treatment. Going through this yourself, or with a loved one, is the last thing that anyone should ever have to do.

I hate that my Dad has to go through this. I hate what it does to my poor Mom. I hate cancer. I hate chemotherapy. I'm angry at the whole world. I'm especially angry at industries who pump cancer-causing pollutants into our air and water and say it's too expensive to do things differently. You know what's really too expensive? Cancer treatment. In every conceivable way. Too expensive.

So I am full of anger and frustration.

I'm also full of sadness, as you can imagine. I can't say more about that now, because I don't feel like crying in public and I'm writing this post on the train.

Here's something good that I have to say: If you have lived a good life and been kind and generous with others, it is amazing how kind and generous they will be with you when you need it.

My Dad is my hero. I have always admired and emulated him. He is one of the kindest, funniest, most generous people you could meet. And now that he's going through the trial of his life, I am just overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, old acquaintances... frankly, of the whole world. Karma is an amazing thing.

In the darkest moments, at the worst times, I feel spiritually and almost physically lifted up and buoyed along by the love of everyone around us. I have never experienced anything like this before. It reminds me of stories of drowning people pushed up to the surface by dolphins and somehow carried safely to shore. It's so beautiful and sustaining. I can't imagine how we (or anyone) could make it through a time like this without the support of friends.

All the same, I would rather not be experiencing it. I would rather be enjoying this beautiful spring, which is somehow bursting with life and beauty even though it seems more like the world should be ending right now. I would rather be building new garden beds, working with my Dad on home fixer-up projects, or learning to use the spinning wheel that a dear friend lent me recently. I would rather be taking the Little Pea on visits to the playground, instead of the hospital.

When people write stuff about cancer, I think they usually are supposed to put a positive spin on the whole thing, like about the amazing life lessons that cancer taught them. Or what they learned about themselves while going through hell. I have learned a lot of stuff that on the whole, I think I'd be just as well off without knowing. I didn't want to know what I know now about chemo, and all its various complications. I don't have anything good to say about cancer. Not one good thing.


  1. Sarah Jessica FarberMarch 21, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    It sucks. Been there with my dad. It makes your heart hurt in a way you didn't even know was possible. I'm happy to take the Little Pea to Lyons Park (or on a tour of my living room!) if it would help you out at all. I do adore the world's most verbal toddler.

    1. Thanks SJ! I can't think of many places more interesting than your living room to the Pea! ; )

  2. I'm SO sorry you and your family are going through this. Ugh I can't blame you for not seeing anything positive right now. Not in the least.

  3. You are right, and it is hard to talk about how completely crap it is because I think it scares a lot of people who aren't trapped in the horrible wringer that is cancer treatment.

  4. My thoughts are with you and your family for the best!

  5. A million hugs to you and yours.

  6. I'm so sorry your family is in the midst of this. XO to you and your family and all good wishes.

  7. I'm so sorry. Cancer indeed sucks. And I seem to know too many moms of young children fighting it.

  8. I'm so sorry. Cancer does suck. Hard. My thoughts are with you and your family. Hang in there.

  9. life offers plenty of opportunities for personal growth and enlightenment without cancer being one of them. my family went through this, too, and my heart goes out to you and yours.

  10. I'm so sorry sweetie. Been through it with my Mom years ago. Just crappy, crappy, crappy. But you're so right about the kindness of friends and family - and even strangers. You know I'm thinking about you and the family.

  11. Just want to send you and your family a huge HUG. I've had cancer and it's bad but after Winter comes Spring, remember that. Tell that chemo to work, it does work. The good thing, if there is one, it makes you appreciate every day and every little thing.

  12. I'm sorry to hear about your Dad. I went through the grief, sadness, confusion, fear and anger that comes with watching ones father succumb to cancer. Cancer sucks. It's ridiculous that cancer is the thing that can weaken our fathers. My Dad was the toughest, smartest, most handsome man I'd ever know. It was unfathomable to think there was anything in the world that could topple the life we had with him. So, I understand completely what you are feeling. Don't feel bad about the fact that spring is happening around you and you still feel sad. Yes, you do have to see the good in everything, but you are allowed to FEEL everything that you feel right now with all of this. Let your heart guide you.
    (I know you don't know me...and I am unsure how I even found your blog, but I feel I was led here for some reason...considering this blog post is something I can fully relate to!! Take good care, keep your heart full of love and don't let cancer beat all the happiness from you.)

  13. I thank you for this. It put into words a lot of things I am feeling about my sister's 2nd round of fighting colon cancer. I found your blog through a ravelry pattern link and stuck around to read a while. Anyway, thank you for helping me get un-stuck and cry a bit.


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