happy and not

I have pink hair again today. At the library. While I’m working. That makes me happy.

I saw my psychiatrist today, Dr. Cool Indian Lady (CIL). She really loved my pink hair and said

You’re something else, you know? You’re great.

That made me happy.

Then I came back to work and talked a bit to my co-worker/friend about how I have to write another begging letter/memo about getting more, yes more, sick leave because I’ve already burned through the donated sick leave that they previously gave me because after the previous three chemo treatments I got sick.

That makes me sad. It’s hard to ask for these things. It’s hard on one’s ego, I guess. It feels like begging. I feel vulnerable in front of these strangers, these people up at the Big Campus who will get together in a committee meeting and look at my “situation” to determine if I’m worthy of more donated sick leave.

Then my co-worker asked:

You don’t have any vacation left?

I said that yes, I did, but I need my vacation leave as a back-up for everything else, that I can’t be left with nothing when I come back to work. When I tell her these things, I’m reminded of the 90% recurrence rate of my cancer and I don’t state that out loud, but it’s there in my mind, never far from my mind in fact, and I say:

It’s just that I might have to ask for donated sick leave again. I don’t know this for sure and I hope I don’t but . . . .

and the words hang in the air. My eyes are getting teary so I try to cut things off.

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That’s the only way I know how to do it.

And I leave the back workroom because I just can’t talk about it anymore.

Sometimes I just can’t talk about it anymore.

Or I want to talk about it, but with people who understand,

and people who understand

are hard to come by here.


8 Responses to happy and not

  1. You are not begging. You are asking. You are doing great, but you still need a little bit extra. You do not need to explain that to anybody (with the possible exception of your higher-ups)

    Most importantly, you (we) need to internalize that there is nothing dishonorable about asking for help in the areas in which we need them.

    Some day, hopefully, we will give back more than we have taken.

    Most of us have no problems giving. It is learning to ask for/accept the help that is our challenge.

    You are strong. Do not beg. Ask for what is reasonable. Remember, you are valuable to your employer. You will work better, knowing that you have sick days available. Your increased productivity can only benefit your entire work environment.

  2. throwslikeagirl74 says:

    I love the pink hair! I went for blue today (though mine is of the wiggy variety). And the asking for help thing. So hard. I know. *hugs*

  3. whymommy says:

    Hey, babe. I understand. We understand. Hang out with us, babe — we’ll make you feel positively giddy with happiness!

  4. cancervisa says:

    We have all had days where we can’t talk about “it” anymore. We are all just trying to do our best, right? The dutch say “strength” when they leave eachother after hearing that one person is not doing as well. Be strong!

  5. You are certainly not begging and I hate for you that you have ask at all but you do and my gosh it is so reasonable that you do ask, maybe these people you work for and with need some handouts on just what your disease has involved. What is has taken for you to even be at work at all, a lot of people wouldn’t even be able to in your situation so you are amazingly strong and have every reason and every right to be so very proud of yourself. If your work colleagues make it difficult for you to talk about by being incredibly ignorant, then that is their problem, just don’t discuss it with them and choose to share how you are doing with the people that love you and do get it (as much as anyone can that hasn’t been through it themselves) but you can also find folks that have been through it to talk too as well, like right here on this site as well as support forums online. Anyway, I just want you to know you are doing a fantastic job and you don’t need to feel so humble and as if you don’t deserve to get more time off when you need it. I hope you get what you need from them, take good care and anytime you want just come and pour your heart out here that’s what we are here for after all. Hugs J xx

  6. Jenster says:

    LOVE the pink hair!

    Sometimes it’s better to talk to people who have been there because they really do understand.

  7. jillaldrich says:

    I l-o-v-e your therapist, Cool Indian Lady (CIL). You *are* something else, pink hair, audacious attitude, poetic writing and all! I’m hoping to read more of your story this weekend.

    About work? I’ve found that people are kind and well-intentioned, but they’re just not able to fully understand what it’s like to deal with cancer. This is something I struggle with mightily, too.

    Ask, unapologetically, for what you need at work. Then come here and let these great women empathize with you and support you. I am plain impressed that you’re working, writing, and living your life with grace…and style!


  8. […] are hard to come by here. ________________________________ Crossposted to Mothers With Cancer. […]

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