Looking Back to May 2016
On May 27, my post was about not liking results. That day was different than November 8, but my reaction was similar. Last May, I was numb with the news of my breast cancer diagnosis. My test results had no specifics, so the unknowns were overwhelming. For days, I kept thinking I'd snap out of my fog and laugh, "Whew! That was a scary dream!"
Keeping Strong and Positive
I got through my dazed period and started moving forward. A friend reminded me that I was stubborn and I could kick this, so I grabbed a carved donkey (that was sitting on my shelf) and it became my mascot.
I first laughed with Milissa about my tiny friend, Ms. Donkey. Then I found myself laughing at surgery and chemo treatments... introducing my donkey to nurses and doctors. Humor helped me keep positive.
I learned from another friend to be open about my cancer. First I told family and friends and then I opened up on Facebook and occasionally to strangers. Even though I've kept a blog for years, I'm incredibly guarded about the personal stuff. I learned early, it was a relief not carrying the secret. And later, I found a lot of unexpected support.
The election campaign was an odd distraction as I took on cancer and treatments. I was cautious about how much negative news I absorbed and that wasn't easy. I wanted to be informed. I kept my own Facebook positive. I didn't block "friends" with different opinions, because wanted to hear what everyone had to say. At least for a while. Then I began to ignore. A lot.
I voted early and I felt positive. I'm a democrat in Texas and that can make you feel a little isolated. But I live in Fort Bend County, one of the most diverse in the country. I stood in line with a crowd, representing many races and cultures. I felt good that day.
Yesterday, November 8
Don and I sat down to take in the results on Tuesday evening. We made it festive, as we do everything. Yankee Doodle Macaroni and American Apple Pie!
We texted and talked on the phone with family in 4 states. Our daughter called from Tokyo. (She had some very exciting news to share, before flying back to the States) We were excited for that and also feeling very hopeful that we were going to witness the election of our first woman president.
The evening moved along and the tone of the texts changed. Things didn't go the way we expected.
The apple pie suddenly was not appetizing. I was feeling like I did in May. Numb and dazed and sick with worry. I went to bed long before the results were all in.
The sun did come up on Wednesday and I've had a couple days to absorb. I'm remembering the things I learned from facing cancer. Be positive, fight with donkey spirit and be open with others.
Yes, I'm worried, because this is a crazy time. But, I remember how many people supported me with my bump in the road. I realize I need to start offering support to the people who may need it the most, now. I need to stand up for those who face discrimination daily. That's hard for a person who doesn't like confrontation, but I will get better.
Two days after the election, Don and I dined with our nephew at a privately owned restaurant. When the arrogant owner teased about our "virgin waiter", I cringed. Our young Asian waiter, looked nervous on his first night on the job, but he smiled and laughed along. The owner hovered nearby and made cracks about our waiter paying for our meal, if we didn't like it. Then the owner smiled at his own cleverness, reminding us how the new president could have our waiter deported. The awkward scene was over before it sunk in. I dined, thinking about the young man, with the heavy accent and how he had reacted to the remarks... with a deep breath and an uneasy smile.
After our dinner, we were able to catch the waiter and owner near the door. The owner shook our hands and was pleased we'd enjoyed our food. I put my hand on the young waiter's back and told the owner what an amazing waiter he was. "But please don't tease about deportation. That's scary." I looked into the young man's eyes and tried to offer a supportive smile.
Since Thursday night, I've been haunted that I didn't do more.
But there are things I can do every day to heal and help. I have a month left of treatment, but I'm going to need Ms. Donkey's kicking guidance much longer.
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me. I ranted for a year, until I got my vaccine in March 2021.
Coronary Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was Don who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!