Cancer is a lonely disease. Even though I was surrounded with friends and family everywhere the feeling of being alone was very real. I’ve read other people describe having this same feeling when going through this illness. I felt scared and alone. This is something only another cancer patient can understand. It may be the fear of death and maybe it’s simply the feeling of being the only one at that moment of illness knowing the pain and not knowing one’s own fate.
I lost most of my memory while I was sick but the feeling of lonliness never eludes me. I live with chronic pain. This means from day to day I never know how I am going to feel. I have eliminated most of my stress and my pain level has gone from a nine most days to a four most days. On the days I experience more pain (usually weather or stress related) the more isolate I feel. I have discovered a way to cope with these feelings.
Thank God I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ because that is the one thing that keeps that feeling from overcoming me. Most days I am upbeat and thankful to be alive. I praise God for the gift of life. This is the first and most important way of coping with the solitary feelings that linger after cancer. I listen to praise music, meditate on God’s word, and give Him praise for being alive. There is something to be cherished in a life that is appreciated.
Painting is my second love next to God. A hobby is the best way to deal with those days of inadequacy. If you don’t have a hobby find something you enjoy doing. It is most important in keeping stress levels down.
Friends are another great way to keep these solitary feelings at bay. Surround yourself with a good support group and network of family and friends. It is proven people live longer who have more friends. Enjoy and laugh with your friends. Laughter lowers stress and boosts the immune system. I have found it helps lessen my pain level, feelings of being alone, and beat depression to hang out with a positive friend once a week. Laughter is a key element! Make sure your friend is upbeat and positive. Negativity will bring you down. There is nothing worse than leaving a friend and feeling worse than when you came to see her.
Even though cancer is a lonely disease there are a few ways to fight these desolate feelings. Turn it around and live. You deserve to live. Live and enjoy the life you have been given.
I recently found my care pages online from when I was sick. I wanted to share some of the unexpected things that I wish someone would have told me to look for when I was sick. I will share more later but for now I will share the worst part of the whole cancer experience. Don’t think it is all bad though. I remained positive throughout the cancer experience and leaned on my faith and that is the reason I am still here. I stay positive today and this is how I will stay healthy (well along with a good diet and regular exercise.)
The worst part was the unexpected; the things the doctors didn’t tell me about. The least expected of the whole head and neck cancer experience was the deterioration of my throat. I remember what the doctors called secretions coming from my throat. Secretions are what I call flesh, blood, and deterioration of the tissues in the throat that came out in long strands. Sometimes after minutes of pulling these disgusting strands from my throat I would vomit and pull more strands. This happened weeks into my radiation treatments and continued for months after treatments were over. Radiation burned my throat from the inside out. I still have scaring on the outside of my throat. Just a warning for those about to endure radiation; it burns the radiated area inside and out. It’s like putting meat in the microwave. It burns. However, keep in mind there are things in life we have to endure. If you want to live endure the treatments with a smile and it will be over soon! Hang in there. It is worth it to have a second chance at life.
There were other unexpected things that happened as well. Flu like symptoms and the constant pain that were side effects of the chemo treatments were something I didn’t fully expect. Vomiting and nausea yes, but every part of my body ached. I went from feelings of extreme cold to hot flashes. There wasn’t a time when I felt comfortable. I was hot and cold at the same time. It was summer and I couldn’t go outside because it was too hot. I couldn’t handle the air conditioner on too cold because I got cold and achy. My caretakers and family couldn’t handle the heat so we kept the air on and I kept myself bundled in a blanket with my feet sticking out. This seemed to work for me. Remember, endure with a smile. Think about things that make you happy and things you are going to do when you feel better. Look to the positive and fight fight fight! You can do it! I’ll write more later.
Kiwi fruit is both yummy and great brain food!
I try to write something new every day. Some days I miss a day because my days run together with projects. This week has been a week that ran together from one project to another. As I helped a friend keep her baby I started painting a new project for my husband. He asked me to paint a logo on some cornhole boards. WOW! I took on a huge project! Not complaining at all. I loved doing it for him but it took a lot of time so I could make sure these one of a kind originals were to my perfection.
I may be hired to paint the boards from here out. There are some advantages to hand painted logos instead of decals. Decals fade in time. Hand painted is forever and looks sharper. Matching the paint to the decal is difficult. The paint used to paint the board is the same paint used to paint the logo so it matches perfectly.
It was a fun project. I look forward to painting more as this is sport that is growing more popular I’m sure there will be many more orders to come. If you would like to see more you can check out the information listed below.
Hand painted acrylic on canvas
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Bird with Red Poppies
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