Sunday, March 6, 2011

The end of my world as I knew it

Hello? Is there anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me…is there anyone (still) home. Okay – enough with the Pink Floyd already. So if no one is out there – I understand since it’s been, oh, just over four months since my last post here. Wow – I feel like I should re-introduce myself, something like, Hi, I’m Grace, I’m a mental patient, and it’s been just over four months since I last wrote here on my blog. Not that anyone has been searching for me, or even read my blog…I dunno…but it was cathartic to write, so I’m hoping that will be the case today, too. We’ll see…

So, here goes…

This is hard to write – probably why it’s gone unwritten for four months. I started writing this blog as a way to write about my mental health *worries* and *therapy* troubles, and “stuff”. Well, “stuff” has evolved. “Stuff” has taken the form of a plama cell gone wrong and evolved into cancer. Yeah, the last post I wrote, when I said something wasn’t right, well, something was very wrong. Nine days after I wrote that last post, I was diagnosed with cancer, bone marrow cancer.

Did you know that they now tell you that stuff over the phone? Talk about crazy? I was driving when I got the call…on my way to my office! And the doctor was all, “Um, yeah, Grace, we got your test results back, and there is cause for concern.” Yes, he said “cause for concern”. There was no, “Are you in a place where you can talk?” or anything like that, he was just calling to “deliver the news: Congratulations, you are the proud new owner of bone marrow cancer: Go, Fight, Win! Okay, he was more diplomatic than that, I joke…but seriously, you tell someone over the phone they have cancer? So after the doctor tells me that I will need to be referred to a hematologist oncologist, and he’ll have the nurse call me with some referrals… I somehow make it to my office and close the door.

My ears are ringing and I think I may vomit but I don’t. I sit down and put my head down because nothing feels real and my first thought was: I need my grandma. But my grandmother is dead so I can’t call her. I started to call a friend of mine but suddenly everything felt so loud and overwhelming I hung up before she answered. What was I going to say to her anyway – I couldn’t say the word cancer out loud and I didn’t want to sound needy and pathetic. Or afraid.

So I called the therapist. She knew I had been having health problems, she knew I had been having tests done, she wouldn’t be surprised to hear fear in my voice, and I didn’t know who else to call. It was the middle of the afternoon and I didn’t expect her to answer the phone anyway. I could leave her a voicemail and try to compose myself to speak coherently by the time she called me back. She answered. I tried to squeak out the words, “I have cancer.” I don’t know how successful I was since she kept asking me to speak louder…slower. Finally I told her that I would email her and we hung up.

It’s funny, looking back, as I write this now, tears welling in my eyes, it feels as though I am reliving it again. You never know the day you’re world will change forever, it’s a day that starts out as any other day; you get up, tired from not getting enough sleep, shower quickly, dress the kids and get them off to school. You check your calendar as you stand in line at starbucks and nod your head when offered that extra shot of expresso…you need an extra kick to get through this day, for sure. And then in the middle of the day your phone rings and your life takes a dramatic change when you learn you have a rare bone marrow cancer. And what you thought was *body-memories* (pelvic/hip pain) for the past two years, wasn’t “all in your head” it was really plasma cells in your bone marrow are on a rampage; multiplying and squeezing out your red blood cells, it was cancer ravaging your body, in real life, not memories of your step-father ravaging your body from when you were a child.


  1. I'm so sorry, Grace. I wish I had better words to comfort you with, but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending all my love and {{{HUGS}}}

  2. Thank you Grace for sharing your self and your pain here. I say "thank you" because what you are saying means so much to me. But, most of all, hear that you are not alone. You have touched my heart!

    This is where language fails us. Regardless, know that you have another person who wants to hear you.

    Linda of Blue Skies...

  3. So sorry Grace...I'm glad they have found out what's happening in your body. Sending you healing thoughts and prayers.