Sigh, & Confession Time – guest posts

it's a long and winding road...

it's a long and winding road ...

~ It didn’t take long to find this week’s guest posts.  The first two sites I visited both touched me.  Different authors, different blogs, similar themes, familiar themes.  Survivors struggling to come to terms with the state of their disease.  The first is from Kathy, writing in her blog life is sunny, appreciating survivorship but weary of the continuing battle towards wholeness.


I still just get so damn tired. Tired as in sleep deprived, not as in physically fatigued, but mentally fatigued in the irregularly-timed onslaught of emotional whammies, the kind I want to go away.

I’d thought menopausal symptoms had come and gone, but recently they’re baaaack. Nothing like hot flashes in 90-degree-plus heat.

Increasing sleep deprivation during the week and catching up on the weekends, that seems to be the new pattern. I don’t know if it’s night sweats or too much on my mind or probably a combination. It’s after noon on Saturday and I’m still laying around in sleepwear. I’ve been feeling depressed on the weekends, and I don’t know why because it’s a waste of time and energy.

Circumstances, issues, situations, survivorship – I love survivorship in that I’m not dead, but fuck it for stirring up old feelings and issues I thought I’d dealt with and moved beyond long ago. Really – is cancer survivorship not enough to manage without dredging up “challenges” from the past? Maybe the good and the bad of life experience is that it connects times and places into the synergistic sum that is you right now. You get both the benefit and the pain of memory and perspective.

Forging onward, trying. Crying some. It’ll be alright.

Outside and in
Be, begin
Each day the same and better…

Kathy, life is sunny

~ The second post is by Amber, offering a distressing but grace-ful “confession” in Amber Chase’s Musings on Cancer and Life as she enters a new chapter in her illness.  The community’s thoughts and prayers go out to both writers for their courage and grace.

The reason it has been difficult to write, is that I have been hesitant to share what has really been going on with my cancer and treatment.  So it is confession time.
2 months ago, after much researching, praying, talking with counselors, doctors, and family, we came to the realization that chemotherapy was no longer a viable option.  I was so deathly ill from doing 9 months of various chemos, and all the test results kept coming back that that the chemos were not working.  I had no quality of life, and I felt like I was just wasting the time I had left chasing after treatments that were killing me, and not the cancer.  We decided that the time had come to stop chemotherapy, and change from aggressive care to palliative care.
I have had hospice care for the last 2 months.  It is truly a miracle how much better I feel now that I am no longer poisoning my body with toxic chemicals in hope of having a longer life.  I was not living while I was on chemo.  All I did was sleep and feel miserable all the time.  With my new hospice Doctor and Nurses I feel so much better.  They are so on top of keeping me pain free and comfortable.  I am able to do so much more, and feel so much better.  It has been a great decision.  I am still going to have monthly Zometa infusions to keep my bones from breaking as the cancer progresses.  We also have a social worker who has been visiting weekly with me and the kids.  He always brings a fun activity that gets the kids talking about how they are feeling.  He also has been a great sounding board for me, and has helped me deal with the gamut of emotions that I have been dealing with.  With this hospice team in place, they are taking wonderful care of all of our needs.
At first when I stopped chemotherapy, I really struggled emotionally.  It was so difficult to feel like I was giving up.  It is still hard to think about dying, but I feel mostly at peace.  I am enjoying every minute, and we have been cherishing the good times.  We are happy and at peace.  I know that my life is in Heavenly Father’s hands, and that He will preserve my life for as long as I need to be here.  I don’t need treatments of men to prolong my life.  I know that I will be here for as long as I am supposed to be.   I trust that my Heavenly Father is taking care of me, and we are at peace.
I have read several books  these past couple months about death and dying, life after life, and about hospice stories.  This knowledge has brought peace to my heart, and a small part of me looks forward to what comes next after life.  I know that I will still be here for my family, and that I will have an active role in their life.  I know that I will still be there for all of their weddings, graduations, baptisms, births of grandchildren, and family events.  I know that the life after this one is glorious and wonderful, and that I will be with my loved ones who have gone on before.

I have one request from all of my dear friends and family.  We are at peace with my decision to no longer fight my cancer.  I don’t need to hear about this miracle diet, and that Doctor that can cure cancer in Mexico, or this new chemo trial or drug..  My destiny is not to have my cancer cured.  We understand that, and it is okay.  I have done all that I could physically endure to fight my cancer, and I have no fight left in me.  And that is okay.  I fought hard, and I won so many battles.  It is a miracle that it has been 2 years, and I am still here.  I am eternally grateful for every day of that 2 years.  I have been blessed, and I am continually blessed every day.  Life is still good.

Amber, Amber Chase’s Musings on Cancer and Life – Home


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.

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