jenny's belly

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tony Snow

Its been a very, very difficult weekend for me. Lots of emotional setbacks. I wasn't able to do anything at the condo because I basically imploded.
Tony Snow got cancer about the same time I did, and his upbeat personality really helped showed me the way to handle it. And he helped me make the decision to share everything about what I was going through. When his cancer came back, I was hit hard. I was at work when I found out, and I had to leave for awhile. I went to church. Which was the first time I'd been to church during my whole cancer...uh, whatever you call it. I wrote a poem, which is not me at all. I was a wreck for a few days, until I realized I was handling it worse than Tony himself. Then I cooled off, remembered to keep living as usual as best I could, and eventually stopped worrying.
His death somehow took some hope away. That's the best way I can describe it. Having hope is the one thing that keeps a cancer survivor going, and I know Tony would be mad at me for feeling this way if he even knew I was alive. A lot of people latch on to Lance Armstrong. I'm sure there's a stand-out breast cancer survivor I haven't noticed. Just its my opinion cancer survivors have mentors. Someone who reminds them they can fight and when there's no recurrance, to just live their lives in every moment. When you've faced mortality as a definite thing, not as something hazy in the future, your life changes.
I actually thought at one point "Well, I never got married but I guess I had a good run." I remember thinking of all the things I'd wanted to do "someday" but wouldn't get the chance to do it. Unless you've been told you have cancer, I think maybe you just can't understand, but that's okay. I'd rather you weren't told those words.
And there's just no way to get back to the way things were. I try hard to do things I want to do and avoid things I don't want to do. But I have a scan coming up in a few weeks and I'm awfully tired so its scary. Maybe its nothing. But "maybe it ISN'T nothing" is always there, just below the surface.
I can't watch any coverage of Tony's death. I wasn't able to be alone yesterday, but I'm alone now and doing okay. Still emotional, but not as anxious. Not all cancer survivors are rocks. You can't will yourself through it. Its the luck of the draw, and you do your best. Sometimes are harder than others.
I'll be okay. :)

2 comment(s):

Dear Jen,

I thought of you as soon as I heard about Tony Snow this weekend, remembering how much you looked to him as your mentor throughout this whole horrible situation. OK, "situation" isn't the right word, but I don't know how else to give it a name. No one expects you to be a rock, and Tony Snow would not be angry with you for feeling like losing hope with his death. I'm sure that he, too, went through so many of the same feelings that you've gone through and are still going through. The people who love you can't give you that hope back, but we can support you and love you and give you all the encouragement we can. Please keep telling us how you feel, what you're struggling with, and what you need, even if we can't totally understand everything you're going through. We want to try.

Love, Lis

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/14/2008 10:41 PM  

Jen
It's been awhile...okay, a long time…since I've checked your blog. Or posted on my own. For some reason today I just thought I'd check mine to see if it was still up, and maybe post a little. As soon as it opened I saw my link to your blog and wondered if yours was still up and running, and here it is Looks like I’ve got a lot of catchin’ up to do!
I kinda have an inkling of what you're going through. I was driving my car a few weeks ago when I came upon an accident similar to my own. It was pretty hard to handle, even though it's been since '95. I thought I'd gotten over all that but I guess we just kinda bury it and it goes into hibernation. It sucks when the sleeping giant is awoken and you have to deal with it all over again.
Ya know, there’s no rhyme or reason why we go through what we do. Life’s a crap shoot, it’s just the luck of the draw, bad things happen to good people. You’ve heard it all before, but it’s all true. That’s how a cliché becomes, well, a cliché.
You need to allow yourself to experience all these emotions, though I think I’m preaching to the choir here. Maybe recognize how much Tony Snow was able to do with all the time he had, maybe get mad because he should have had longer. Maybe get angry at all the people who don’t realize they should enjoy what they have now because at some point we all lose it. But you certainly don’t need anyone’s permission or blessing to feel the way you do. No explanation necessary. And it must be a comfort knowing you can experience and share these feelings and still get through the day. Pretty soon those days add up and it gets a little easier to breathe. Keep on puffin’!

By Blogger Barb II, at 7/31/2008 4:35 PM  

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