feeble catch-ups

With the recent loss of our fellow breast cancer friend and blogger Ann, I stopped my usual visits to my other blogger friends. That is my frequent, but temporary, response when I feel overwhelmed by the sorrow that besieges me in losing another member of our cancer community. At times like that I want only to run fast and hard from this misery monger. But, of course, living with it inside your body makes it hard to escape.

Sometimes I start writing letters to my online friends, and I begin to sob. I want to comfort them in their pain, their discomfort, their loss, their fear, their need, but I feel inadequate. Often I cannot write even a paragraph before I break down, thinking of the suffering these women have endured in the face of this gnawing disease. I wonder what I can possibly offer to women who are so brave, bright charming and witty.

Then I feel guilty. I want to reach out, and yet my own emotional and physical demands are more selfish than I want to admit. The time has passed when I could and would accomplish the ambitious goals I would set for myself. It would take a force of nature to keep me from finishing a goal on time. Now, my time is fluid. Many days require that I take naps, a concept of which I knew nothing in my former life. Other days the fatigue plagues me, but I manage to lie on the sofa with my iPad, at least, attempting to read in between dozing and bouts of fractured thinking. At times like that writing or even sitting at the computer takes a toll, and I find it impossible to write those fun letters or even to post some nonsense on FaceBook.

I wish I could gather all of my friends out here who have never met but who follow each other through our shared stories and blogs and with whom we claim an unspoken bond. Despite—or maybe because of— the silence, we understand one another on so many levels. During the many months when I was recuperating from the back surgery and coping with the radiation and then the chemo, I had many days when I barely could lift myself out of bed or off the sofa. Now, enjoying a kinder treatment, I feel the desire to do as much as I can while I can.

Yet, even now, with my physical limitations, my intensity is internal. I cannot pack the punch into a day like I once did. I cannot write every last note and letter to everyone on the list or even reply to a FB comment. So I do what I can, hoping you will understand that my lack of response is never indicative of a lack of interest, and trying to forgive myself for my tardy catch-ups.

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© 2004–2011 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

3 responses to “feeble catch-ups

  1. Bless you, Donna~ it is so good to read your words. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2009 and it is still such a learning curve. I recently lost my chemo buddy & I know she is an awesome angel but it hurt so to loose her.

  2. I think most of us with advanced cancer know what you mean – been there, doing that.

    And I know I feel that same guilt, the same feeling that I *should* be writing to you and other friends. I am (mostly) answering personal emails… but that takes up time and energy, and by the time I’m done, I don’t seem to have leftover energy for going to blogs and reading them, except maybe once every week or two.

    I feel guilty for not writing to people who are probably staying in the background because they know l’m having troubles at the moment, and they are trying to be sensitive to that – ironically, those are the people I’d probably most like to hear from, but I keep forgetting to write to them first…


    Well, hopefully we both will reach one of those periods where the energy is more available, and we’ll catch up. In the meantime, please know that your friends understand, and we are not upset, and we don’t want you to worry any more, okay? We are still loving you, in between the ‘tardy catch-ups’!

  3. This isn’t the answer but its reaetld. Well I’ve heard of something called a Celebration of life that some people ask for when they die instead of a wake. It is the opposite where instead of mourning, people get together to remember all the positives. I think its kind of along those lines. #1. They need money and I don’t think they will get money if they throw depressing events. #2. If I was sick, I would want to help my cause in a way that could be fun for all my family and friends, along with myself. I don’t know, this is just what I think. sorry if it wasn’t what your looking for

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