Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Love & Cancer Were Strange Companions..." ~L.A.

One of the most important lessons I have learned is that there are absolutely no rules to follow when your life turns upside down. There are no guidelines warning those around you to prepare for your mood swings, emotional breakdowns, anger, and denial. On the flip side, there is no pamphlet released that gives your loved ones information on how to deal with their own fears, anger, and denial. We all just try to take it day by day, minute by minute.

Lance Armstrong writes in his book It's Not About the Bike, "Cancer does one of two things to a relationship: it either brings you closer together, or it tears you apart." In my case with my guy, it did both. By the time I got diagnosed with melanoma, we had already made it through 3 months of stress, worry, and a month of recovery from that surgery. I had just started being my normal self again when I was diagnosed January 10, 2011. It was scary, and shocking, and one of those, "Seriously, what else will happen?!" moments for both of us.

As I have discussed in previous blog posts, Mr. Spots got hit with the majority of my fear. With everyone else I could smile & downplay how scared I really was. I did not want to be seen as the depressed girl, the girl no one would want to be around. With him, my guard was completely lowered. There were nights I would crawl into bed with him, lay across his chest & cry,  Days in the shower when I would cry until it hurt to cry anymore. I can remember a particular lazy Sunday afternoon, after reading too many things online, I crawled in his lap and sobbed like I had just been diagnosed again. I would never say a word. I would just cry. And he would let me because he knew that is what I needed at that particular time.

Besides being scared and depressed, I was angry. I felt like I did not deserve this. I felt bitter towards the people who tanned on a daily basis but were still able to live their normal lives without any repercussions. I was furious with mothers I knew who felt like life took away their freedom to have fun because they had children and could not go out drinking every weekend. I felt so angry towards the people in my close knit circle of family & friends who could continue on with their normal lives whereas my life was completely turned upside down. To say I felt angry & resentful the first few months, heck even now on certain days, is an understatement. I was not always easy to be around.

Mr. Spots had a few key moments when it all got to be too much for him. I can't speak for him, nor do I want to try because it is not fair, but we both know we made some mistakes in how we handled certain things. We spent the last 2 months apart from each other & it sure was eye opening. I think for me, I needed to see that I could survive without him. I was so emotionally and physically dependent on him that I felt like I lost a big part of myself. I needed that part of myself back.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up today is because Mr. Spots came into town on Sunday to celebrate my 6th month melanoma anniversary. He knew I needed him here. He was with me when I got the news, and although 6 months is really nothing that important, it was important to me. He knew it.

We took off to Ocean City, MD Monday afternoon. I thought it would be something fun for us to do, something we have not done before as a couple. We headed to Seacrets first for lunch. If you find yourself in Ocean City, make sure you check this place out. 

Their famous "Pain in de Ass."
I am not a huge rum fan,
but I looooove them.

After a few cocktails and a delicious jerk chicken sandwich, we headed over to the boardwalk. For some reason, I had in my head that Mr. Spots had a fear of roller coasters. So, thinking he would not go for it, I suggested we ride it. Joke was on me...He was all for it. I was a little concerned about how the roller coaster & my shoulder/neck pain would do, but I made out OK. I had a blast, so it was worth any pain I felt. For the record--I've been in bed all day today. I think yesterday took a lot out of me! So worth it though!

We were like two kids walking around the park, riding the rides. I think we laughed more yesterday than we have in months. Seriously, by the time we got off the last ride, my stomach hurt from laughing. It felt great. 

We had one more thing we wanted to ride before we started pigging out on Thrasher's french fries, Dough Rollers pizza, and Dollie's popcorn:

The Ferris Wheel!

So, that is how we spent my 6 month anniversary with melanoma. 



Rich McDonald said...

All I know is that I'm glad you're feeling well enough to enjoy some "normal life" activities.

Ranisa said...

Not that I know either one of you, but I can't tell you how happy I am about this!