Don’t ask me how I’m feeling.

There’s no short answer. Fine? Okay? As well as can be expected?

The long answer is physically, fine. The armpit incision is still a little sore, but otherwise everything seems copacetic.

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The scars 6 weeks post op. The little spot is actually the needle biopsy scar.

My knees have really been bothering me but that’s not cancer related, it’s old related. It’s my outer thigh muscles are stronger than my inner thigh muscles related.

Mentally? It depends on the day. I would say almost never “great” or “awesome,” but also not usually “terrible,” either. I’m usually somewhere on the spectrum between “struggling” and “good.” Today I would say “fine.” I’m fine. I am neither feeling like a powerhouse nor crying, so fine.

Emotionally also depends on the day, but has a much broader spectrum – actually, more like a circle. Scared, anxious, nervous, optimistic, hopeful, grateful – all different points in the circle. And sometimes several at once. It’s a grab bag.

We know now that I’m probably going to have to get chemo, so I am coping with that. (“Coping.” Maybe that’s the answer I should give.) Poisoning my body, my poor body that I have so often maligned but that has gotten me this far and given me so many amazing experiences. Poisoning it to cure it. But will it? Let’s not even get into that here.

Today I came across this article in my newsfeed. Brilliant and well written, it is a great guide for how to speak to those in your life who are struggling – with illness or any other issue that does not directly affect you. I wish it went even deeper. I don’t always want to talk about what step we’re on and what’s next and how I feel about it – that’s why I keep this blog. I don’t want to detail the same things over and over and over. I don’t want to be Cancer Kate. I just want to be Kate who occasionally needs to vent about cancer or mention it in conversation but who does not want to describe the anticipated side effects of all her treatments in detail every time she sees someone she knows. This all is not to say that I don’t appreciate people reaching out to me – in fact, I could use MORE of that. But an “I’m thinking of you,” or “How’s it going?” does far more for me right now than, “How are you feeling?” or “So what is the next step?” Frankly, most of the time I am trying to forget I have cancer and focus on living my life – reminding me of it is not especially helpful.

What’s funny is if you’re reading this, you probably don’t even ask me how I am feeling. You don’t ask me what’s going on or what I have to do next or what the chances are I will lose my hair (80%) because you know BECAUSE YOU’RE READING THIS.

And to you I say: I salute you. And we meet with the medical oncologist Thursday and I will update you then on the treatment plan.

Can you blather via the written word? If so, this is it, and thank you for reading it.

2 thoughts on “Don’t ask me how I’m feeling.

  1. Hannah says:

    Totally relate. “Fine” or “pretty good” is usually how I answer cause the answer can’t, shouldn’t, or isn’t ever “great” or even “good” cause I’m going through f*cking cancer treatment. Silver lining: You will save $ on shampoo for a couple of months 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just go with the flow and answer as correctly as I can. Sometimes my chemo brain comes up with the most odd things to say, and sometimes I just can’t find the words. Not that I used to be so especially intelligent anyway 😜 “One day at a time, I’m doing as well as I can”, is my most used answer, and completely true.

    Liked by 1 person

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