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Sunday, February 03, 2013

Life as a Lewis

I vividly remember Dr. W telling me (along with Brian and Becky who were with me) at my first post-op appointment in April 2011 to avoid the internet like the plague. He suggested not researching ovarian cancer, reading articles, etc. because of all the false information out in cyber world. He said if I did run across something and I had questions, to bring it to him and he'd willingly discuss. 

Nearly 2 years into this thing, I am realizing more and more that his real purpose in telling me to avoid internet research was that it's easier to stay optimistic if I listen to his reassuring voice instead of reading cancer blogs, cancer forums, see statistics, etc. For the most part, especially during those first 6 months, I was perfectly happy to stick my head in the sand and believe his optimistic view that I could beat this thing.

I've learned since then, of course, that more than 65% of women (a conservative number) diagnosed with ovarian cancer die within the first 5 years. And that includes those who are actually declared cancer-free at some point, which, of course, I have never experienced. 

With very few exceptions, I do not read cancer blogs. While I certainly relate to their point of view, their experiences; while they might "get" what I'm going through in ways that no one else can, I just can't do it. Friday I accidentally ran across the blog of a women in her early 50's with terminal breast cancer. She is witty and funny. I spent hours (oh, yes, seriously hours) reading her blog from start to finish. She linked to a friend who was my age, had kids my age, and was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer at 35. Despite knowing that it might be a mistake for me from an emotional perspective, Saturday night I read. And read. And read. Only to discover she passed away 4 years after her diagnosis. 

And I remembered why I avoid internet cancer blogs/forum/statistics. I just can't do it. I don't have the mental strength to keep my mind in check. They take me into depression I don't always have the strength to pull myself out of. In fact, after I read that blog last night, I immediately walked to my medicine cabinet, pulled out the Xanax and took a double dose to ensure that I would fall asleep instead of laying awake worrying all night. (It worked, by the way.)

Not sure why I'm blogging this other than as a reminder to myself that Life as a Lewis is a memory-keeping journal for my family. It's a blog about two super-cute kiddos who happen to have a mom with cancer. I hope I can find a balance between keeping everyone up to date on how I'm doing, therapeutic journaling for myself, but most of all . . . preserving our family memories for Camden and Rory.

ETA: I'm not knocking those who blog about cancer; just saying that for my own mental well being, I can't immerse myself in them.
 


9 comments:

Vicki Bridges said...

Melissa I think you are smart to avoid the blog and such. I did not read anything related to my son's diagnoses. One person asked if I had looked on the internet and I said no, I was plugged in to the internet of heaven and I liked it much better. Life is to be lived, every day and as happy as possible. After my long and painful recover from back surgery I gave myself a challenge, very simple, "Find Joy Every Day". I don't always find the joy but I try to look. I think you are on the right path. Take care of yourself and surround yourself with love and rest in the comfort of God's blessing. The ones he made just for you! big hugs...

kirk121 said...

You know what I love about you Melissa? Your honesty. Your courage. Your wit. Your strength. The love that your family has for one another. Your beautiful digital scrapbook pages. The way you appreciate your husband. The hilarious stories about your kiddos. That you taught me how incredibly awesome adoption is, and so on, and so on, and so on......

I have learned all of these things from your blog. These are the blaring lessons that come from each of your posts. Cancer definitely takes a back seat.

Kick those other blogs to the curb. You have a life to live just like the rest of us....day by day, and I love the way you are living it.

kirk121 said...

Oops...this is Wendy Kirkpatrick, it signed in as my hubby.

Monica said...

If I had the smarts, I would create a filter for your computer that could block out every pessimisstic piece of information on the internet. This is your journey, not the journey of a bunch of statistics, and your outcome will be as unique as the author and finisher of our faith. And I love your blog. I love your wit, your kids, and more often than not I'm calling my husband in here to read something you wrote. And I'm praying your chemo vacation is a VERY long one!

Jenny Sue said...

We believe my journey with cancer to be complete and yet instill have to avoid most blogs with that substance because I stop trusting in God and allow the doubts and fears to press in. Praying that your heart grips onto HIS grace and peace today.

Jenny Sue said...

We believe my journey with cancer to be complete and yet instill have to avoid most blogs with that substance because I stop trusting in God and allow the doubts and fears to press in. Praying that your heart grips onto HIS grace and peace today.

Vicky said...

I've done the same thing... exact same thing- clicked what turned out to be an old link and started reading only to find out she was gone. I'm way more careful now and don't even like to read books if cancer is involved and doesn't have a good outcome. We are our own statistic, not that of the others- and we have to stay focussed on that! I love coming here to read about the kids and see all the cute pics- I think you balance it well :)

thewonderfulhappens said...

I can totally understand 1)the need to stay away from those blogs and 2) how easy it would be to get sucked right in. I love that you keep us all updated, but that your posts are more about your everyday life.

Christine said...

I love your blog for what it is... a peek into your life, whatever it may be at the moment. And that it includes missing teeth and tiny princess shoes along with everything you are going through. :-)