lucky (for Jolene, the Bloggers and Invisible Pain Carnival)

I think I am lucky. I do. Now everyone will be mad at me and I will be thrown out of this precious group of supporters. I’m sorry and I know this is not what you are looking for in this blog carnival but I have to be true to my self. I am lucky. First of all, I don’t think my symptoms are all that bad compared to many of the other bloggers; I feel like I don’t deserve this group. Yes, I have pain but it doesn’t sound half as bad as my fellow members. I feel like a fraud, and a lurker and ashamed.  Second, a close friend of mine is dying of cancer, around the corner from me and she has weeks, maybe months to live. She is a wonderful person, someone with a sunny disposition, a great mother, good friend, an absolutely lovely family. Her name is Dawn and she is at least ten years younger than I am so she is in her early forties. When she was able to walk she would ask me how I WAS doing. How I WAS feeling and when you asked her, she always said “fine.”

She is not fine anymore. She had breast cancer and then brain cancer and now I don’t even know where the cancer is because it might be all over her. There are no more treatments for her, no more cures, no more hope. I am alive and she is dying. She has three children, 19, 16 and 13, all three amazing kids. They don’t deserve this in life and neither does she.

I drop by with food, I make a special chilled peach soup for Dawn because that is the only thing she can eat, a tablespoon or two of soup, if her family is lucky. I haven’t seen her in weeks but I know she got bad news on Sunday from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital in NY and no-one has seen her since. I don’t know how long she has to live but I feel it isn’t going to be very long. Her parents were in from Wisconsin for a long time and when her mom saw me and our mutual friend, her mom started crying and she and her husband, Dawn’s parents, continued to walk, slowly around the block holding on to one another.

I have Fibromyalgia and an Auto-immune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It was partially diagnosed 4 years ago. I felt like” I had the flu but without the fever.”  That is the only way I could describe what I was feeling and how badly it hurt.  I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t do anything but sleep and moan, my whole body aching all the time. I felt like it had been flattened by an enormous truck,and the truck kept going but I did not.

I felt sorry for myself and my mother, and sister and husband and kids and friends felt sorry for me. I get tired easily, I live in the “fibro fog” people talk about, I can’t keep up with everyone else; I don’t try to either.  Still, with aching limbs, and joints and bones I am alive. Yes, I hurt but I don’t think I hurt as badly as some of you and I don’t hurt as much as Dawn’s children who are at home, by her side as she breathes, as long as she breathes. I may not have the perfect life, my husband hasn’t worked in a year and we have no income coming in. I have a Junior and Senior in High School but I can’t complain, I won’t complain because I don’t deserve to.

I am here today with clenched shoulders and tired, swollen feet, aching, tender and swollen, red joints but I am here. Even though there are a lot of things I could complain about I can’t. I won’t, because I’m lucky.

7 thoughts on “lucky (for Jolene, the Bloggers and Invisible Pain Carnival)

  1. Laurie,
    I am so sorry for what your friend Dawn and her family are going through. but I also feel you too have a right to vent when you need to about your own struggles! there will always be someone on earth who has it “worse”. does this mean that even a man who is about to die because he has no food can’t feel he deserves to complain because there’s another person who has just died from a bullet? I would say no, it doesn’t.
    but it *is* very helpful to count our blessings – I’m glad you can see the ways you are lucky. I just think you have room for both in your life – to say “I’m thankful for the positives, but oh I wish I could hurt less”. nothing wrong with asking for that!!
    nice to meet you through the carnival!

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  2. Laurie,

    Any pain is bad, and comparing your pain to my pain, or anyone else’s pain and deciding that you don’t “qualify” for our group only hurts us all. Your pain is just as valid as mine, and whether it is worse or not as bad is totally irrelevant, only your experience of it is.

    You are one of us not because of your pain, but because of your diagnosis, and you have much to offer us, just as we have much to offer you.

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  3. Hi Laurie, if it is any consolation, sometimes I feel the same way [like a fraud] because my pain is at a lower level than it seems most who suffer from FM experience. Still, our experience with it is just as valid as anyone’s.

    Cancer’s a bitch….my thoughts and prayers to Dawn and her family.

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  4. Laurie,
    I also have Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis…….it does wreak havoc on our bodies and mind. Please don’t ever feel like a fraud. You may not have a life threatening illness but you do have a life changing one. I would never minimize cancer’s pain or trauma. I have had family members (my dad ) die from it. It’s awful, to put it mildly. You also have something that has affected your life and family.

    You hit a group that will open their hearts to you. No judgement.

    Welcome,
    Rosemary

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  5. I am so sorry about your friend. When someone we know or love is dieing it puts things into perspective for people doesn’t it? I have unrelenting horriffic pain that I can’t even put into words, but yet…I am alive. I’m here for my children, even though they are 16 and 22, they still need me…and thankfully I am here. Your post brings all that front and center. We all have differing levels of pains and problems, but they are still related. Pain is pain. Sadness is sadness. But death is death. We all should be thankful to be alive, even if it’s a struggle. Beautiful post, and don’t ever feel like a fraud. You are one of us….lol, not by choice..none of us choose to be ill. Thank you for your honest post! xoxo

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    • aww Tammy, thanks so much. I actually tried to reach you on Facebook before. I will “ask” to be your friend. nothing is easy, is it? my pain, your pain, everyone’s pain. I literally told Jolene when I sent it to her that I was scared people would be so mad at me and throw stones at me!! my kids are 16 and almost 18 sometimes I think they need us even MORE as they are older. gentle hugs and thanks for your comments. they TRULY mean a lot to me.

      Love, Laurie

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  6. Pingback: Who turned out the lights? Round 2 – Blog Carnival « Graceful Agony

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