Monthly Archives: October 2014

It’s Not About Who is Real To your Face, It’s about Who Stays Real Behind Your Back

#Truth

talinorfali

In life do you ever wonder about who is real and fake in your life? Do you ever sit back and think about all the friends you have in life, thinking that they are real to you in your face and around you, but once your not in each others presence and go on with daily life, do you ever wonder if they are being real to you behind your back? I know it is against the friendship code when friends test each other to see how loyal and real they are to each other, but sometimes testing each others loyalty isn’t such a bad thing, because this day in age, you have no other options because trust and realness is very rare and there are so many things that can happen between friends and when we tell a secret or when we share with friends about personal stories or…

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Mirror, mirror …

I pass the mirrors in my apartment, and I cringe, walk faster, I look away – afraid to see what else cancer has taken from me. Sadly, I am beginning to understand that insecurity, pain, nausea are my constant companions lately. There is religious, cultural ritual for some, that cover mirrors after a death. This is how I feel. This tradition believes there is a connection between the soul and the mirror, with a belief that the soul can be reflected or captured by the mirror’s reflective surface. I agree. I feel lost at times. My self perception is distorted.

I was at a school reunion this past weekend, and if I heard one more time, how good I looked, I would have screamed. I know most people mean well, but I get tired of people trying to be polite and tell me how pretty I STILL Look despite that I am going through chemo and radiation. So many people so carelessly say things like ““But you don’t look sick.” *sigh*

I want that magic mirror that the Evil Queen had in Snow White. I want to look in the mirror, and recite, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all” … and the magic mirror should affirm my dignity, beauty, and self worth! But alas… I have only the distorted mirrors, like the ones at fun houses. The image can be either greatly magnified or diminished in appearance. And I think lately it all depends on how I am feeling. I think many women are dissatisfied with their reflection. For me, right now, its more than thinking I am too fat, too old, etc. Our body image reflects how you feel your body is aesthetically and how attractive you perceive yourself. Right now, my body image is more of a battle for identity than just looking good. Until I can confidently see myself honestly, I will avoid mirrors along with well-meaning friends.

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Drip Giggles & Dreams

What do a group of women with a lovely cocktail of avastin via an IV drip decide to watch on the hospital TV? Sex And The City … of course. lol What a funny morning. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

The most memorable line that resonated with me from the SATC reruns:

Carrie Bradshaw: “Then I realized, no one had told her about the end of love in Manhattan. Welcome to the age of un-innocence. No one has breakfast at Tiffany’s, and no one has affairs to remember. Instead, we have breakfast at seven a.m., and affairs we try to forget as quickly as possible. Self-protection and closing the deal are paramount. Cupid has flown the co-op!”

I am still going to hold onto hope for a life that can so romantically be summed up like a movie title. A girl can dream… or maybe its the fever talking!! 🙂


Mental Health

Today is National Depression Screening Day, ‪Bipolar Awareness Day, and ‪‎World Mental Health Day. I have lived all my life with family members who are manic, depressed, alcoholic dependent, and have extreme personality mood swings, and are most times than not in complete denial. I myself suffer from depression and all too aware. I know sometimes when I look back, I am completely lost. We all need to work together to work on increasing our awareness, acceptance and be more patient. Help eliminate the stigma.

This quote by Spike Milligan resonates with me: ‘It’s a gift and a curse. You get the pain much worse than anybody else, but you see a sunrise much more beautiful than anybody else!’

This is how I feel so many times…You start to wonder if maybe something has come over her and she’s finally coming around. Maybe this is the start of something better, more peace, less tension. You even get a little upset wondering, “Well why can’t she just be like this?” And that’s the part that keeps you sucked in, thinking she can someday rehabilitate her attitude and behaviors toward you after all this time. My expectations were always off track. I felt that I just held onto just hope. But I learned that sometimes it’s that very hope – false hope – that keeps us inappropriately connected. You want what you can’t have – a mom who’s proud of you, a grandma who doesn’t pit people against each other, a sister you can trust. When you can accept the face value of your painful situation instead of the fantasy, it gets easier to live with.

Now that doesn’t mean you alienate yourself from the very people you love but drag you so deep down. Sometimes we just have to be inwardly and outwardly strong, brave, patient. Breathe. Count to ten. Limit the contact. Call once in a while, be around for two hours at Christmas, or have dinner once a month. You may need to set some strong boundaries when they start to treat you poorly. That might mean getting up and leaving their house, hanging up the phone, carefully choose what gatherings you attend, etc. And truthfully, it means setting your expectations pretty low. Casual activity that doesn’t get emotional is ideal, unless they are so destructive you should cut them off completely. Lucky for me I have not had to cut any family member out completely.

Sometimes you can stay around and take it, hoping they would get into a better mood; other times you just have to leave and wait. Pray. Hope. There is always hope. If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it….truer words have not been shared.

“Every day may not be good…but there’s something good in every day”
-Alice Morse Earle

I choose to live my life with awareness, hope, faith, patience, and grace in my step.


Lesson for today…

Such a great quote from Sons of Anarchy:

Jackson ‘Jax’ Teller: Maybe that’s the lesson for me today, to hold onto these simple moments – appreciate them a little more, there’s not many of them left. I don’t ever want that for you, finding things that make you happy shouldn’t be so hard. I know you’ll face pain, suffering, hard choices but you can’t let the weight of it choke the joy out of your life. No matter what, you have to find the things that love you. Run to them. There’s an old saying – that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I don’t believe that. I think the things that try to kill you make you angry and sad. Strength comes from the good things, your family, your friends, the satisfaction of hard work. Those are the things that will keep you whole, those are the things to hold onto when you’re broken.

I agree…. ♥


Just venting…

Life. Life sometimes really sucks. Period.

Being a divorced, single, childless woman in my 40s battling cancer yet again is just a sad state to find myself in…again.

Divorced Female, Going Bald, Undergoing Chemo and Radiation, Going Through Menopause, Weight Fluctuations, Mood swings…

Oh yeah, isn’t that the first profile you would click on if you were searching for the love of your life or even just a new ‘friend’ online? Dating in itself – or, I should say, finding someone to date – is never easy. Finding someone when you happen to be bald, going through chemo and/or making daily trips to the hospital for chemotherapy and radiation makes it a zillion times more complicated. Trust me, I know. I have tried it. I am not sure why I have tried it but I did. Logically, I knew it was not the best idea. But heck, I guess I am bored, optimistic, stupid?!

Going through cancer treatment can be really tough for a single woman. You may not have a friend or family member who can be there for you like a partner. You may also worry about how a current or future partner will react when they find out you’ve had cancer.

Perhaps the most private scar left by cancer is the damage done to your view of yourself. My self-image is completely distorted at times. I constantly find myself worried if I can ever catch up, keep up or even get going on most days. I wonder how active I can be and even how long I will live. If I ever even allow myself to think about remarrying one day, I obsess about if I should ever involve a partner in such an uncertain future.

In the past, concerns about having children also affected my relationships. I became infertile many years ago with my first bout of cancer. So alone I am.

I have been single most of my life. And I live by this quote by prixie: “Single is not a status. It is a word that describes a person who is strong enough to live and enjoy life without depending on others.”

Yes I am scared. Tired of not having someone special around. But the reality is I am my own person, and if I can’t enjoy being single, how can I enjoy being with someone else?

The most difficult thing for me about going through cancer yet again is doing it single, alone. In the past, I had a much larger, strong support network so I was hardly ever alone. But now I find myself more alone. At a time when closeness is so much more important, I feel so utterly singularly alone. During this time, my treatment, I am trying so hard to be brave and not complain too much. But staying quiet and calm, doesn’t prevent me from being lonely sometimes and longing for someone to hold me at night and whisper that everything is going to be alright. Or even just to take me to dinner, make me laugh, smile and forget about cancer for a little while, make me feel desirable. I have friends who take pity on me and take me out for dinner, and make me laugh but its just sadly not quite the same thing. Sometimes I just so desperately want to ignore the cancer.

Nearly everyone I encounter who has or has had cancer – friends, people at the hospital, family, people in books and on TV – were either married or in a serious relationship when they were diagnosed; or children with caring parents. Not me. I am in the very vulnerable single state and not having someone to hold my hand every step of the way, makes me wistful, if not angry sometimes. But instead of just being jealous of others in relationships with supportive loving partners, feeling sorry for myself, I keep trying online dating. It makes me feel somewhat normal.

Within minutes of posting a new photo online, I had e-mails from men ready to shower me with attention. Of course, most weren’t exactly my type, but you need to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, right?! lol

I guess I am lucky somewhat … I have had some really interesting email exchanges, but alas have not found the man of my dreams during treatment. Still, dating during treatment restores my self-confidence, reassures me that I am still attractive, and distracts me enough moments at a time. The way I see it, is that everyone is unique and carries baggage of some kind and this is only one part of me, I guess. Just tired today of carrying all this baggage. Tired of my hand dangling alone.

So yes … Life. Life sometimes really sucks. Period.


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