Decided to post this here rather than just with the Writer's Group as i wondered whether others experienced the sentiments.Or whether I am just being dramatic as my 20 year old always claims? Sailor I must acknowledge you as I used your shadow metaphor - it seemed the most apt -basically I couldn't think of a better one! ANyway - here goes. (As usual the formatting changed slightly when I transferred it from Word to here.) A Plea to others Please accept me for who I have become. Please accept that my life now has a sense of urgency that previously didn’t exist. While I may have 20 or 30 years to fulfil my dreams – I also may not. That uncertainty is ever present for me. Please accept that physically I spent 8 months having my body frayed by the knife and the drugs. While I appear to have recovered, often the hours on my feet or vacuuming or scrubbing or merely living still take their toll. Please accept that emotionally my soul is worn. It now has difficulty coping with the stress or the confrontation or the grief of myself or others, so that it dissolves into tears so much more readily. I am not being dramatic, perhaps I just feel more. Please accept that the shadow lingers incessantly. At times the shadow diminishes but at others it looms forebodingly ready to invade all rational thought. Please accept that my life became a jigsaw. The pieces are slowly being reassembled but they have not all been returned to the same place, some may still be missing – searching for their correct position. Please accept that - I need to have my dreams to make sense of what has happened, to find meaning to be able to turn the experience into one where I have gained, rather than lost. Please simply accept that I have changed but that I am still me.
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Super Contributor
Hey samex ... what a great blog and thanks for sharing!! Just yesterday my friend's daughter said to me that my voice has changed and i dont speak how i did normally. I told her yesterday that i have a new normal and it encompasses all those things you have written about. Not only has my voice and accent changed but so have i and yet the basis of me is still me. :) Julie and attaches a cyber hug for you
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Contributor
Samex, I am so glad you posted this. I hope you dont mind but I am going to print it out and give to my husband to read...to try and get him to understand. It encompasses so much of what life is about now. Thank you so much Love and hugs Sharon
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Contributor
I love it I love it!!!!!! Absolutely outstanding!! P.S no - not dramatic. You have hit the nail right on the head!
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Deceased
Hi Samex You have captured what so may of us feel. We may look the same on the outside, but we have changed. The shadow is not my metaphor - I first heard of it from Jamie McKenzie in a List Server group that I used to belong to, but I suspect it predates him. It was used in a paper a couple of years later describing a Swedish study of men who instead of being treated were being closely monitored - watchful waiting. I just find it apt. My metaphor is that of a monster trying to break out of the room and sometimes all you seem to be doing is nailing planks across the doorway to try and stop the monster getting out and overwhelming you. I suspect however, that the jigsaw will never go back together as we are changed irrevocably and can never return to what we were - we are on a quest to find our new selves and the new normal, and in some ways that can be quite exciting. Well done Samex. Cheers Sailor So when storm clouds come sailing across your blue ocean Hold fast to your dreaming for all that you’re worth For as long as there are dreamers there will always be sailors Bringing back their bright treasures from the corners of earth. Eric Bogle, Safe in the Harbour
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Super Contributor
Hi Sailor Thanks for your input once again. It was interesting to see how you view things and it made me think of my first time with cancer, which was some 21 years ago. I think for each of us we have a "sameness" and yet we are different. For me i rarely think about the first cancer i had ... of course now i have cancer again i cannot help but think about it quite often (daily and hourly sometimes at the moment). I just remember that last time after i got "dismissed" from the professor at the 3 year mark that i gradually just forgot about it. Of course, had i had a recurrence it would have been different. Anyhoooo, just wanted to dip my lid at you once again. :) Julie
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Contributor
My accident was nearly 4 years ago now yet I still feel this way at times. I still feel 'incomplete', like there are pieces of me missing - still putting that jigsaw together. My brain, constricted by PTSD, is constantly fearful that I will suffer again, constantly on the alert for danger that may present itself again so I may try protect myself better. Takes its toll and I can only think that I feel more readily as a result - emotionally, I'm still a little worn out. I feel a bit smashed, a bit battered and still trying to find out who the new me is. But thankfully, I found Rob who accepts all my idiosyncrasies, my spaz out moments, my joys, my pains but sees that the core of who I am is still in there and he loves her. He sees my battle, he wants to fight it for me but just sits beside me, holds my hand and says he'll be there. Now, I understand perfectly how other survivors grieve, suffer and wade through the gamut of emotions to try make sense of who the new 'me' is while looking no different on the outside. My fear that Rob's cancer may return is just as palpable as his, the person he was is not the person he will be and our lives have changed forever. That's the beauty of acceptance - no matter what happens, the core of who Rob is, is still in there and I love him 🙂 The rest is just a bonus.
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Regular Contributor
Wow guys - thanks for the responses. Sharon this is the conversation I have tried to have with my family but have been unsuccessful hence posting the thoughts here. If it can help you then I am delighted! Sailor I like the metaphor of the monster as well. It always looms larger around test time doesn't it! Julie I am nearly at the 3 year mark (but need to be monitored for 5) but hope that I can do some forgetting by then. Hopefully the pieces may be in some sort of place by then. Once again thanks for your responses. S
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Occasional Contributor
Hey Samex, You've just hit the nail on the head with me, and after reading the responses, with others too! I just returned home from 5 days of xmas celebrations with my family, and as most of them hadn't seen me since I was sick, thought that because I looked better, I was back to the same old me. It's frustrating, and I cant seem to explain it to them without most (thankfully not all) of them thinking I'm being dramatic and, in the eyes of my little, non-understanding second cousins, boring and 'un-fun'. I just arrived home upset and annoyed at myself for not being as social, energetic etc etc.... and your post has made me feel so much better. Our bodies were battered, that needs time to heal, but so does our emotions :) Fantastic work, thanks so much!
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Not applicable
Hi Samex, You are not being dramatic, Samex, you are being honest. Thank you for sharing your feelings. You have captured in words, feelings that I too have experienced but have been unable to explain to family and friends. My world changed dramatically, quickly and for a time I was lost. When I try to explain this quite often the words escape me. My jigsaw is still missing a “few pieces” but in time will become a peaceful scene. Be proud of yourself, your writing was wonderful. Luv Reindeer xx
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