Bad Dreams

Lately I’ve been having a lot of bad dreams. This isn’t normal for me–I often have weird dreams, or sex dreams, or dreams about nothing in general, but bad dreams are unusual for me. I’m guessing it’s because my brain metastases are back. Or rather, I have new ones.

I went in for my brain MRI recently knowing that something was probably growing in there. I haven’t had any symptoms of brain mets–no headaches, no dizzy spells, nothing neurological–but my tumor markers have been up, and if my cancer is growing in my liver and bones, which we saw on my last PET, I figured it was probably growing in my brain as well. So, I went in for the MRI expecting bad news, and that’s what I got.

So far, it’s two lesions. They’re both tiny, but frankly, when we’re talking about BRAAAAAAAAAIN tumors, I mean, any tumors are extremely bad news. The plan is to rescan in a couple of weeks and see if these are spots that grew before I switched to Afinitor/Aromasin, or if I’m gonna need to give up on those drugs and try something else.

And thus, it’s not surprising I’m having nightmares. I had one in which I was a terrorist and I shot up a building, then was on the run from the police. In another, there was blood everywhere. You don’t need to be Freud to interpret my dreams.

The other night before bed, I had a meltdown. Like, an epic one. I sobbed as I told The Hubs that sometimes I wish I’d never met him, because then I wouldn’t have him or the kids and I could just give up, cash out my 401K and go away and die. That sometimes I wish he would just take the kids and leave me. He said he already knew I felt that way sometimes, but he’s not going to leave me. Guy’s too much of a mensch for his own good.

I hate this life. I hate being afraid. I hate watching the people I care about suffering because my body keeps betraying me. I hate watching my friends die, and knowing my time will come soon. I hate knowing the kids will grow up without me. I hate the scans, the treatments, but mostly I hate the way I’m trapped in this life and I don’t even have the choice to give up. Because I’m a mom, and I can’t do that to the kids, or to The Hubs. I hate going on, knowing it’s all futile.

Here’s the part where someone comes in and says “Just stay strong, have hope, don’t give up.”  You know what? Fuck you. Fuck you to whoever says that. You have no idea how strong I have to be to live with the CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE OF MY DEATH and still get out of bed every day, still take care of my family, still do advocacy work, still take pills that might not even be working. Hope will not cure me. “Not giving up” won’t cure me. I will die of my cancer, and I keep on moving. I’m strong as a goddamn ox. SO WHAT?

And so, I have nightmares. And not just when I’m asleep. My whole life is one long bad dream now.

Hate and Death

I don’t usually write about mass shooting incidents here on the blog. I cry every time one of them happens, and I wish desperately that they would stop happening, and I support Moms Demand Change. But writing about someone else’s pain is hard for me–I worry about further upsetting the families of the victims, because I’ve been known to seriously shove my foot in my mouth in these situations. 

But a dear friend of mine from the LGBTQ community reached out to me and some other cancer folks and asked us to stand up for her community, and she has stood up for the metastatic community. And she’s right–I shouldn’t sit quietly for fear of saying the wrong thing. We all need to say something, SAY SOMETHING, to show the LGBTQ community that we care about them, and that we have their back.

It’s not OK to hate people. It’s not OK to hate people because they don’t share your religious views. It’s not OK to hate people for who they love. It’s not OK to hate people because they’re Latino. It’s not OK to hate people. IT’S NOT OK TO HATE PEOPLE.

It’s not OK to shoot people. It’s not OK to shoot people because they don’t share your religious views. It’s not OK to shoot people for who they love. It’s not OK to shoot people because they’re Latino. It’s not OK to to shoot people. IT’S NOT OK TO SHOOT PEOPLE.

Nobody needs an assault weapon. Nobody needs extended clips for maximum murdering power. Nobody with a history of domestic violence should have access to any kind of gun. Nobody on a terrorist watch list should have access to any kind of gun. Nobody with a history of mental illness should be able to buy a gun. NOBODY NEEDS AN ASSAULT WEAPON.

I can only imagine the pain that the LGBTQ community is experiencing right now, but I want to wrap them all up and hold them close to my heart and tell them that I love them, that I’ll always stand by them, that their love is just as beautiful as mine. That no matter how many people try to shower them with hate and death, they have allies–we are their allies and we will stand with them to reject the ideology that says they’re less than us.

On this mets Monday, I hope that we in the metastatic cancer community will stand with our allies in the LGBTQ community who have supported us in our fight to stay alive. I hope that we’ll show our allies that we are also their allies, and ask how we can help them. I hope we’ll stand with them at Pride events this month, and call out homophobia and prejudice every time we see it. And I hope that the LGBTQ community will feel our love.