Two points of view

Yesterday my dad called me, and after a few moment of chatting, he told me I needed to go post right away on my blog that I was on day three of radiation and I was doing great.  (… sorry, Dad, I just couldn’t…)

This evening I talked to my friend Betsy on the phone and she described my blog as a fantasy world… full of cute photos of the kids but not much of the actual agonies of my past few months.  I told her she must have skipped the posts with the whining 🙂

So what’s the reality?  I think my blog is pretty true to life… my experiences dealing with biopsies, more biopsies, big surgery, little surgery, chemotherapy, another biopsy, another surgery, and now radiation while keeping my family’s life as regular as possible.  I share the things that make me laugh and the things that make me cry… some miracles, and some pretty mundane events. 

Radiation is NOT going great.  My radiation oncologist is wonderful, but a couple of the techs who do the treatments every day are truly mean.  My chest hurts right where George’s bony little knees bang into it when I carry him over my shoulder.  I am really, really tired.  But I’d have to say that I’m in far better shape than the other people who go at the same time as I do.  I think the average age has to be 70 or greater, and they aren’t there to get cured… they’re getting radiation for palliation, for control of pain from bone metastases, or because they want some sort of treatment but aren’t strong enough for chemotherapy. 

I think radiation is going to be tough.  They’re treating a BIG part of my chest, inside and out, with high doses.   However, if by “doing great” my dad means that I’m able to take care of my children, stay on track with homeschooling, and keep up with the laundry, I guess I’m doing great.  I’m not sure most people would define a hurting, tired and cranky mama that way, though.  If Betsy thinks that by blogging that my situation is far better than the frail elderly people I see that I’m not sharing the tough reality… I guess I could whine more? 

Maybe it all comes down to figuring out the purpose of blogging… to reassure friends and family that all is OK?  For catharsis?  Creating a journal of events that I can look back on later?  Providing a way to organize my thoughts and a few photos so that I can make sense of them myself?  Connecting with people in similar situations? 

Thank goodness I don’t have to answer all these questions and figure everything out to be able to keep writing, because sharing what’s going on has really helped me so far in this journey.  Maybe that’s all the reason I need.

14 thoughts on “Two points of view

  1. For whatever reasons you blog, keep doing it! ( I know how you hate to “write”…remember?) I won’t call this “journaling”, okay? When you look back on these entries you will be amazed at your strength too!

    It is your journey and I anxiously wait to hear your “voice”…we’re all here for you on the good AND the bad days.

    Just remember WE LOVE YOU!

    Love, hugs and prayers!

  2. One remarkable thing I’ve learned is that Elizabeth doesn’t correct, edit or otherwise polish any of this stuff. It comes out once – just as we see it. I can’t write that way, and neither can I just dash off a simple response to this profound entry.
    Yesterday after a brief chat, I did ask her to make an entry about her condition which, to me, sounded pretty good for someone who had just undergone her third straight day of radiation therapy. The only way “great” could have crept in to my comment was in relation to my relief that our conversation was pretty normal and I was half expecting something quite different. I also knew that I wasn’t alone in my anxiety about the start of her radiation and that other people wouldn’t have had the benefit of a direct verbal report.
    Elizabeth, the rest of your message is a powerful and wonderfully written statement about the reality of your life. If one is looking for a purpose of personal writings like your blog, I’d have a hard time coming up with a better example than today’s entry.
    Love,
    Dad

  3. My opinion is that your blog belongs to you and that you should make it whatever you need it to be on a given day. Some days you need to be honest, whine, complain and help the reader understand how hard it is to be you. Other days, you simply don’t want to talk about the “C word” anymore, your over the desire to wallow in it and it feels good just to focus on the good and normal things in your life. Not talking about it is NOT DENYING that it STINKS and that you are EXHAUSTED, it is simply being intentional about focusing on what is good. Don’t overthink your blog, JUST DO IT – in your own way!! I know I check in each day to see what is happening with you and your family. Your life story in your own words is what inspires me. Janelle

  4. “Thank goodness I don’t have to answer all these questions and figure everything out to be able to keep writing, because sharing what’s going on has really helped me so far in this journey. Maybe that’s all the reason I need.”

    Amen.

    I’m not sure how I started reading your blog, but I’m glad I do and I’m glad you’re still writing as regularly as you can / want to….

  5. I follow your blog because I have come to care for you and your family even though I’ve only ever met George in your core family. I think the record you are keeping is an awesome tool for you and for your family as well. None of us document our lives like you have done in the blog, and it will a reminder of how far you have traveled when you look back on it. I see your children loving it in the future as well as it is such a wonderful documentation for them, even if they are not the reason you are doing this. It will be their scrapbook of this time in their lives too.

    I follow your blog so that I can support your Mom and Dad, especially your Mom as you travel this journey. As a mother, if my child was going through what you are I would need all the support I could get. I would need someone to celebrate the highs, hug through the lows and just be there for me even if all that is needed is a listening ear or silent support. I would need to be told that my grandchildren are talented, intelligent, hilarious, typical, and darling too. I would need someone to tell me that my daughter is amazing and that my son-in-law must be a rock. I would need someone to tell me that my other daughter and her family are special too, and to enjoy hearing about what is happening in their lives. I would be very needy if I were a mother whose child was going through what you are.

    I follow your blog because I find it interesting, entertaining, spiritual, informative, enlightening, and hilarious. I follow your blog because I won a pair of pink sparkle cashmere socks – which I wear with pride! I follow your blog just because I want to no matter why you do it.

  6. Hi Elizabeth!

    The image I had when I was reading your entry today was of you taking pieces of your story, your burdens, your joys and pouring them out into a stream to keep things moving and not getting stuck. I imagine you must always need more room in your mind and spirit to absorb this experience without it taking over.

    The benefits to the rest of us in hearing your story and looking in the window at your world is profound and changes us – but never will that be as important as what it does for you – and YOU are the reason we all care so much – your life is precious and we want to hold you up in any way we can.

    I pray that you will be surrounded by the love and prayers coming to you like a warm blanket of safety, security and hope. I trust God will give you what you need in each moment and that the radiation staff will feel our prayers too and treat you with the care that all of your faithful “blogees” would 🙂

    Deep peace to you – Maureen “Mo”
    (I’m a friend of of your parents through our mutual friend Sue Petro. I pray for you and your family daily – sometimes more 🙂

  7. I second everything Teri said except that I don’t own a pair of your cashmere socks. They do look fabulous on Teri though. 🙂

    I will continue to pray for you faithfully and will add those mean techs to my list as well.

  8. Dear Elizabeth,

    The reasons for writing your blog are your own. The reasons others are devoted to your blog are varied. I have come to know you as a loving, devoted mother who home schools one of her children and supports her other children in many ways. I so appreciate your strentgh and courage and faith. The pictures you post are delightful.

    I am awed by your honesty, to let it all out so that we can cry with you, laugh with you, be joyful when you are feeling better, and sad when you are so low on energy. You have helped others who may be feeling the same thing, but aren’t able to verbalize in the way you have chosen.

    Your parents are wonderful people, and I appreciate so much what they are doing to make their part of the world a better place. I know they worry about you, and I worry about you and them. Your mom told me I didn’t have to worry, but just be concerned. I stepped back for about five minutes, and then it was back to worry. They have many supportive friends who love and care about them.

    Boo to those mean techs! Love, Nancy

  9. Please don’t talk about my mother that way. She is just trying to help. Also it hurts me when she is hurt like that. It makes her sad; and me 😦

  10. Thanks for sharing a window into your world! You are always in my prayers and now I have an idea of what to pray for beyond my general prayers for time, strength, healing, peace and joy. And I love, love, love the pictures!

    Do the Charlotte DeHoritys have a skype webcam by chance? We are just installing one and it would be a kick to put the kids on to talk to each other…Its a long shot but you are such a connector and techno-mom, that I figured its worth asking….

  11. I just want to say you are such an inspiration. I do not keep up everyday, but I hear about everything 🙂 You have always been such a positive lady, that I would not expect anything different from. I can barely get through LIFE, let alone everything that you have to deal with day to day. I just wish everyone could have your outlook on life. Things would be so much better! I love you and miss you bunches!

  12. Hi Elizabeth,
    My name is Georgiann a fellow Catholic and momma of 6 kiddos so far!
    I read about your battle with cancer on another Catholic blog…I’m
    The Garden Gate on the Cathiloc Blog roll.
    I am praying for you!

    I’m glad to see you bloggin’ and here is why…..

    It is good for you to let things out!
    Even if there are days your blog seems “fantacy” to you ,like you had decsribed it is good therapy! You can forget your cancer for a while!
    Your kiddos can have a keepsake of their mother and see her strength and how she veiwed her life with its strugles and true delights of motherhood!
    You may find a person that can be of support that has gone before you and knows about the battle with cancer.

    I pray you win this battle with cancer and I will be keeping you in my prayers! (((((HUGS))))))) and love,

    Georgiann

    ourfruitfulharvest.blogspot.com

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