It’s Lymphoma, Not Cancer – Right??

6 Sep

What a day we had yesterday. We’ve probably gone something close to 50+ days without significant rain in the Chattanooga metro area. We made up for it in a BIG way yesterday thanks to Tropical Storm Lee. I’m not complaining, though! Our yard needed the water in a bad way. It may not have needed as much as it got, but beggars can’t be choosers! :)

The long weekend was nice and I’m feeling good heading into round two of chemo this week. I’m a little anxious about how easy or hard it will be. I don’t know if it will be better because my body has already experienced the meds before or if it will be about the same as last time. Either way, I’m more prepared mentally for it.

There is no problem, situation,
or circumstance bigger than God.
– Beth Moore

I’ve known about the possibility, and now the reality, of having lymphoma for close to three months. However, for the first four or five weeks, I wouldn’t even allow my brain to think the word “cancer.”

It’s lymphoma. That’s not the same thing as cancer, right??

In my mind, I thought if I continued to call it lymphoma, then I didn’t have to think about cancer and everything that came with it – radiation, chemotherapy, hair loss, sickness, you know – the usual suspects. I tried to trick my mind into thinking it was something other than cancer. Maybe a serious illness, but certainly not the “C” word.

But. There’s always a but, right? There was the research. Everything I read referred to lymphoma as cancer, as a blood cancer, in the same class as leukemia. Leukemia! That was hard to accept because I’d heard a lot about leukemia through the years and knew that it was a serious cancer. I had not heard much about the lymphomas (Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins) and my ignorance was allowing me to somewhat blissfully side-step the truth.

The truth is that I was only denying my new reality: I have cancer.

I realized that if I don’t truly acknowledge what this is, I can’t deal with it. I can’t defeat an enemy I don’t recognize as the enemy. I can’t focus my energy on tackling something I won’t admit is real.

So I started using the “C” word more. The first time I said it, I expected there to be huge claps of thunder or an earthquake or something major like that. It felt so monumental. But the person I was talking to didn’t even blink when I said it. Go figure! :)

And now there is my new reality. I’ll weigh myself and see that, although I am still at an ok weight, I much lower than I’ve been in years. Or I’ll try to eat a normal amount of food and be reprimanded by my stomach for doing so. And then there’s our friendly neighborhood kidney stent that will not, for the love of Pete, let me forget that it’s there. All of these reminders that I do, in fact, have cancer.

Even though I am now able to acknowledge I have a form of cancer, I still look at myself in the mirror sometimes and think “Is this really happening??” Yeah, it’s happening, but I can honestly say one month into the treatment plan, it’s not as bad as it could be. In fact, most days are very tolerable, and sometimes even pretty good.

I can’t ask for more than that, can I?

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5 Responses to “It’s Lymphoma, Not Cancer – Right??”

  1. Becky Robinson September 6, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    God is taking care of you. Have a blessed day.

    Love you girl,
    Becky

    • rachturner September 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      Yep, He sure is. :) Love you, too!

  2. Jennifer September 6, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    I was doing the same thing – it was NHL and not cancer but the more I read the more it really was cancer. You are my brave sister with a wonderful attitude and I love you.

    • rachturner September 6, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      It’s almost like our “brains” try to protect us from accepting the truth sometimes, allowing us to only process small bits of reality at a time because the whole truth would be too much to handle.

      • Kathy September 7, 2011 at 1:02 am #

        That’s another one of God’s perfect and unending gifts to us. We can only absorb a measured amount of anything. God knows this and provides for each of us in this way. He is the only One with that measuring cup!

        And yes, I’m up this late because I was on Pinterest! HA HA HA
        You go and make addicts out of us and I’ll be willing to bet you’re in bed sleeping right now, huh? Knew it!

        Remember that Jenn and I are holding your hands for this treatment. Well that’s when Barry doesn’t beat us to them! Give him my love. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how hard this is on him and how wonderful he’s been to you through every minute of this. It gives me great comfort to know how much research he has done and how loving and supportive he is. He is another one of those “Blessings in Disquise”.

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