Friday, November 30, 2012

You Are Not Alone- At Least You Don't Have to Be

I’ve been wanting an eReader for quite a while now, but struggled with giving up the idea of holding good, old fashioned books. I also struggled  with giving up a couple hundred bucks of my hard earned money.  Then there was the choosing of which e-reader to buy. I am one of the most indecisive people you will ever meet.  It was just all too much for me, so as usual, I was one of the last few people on the earth to be up with the latest technology. You don' t even WANT to know how long it took me to get a smart phone, which is clearly just too damn smart for me, since it is always auto correcting my thoughts. No, I did NOT want to refer to my sister as a “duck” face, so stop changing it!

Well thanks to a Black Friday sale and a 30 minute run down of "how many gifts I've bought for you in the last few years compared to how many gifts you've bought for me," my husband bought me an Amazon Kindle.  I’ve had it for a week and honestly, I haven’t been on it THAT much, probably because I have serious issues with one-click purchasing and shopping online during this time of year, but I did break down and purchase my very first eBook.  Well, the first eBook for my Kindle. My first  and only eBook before this one was 50 Shades of Grey on my IPOD. Yep, I was curious and it was just before my diagnosis, so I had PLENTY of free time and space for some extra “crazy” in  my life.

My first Kindle book was Pale Girl Speaks by  Hillary Fogelson.  

What else would you expect a girl who blogs about melanoma and accepting her "paleness" to read?

Pale Girl Speaks is the memoir of Hillary Fogelson, a wife and mother of young girls,  and a three time melanoma survivor. She was first diagnosed at the age of 25.

I am only about 50 pages in, but already I LOVE HER and love the book! In just a few short sections (I'll call them sections, because they aren't very long like your usual chapters), she has taken me through the story of my first two months after being diagnosed. Sure, the people are different, the location of her melanoma is different, but still it feels like the SAME story.

I fell in love with Hillary when she shared that her nurse told her no deodorant before her surgery and then said “ so on top of everything else, I can smell like ass when I get out of surgery.”  Not only does she share my plight, but we share love for the same vocabulary.

 I could have easily read the entire thing in one sitting if there weren’t other things to do like cook dinner, put my little ones to bed, find time to blog, dig my clean laundry out of the basket it's been in for weeks, rewash the same load of laundry 3 times because I keep forgetting about it, oh, and work. I will finish it soon though, that I know, even if it means losing more precious sleep. It is just too good.

Just as misery loves company,  psychoticness loves psychoticness. It is SO relieving to hear or read that I am not the only person doing crazy things. It is also comforting to know that I wasn't the only one who had to stare down the face of this disease. I wouldn’t WISH melanoma on anyone else, but I am sure glad to have fellow warriors to assure me that I am not as crazy or paranoid as I think I am, or as crazy as my friends and family think I am.   

Today, my nephew asked me to look at a freckle on his foot that he just discovered. So naturally, my family got to talking about what to look for and showing off all of the odd moles or spots on our bodies. He then brought up that the mother of his friend of his had breast cancer years ago. Her son bought her a pink ribbon for her car last year, and she told him to get rid of it. He said she won't talk about and doesn't want to be reminded of it. I can certainly identify with that.
I’ve mentioned many times how I would not own the cancer. Nope. I would say this same statement to everyone, "I had a mole removed and they found melanoma."The mole had melanoma NOT me.  The mole, that ugly pink, “second head” I joked about on my neck, yeah, it had “the cancer.” I was good.  

Over the last few months, I have gotten more comfortable with owning that I  ONCE had cancer. I can say I  and cancer in the same sentence. I owe most of that to the fact that I made the decision to open up and allow myself to be vulnerable, first with my family, then my friends, then my personal Facebook page, then melanoma warriors I found online, and finally, here on my this blog.

I didn’t want to talk about it in the beginning. Truth is, I did want to talk about it, but I was afraid once I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop. I remember I stopped calling family for a few weeks. I knew if I just sat on the phone and talked about whatever came to mind like I usually do, IT was going to come up. I couldn’t let the dam break.  Shortly after, I started to feel like I was going crazy. That’s a story for another post, but just trust me, holding it all in, not talking to others, it will lead you to crazy town. I've been there, and still visit often.

So what's your point, Anjannette?

My point is that no matter what you are struggling with, be it disease, stress, loneliness, abuse, it is important and necessary to make a connection somehow. You can only hold in so much before you burst. 

Read a book about someone who has gone through what you are going through.
Find a support group.
Reach out online if you aren’t comfortable meeting in a group situation.
Have lunch with a friend who you know has been through a similar situation.

I did all of those things, but the support group. The very FIRST thing I did, after sharing the news with my family and close friends, was to have lunch with a friend who has been cancer free for 16 years. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when her youngest child was 2.  She decided at that moment that she was sticking around to see her grandchildren get married. Well, she is expecting her second grandchild in May and her youngest just went off to college. My dear friend Colleen was my first source of inspiration.  Because of her, I am determined to be around for MY grandchildren’s weddings!

You don't have to be alone with whatever you are going through. Even if it means just hanging with your eReader, you can find a connection somewhere.

Check out Pale Girl Speaks! I am certain this won’t be the last time I talk about it (though I am certainly NO book reviewer).

Thank you for reading. Until next time, practice safe sun!!!

1 comment:

  1. I read that book a couple of months ago! On my Kindle Fire! Which, I LOVE. I thought I would hate e-readers but my boyfriend got one for Christmas last year and I borrowed it for a work trip. By the end of my trip, I was convinced that I needed my own. Total convert!