Why I’m Writing This

Why am I writing this? I certainly have enough stuff to do, and who says I know any more about cancer than any other unfortunate soul that gets the bad news from their doctor? After much encouragement from family and friends responding to my email updates, I decided to start writing more about my experiences in order to address some of the stuff no one seemed to talk about with cancer.

Cancer Sucks. Like Crazy.

Well into my treatment, my wife Kristin found this blog called “Crazy Sexy Cancer”, which was all about wellness and finding happiness while fighting cancer. It was full of tips and articles all telling you how to change your life when you have cancer. She has a unicorn on her site. In sunglasses. With a sparkle.

The Crazy Sexy Cancer lady really pissed me off. This stuff is hard enough without someone telling you that if you’re not turning it into a wild happy-fun disco party to make yourself a better person, then you’re doing it wrong.

The truth is, cancer sucks. It sucks hard. And it’s hard enough keeping the energy going to get through your day without some annoying “Life is Great™” cheerleader telling you that you should be happy you got cancer. You will get angry. You will get sad. And you’ll get happy. You will get really, really sad. And you’ll laugh. And you will be afraid. And you will, somehow, find the strength to get you through all of this.

To be clear, I’m not saying you must be sad, or angry, or happy or afraid. I’m saying you will be, and that’s okay. You don’t have to do or feel anything. You have cancer, and all of your feelings are valid. Should you try to turn your illness into a life-changing yoga-warrior joy ride? If you want to. But if you only want to get through to next week, kudos to you. I believe in you. You don’t have to be a Wellness Warrior™, you just have to be yourself. All you have to do is live.

Oh, and don’t give up.

And, to be fair, there are some great tips to be found on crazy-lady-sexy-cancer’s blog. They pretty much line up with what my wife and I discovered on our journey. And I agree, if you have cancer, you should probably up your game in the diet and exercise areas of your life. Stop taking the shit you, for some reason, allow yourself to take. And surround yourself with people who love you. But you shouldn’t be pandered to, or made to feel guilty you’re not running to Arizona to join an ashram. Most of us have a life and responsibilities, and that doesn’t change just because of a diagnosis.

What’s Normal?

For the love of god. If I have to go in to a doctor’s appointment one more time and mention some stupid symptom I’ve been putting up with for weeks, thinking it was nothing, but finally deciding I should mention it, and having the doctor say “Oh yes, that’s normal for the treatment you’re getting.” I may have to hurt someone.

This ranges from the small and annoying, to the big and life-threatening. I spent a month spiraling into a biological depression before realizing I really needed help. “Oh, that’s to be expected.” I spent two months with pain in my eye, thinking it was just regular eye-strain. “Oh, that’s because your medication deteriorates the outer layer of your eye.” I was just feeling generally crappy, went in for a routine appointment and wound up in the hospital for a week. “It actually happens to most patients the second week of chemo.”

Thanks, Doc. How about a heads-up next time?

So a major reason for writing this is to put some information out there for someone who just got diagnosed and feels like someone just threw them in the deep end without a floatation device.


There are more reasons, but those are the top two. I reserve the right to add a few later on…


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All Content © Zipperleg Chronicles 2013 - Except for most of the photos, those are taken from the Internet. Sorry.
I am not a doctor, so none of my ramblings should be taken as medical fact.
Your milage may vary.