Lumpy, Grumpy, Slumpy …and OK

You know, it’s odd.  In spite of the happy clarification on the grim statistics, I find I’m still feeling a little shaky.

I’m not lying prostrate on the kitchen floor, but neither am I just reeling with feisty optimism, just oozing determination.  I’m kind of down, kind of growly at the cancer. I’m in a bit of a slump this week. I’m resenting the cancer cells and lumps in my body – they’re scaring me, chasing me, and I’m tired of it.  I want a break, which of course just isn’t possible.

And yet, somehow I feel that this is ok, this not feeling ok that I’m feeling.  It’s allowed.  I don’t have to be “up” all the time. Much as that would be nice for me and certainly make the people who love me feel more comfortable, it would be unrealistic.  Not to mention a little annoying.  It would lead to a place called Crazy, or Lance Armstrongville, and I’m no bike-riding, rubber-bracelet-hawking, cancer super-franchise.

At least not today. Today, I’m just a person who got hit with the cancer stick and isn’t too happy about it. And I think I have every right to be unhappy about it.  Living with cancer can take a lot out of a girl. Sometimes you howl at the moon, sometimes you come at the cancer guns-a-blazing, and sometimes you hit the kitchen floor, or crawl under the duvet.  Everything goes.  Right now, it’s just not going so great.  

And while I do truly appreciate the efforts of family and friends to cheer me up — especially  just by letting me know that I’m loved –  it’s also ok to let me be a little low.  You are even entitled to roll your eyes and flash your middle finger at the surly grouch currently inhabiting my person.  God knows I would.  Just a word to the wise: whatever you do, do not (not ever, but especially not today) start with that schtick about cancer being a gift or a lesson or a resolution of some dark long-buried trauma, or I’ll sock you one, I swear, and then we’ll both be on the floor.

Misery loves company, after all.



Filed under Living with Breast Cancer

10 responses to “Lumpy, Grumpy, Slumpy …and OK

  1. momof3

    Leanne, I dont know you but I love you. I love your honesty, your sense of humour and your determination.

    Keep fighting, and if anyone is entitled to a break or feelings of resentment, you certainly are. Please know that women all over the country are cheering you on and praying for you.

  2. lisa

    It’s TOTALLY OK to be low! I would never try to cheer you up when you wanted to be down. Wait that came out wrong – you know what I mean. Just be. I look forward to giving you a gigantic hug on Sunday. xoL

  3. icelander61

    I can’t imagine that anyone dealing with cancer wouldn’t be down sometimes( a lot?). I saw in a magazine article authored by a woman with breast cancer that she didn’t think it would be enlightening or teach her any great life lessons. She thought the whole thing would just suck. I like that attitude I must say. It does suck(even though I dislike that word, it says it all ).
    My own mom is enduring chemo just now & doesn’t want to be fussed over , doesn’t want any “sympathetic” visitors. I have been teasing her that a side effect of the chemo must be anti-social attitude! She’s up & down too & entitled to deal with it her way, including no visitors if she so chooses. Her family supports her & her choices.
    You, my mom, or anyone else with cancer don’t need to apologize for being down sometimes. Who wouldn’t be? It isn’t anything but natural.
    I’ll keep you in my prayers along with my mother & other friends I have dealing with cancer.

  4. Lisa Dunn

    You’re right Leanne, it is okay to not be “up” all the time. I struggled with that a lot too, because I didn’t want my family to suffer by seeing me suffer. But cancer sucks, and sometimes I just curl up in bed and ignore the world. I’ve had a tough week too as it has been a year since all my bone pain started -which took 4 months to diagnose as metastatic breast cancer, because someone so young COULDN’T POSSIBLY have breast cancer. It is an anniversary of sorts and not a good one. So this week I will grieve and next week I will pick myself up again.


  5. Gwen

    From my observations, having any serious chronic illness (and cancer is generally considered to be a chronic condition, I believe) is like being on an emotional seesaw – up and at ’em at times, and down and low at others. How could it not be? Coping with cancer while remaining cheerful, optimistic and feisty all the time is unrealistic. Hence the downs. I hope that those who love you understand that you need these down times to regroup, and that you shouldn’t, in all fairness, be expected to cheer up on request. Feeling down and low, though, can’t be pleasant. For your sake, I hope the number of low periods are far outnumbered by the “up and at ’ems”. Meantime, you are doing the very best you can with the cards you’ve been dealt. Good on ya!

  6. Anita

    One of the biggest regrets I have is not letting my mom talk about her fears or be down. We felt like just saying something bad might be tempting fate, or somehow make it all real.

    You don’t have to put on a show for anyone – and if you were cheerful all the time, I don’t think your readers would be able to relate to you the way we do.

    ps – I had to restrain myself from slapping a woman silly once, who told me with a straight face how her dad’s brain tumour was ‘a gift,’ and the best thing that ever happend to her, because it changed the way she looked at life. What kind of idiot can’t change the way they look at life without a horrible disease attacking someone they love?? Dig deeper, people!

  7. Lin

    Dear Leanne, I read your Oct 23 comment tonight and thought of what an amazing woman you are and how much I’ve grown to care about you. I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year now. I hope you’ll eventually turn your blog into a book, because you are truly wise, strong, inspirational, and hilarious. “Momof3’s” comment sums it up perfectly and I echo her sentiments! You have many friends who love you and we are pulling for you with a kind of collective energy. {{Hugs}}

  8. franny

    Dear Leanne,

    I have had Cancer twice and I am now five years in remission of the crap coming back. I am up late tonight watching my beautiful daughter sleep and feeling fear. Cancer changed my life, in good ways yes, for I have different appreciations and not a lot of time for nonsense, but my goodness we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t feel angry and scared at times.

    Thank you for being so honest Leanne. You are so very special. I pray for you all the time.

  9. leanne coppen

    Boy, are you guys good!
    I am feeling better after the weekend, and after reading all these comments, but the bounce-back isn’t always so bouncy — it might be a while before the spring comes back into my step. Which is ok. I have lots to think about…
    I’m processing a lot in this little cranium of mine right now. The question of allowing myself to really face my fears, wondering about the difference between being “realistic” and being “negative” — all that stuff.
    In the mean time I’ve also noticed I keep telling people what not to say/do (don’t look at me like that, don’t tell me cancer is a gift, etc) which is just me being bossy, but also might actually be turned into something more practical. Like a list of what not to do/say to people dealing with cancer? Stay tuned… And by all means, whatever you might have to say on the subject of cancer faux pas — please feel free to weigh in as always, my wise, lovely, funny, smart readers.

  10. Kathy Keating

    Leanne: I have not seen you in so many years now, but after reading a few of your witty, honest and thought-provoking blogs, I really miss you. I always thought that you should be a writer. I guess you always have been a writer but I thought you should make your living as a journalist or a novelist. You have an incredible perspective on things. Especially your present journey! I would love to see you and meet your daughter (do you have more kids?) and give you a big big hug. Love Kathy

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