No Longer An Option

BackLGI have always loved Mary Engelbreit’s artwork, but this particular print has taken on new meaning for me!  Just when I wish I could go back in time to where I use to be “before” cancer, THAT road is no longer an option. 

Imagine you fall asleep and one day you wake up in a strange place you’ve never been before.  None of your loved ones are there with you.  They peer through windows all around you to express their love to you, but they can’t be there really with you.   Their voices are always at your ears, you know they are there, but somehow they seem far away.  Everything is unfamiliar and the language spoken there is odd ,and terms are used that  you’ve never heard before.  Words like “recurrence” and “sentinel”  and “adjuvent”.  You look them up in a dictionary just to know how to spell them!   You find yourself learning the language, but you don’t feel like you should be speaking it – it is as foreign as it ever was.   People  look different here, and soon you look just like them and you wish you could just put on dark glasses and hide.  You liked the way you looked before and didn’t want this change.  But it’s here.  You’re here – and you can’t wake up.  All around you are reminders of where you use to be and yet you can’t reach that place.  You’re stuck.  Like a bad dream you can’t escape, and it never seems to end.  You know the one (?) where you scream and no sound comes from you mouth.  You don’t have a say in this – you must walk this road in this strange place. 

Well, that is what “Cancerland” feels like right now.  A very strange place I wish I didn’t have to visit.  Like a plane layover in a town that is less than desireable , but your connecting flight takes off without you and leaves you standing there with no way home!  I have met lots of other people wandering around here ,but they are all sad and suffering too.  I’m not sure how much we are helping each other but it’s nice to know that there are others who don’t belong here.  We cry on each others’ shoulders and tell one another it’s all going to be okay.  We are here for the newcomers who have many questions, and somehow we feel like we know more than we ever wanted to be able to share with them, and yet we do.  When can I go back to the familiar?…  To the innocence of a life that will go on forever, and never worrying that it might not.  A year from now?  Two years from now? Never?  I don’t know.  Nobody knows and nobody can tell me.  There are no promises here. 


Today I had my post op appointment as well as  a 6 month month follow up with my original surgeon’s office.  But this being a military hospital, of course, my original surgeon has moved on so I met a new doctor and his 2 year med student.  We talked about “what next” and he will have me get an MRI 3 months from now.  He told me that the lobular cancer I had is more commonly found in the other breast as a recurrence.  That wasn’t too comforting.  He told me the lack of motion and tightness I am feeling in my arm from the lymph node biopsy site will have to be treated with physical therapy but that my plastic surgeon would be the one to refer me for that after my final post op check up in a month.  Goody goody :~ – one more place to have to be now…more appointments, filled up calendars and drives through D.C. traffic. I’m hoping maybe I can do that part locally.  I have a Herceptin infusion again next week.  Until then, I am trying to take it easy and enjoy summer, get together with friends old and new, and look forward to a beach getaway soon!

4 thoughts on “No Longer An Option

  1. Your writing is so eloquent. This was beautiful. You should submit it to a cancer magazine. Wow.
    Koryn, I sure don’t have the answers to why you have landed in Cancerland…must be hard.

  2. Thanks for sharing…I hope you have a great rest of the summer. Thnx for being brave. I found you when I googled the Mary Englebright poster…
    Although I don’t have cancer (and I am certainly hoping your recovery goes well!), I have a pathetic life experience I am going through compared with your battle. Thus, my search for the poster. I cannot help others, just myself. I am also greatful you are proactive with your treatments and will return to this blog to cheer you on. Stay strong! I wish you a tall glass of iced tea, your favorite salad, good music, and the best view of the beach possible!

  3. I also found this site while googling Mary Englebreit and I wanted to say your story put some things in prespective for me and I hope you are cancer free today.

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