Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hyper CVAD, Hyperactivity

I was beginning to think that the "hyper" in the recommended protocol - Hyper CVAD - stood for the hyperactive, frenetic activity that patients engage in BEFORE the procedure. I felt strong and alive as I skipped from the consultation room to the parking lot at the City of Hope. After lunch in Old Pasadena and an impromptu shopping trip for prom dresses for Cindy, I dove into a marathon six-hour researching spree.

Today, I continued in hyper mode - getting quotes to repaint the upstairs bedrooms, living room and dining room; going in to the office to tie up a thousand loose ends; investigating the quickest way to get a second opinion from the esteemed MD Anderson Cancer Center. The list goes on.

But halfway through the day, I hit a wall. For the first time since visiting my general practitioner in early January, a feeling of overwhelming sadness and fear swept over me. Sadness for the things I'll miss in the next few months, especially related to Cindy. Fear of what lies ahead. Sadness for the brave "cellmates" who have lost their lives in spite of a valiant fight. Fear that I'll be one of them.

When I'm feeling strong emotions, I always think of the words of Gudrun, a dean of students at an emotional growth boarding school that Cindy attended. "Your feelings are your feelings." (Note to those who don't know Gudrun: You must say this statement veeth a heavy German accent.) Feelings are neither good nor bad, justified nor unjustified, rational nor irrational.

With this in mind, I didn't try to suppress my feelings. I let them and the tears come to the surface. Then I remembered the follow-up question to Gudrun's statement. "What are you going to choose to do with your feelings?" I could choose to stuff them deep down and pretend they don't exist. I could isolate and withdraw from those who want to support me. I could turn the sadness and fear to anger and take it out on others.

My choice? To talk, to share and accept the support and comfort of others. Thank you all for your unwavering love and support.


Dianne Sperling said...

Yesterday was going to be a tough day for you--the day before you got turned upside down. Good choices--both to cry and to share--after all, "stuffing" is a big no-no in Gudrun's book too.

Cyber hugs--Dianne

SAMO Calling said...

Oh Susan. My heart is heavy with yours. But like you, my heart also rises with hope and steely determination that you will get through this. Have the moments you are entitled to have and then move on to the fight you can't avoid! You will not miss moments with Cynthia, or anyone else. You will just have different moments than you imagined.

Janet Aird said...

There's a book: Cindy's Journey, and all the wise, wonderful people she met along the way. Especially the amazing Gudrun.

Idelle said...

Dear Susan,

I'm right there with you. I've been reading your blog and thinking of you everyday.


Paula Johnson said...

Sadness and fear are natural. In fact, I was starting to worry that you were NOT being emotional.

When you have a minute, tell us the gameplan for your five days of chemo. Will you be too groggy for visitors? Or can I plan to stop by with a DVD for us to watch together?

cgfryling said...

Susan- Sending you hugs and love. Wise words from dear Gudrun. Thank you for choosing to share.
Blessings from all: Carla

Karen said...

Hey, my horseback instructor is a German woman named Gudrun! And, like your Gudrun, she is a wise, patient, wonderful teacher. I thought her name was unique, but I'm glad to hear how much my Gudrun is like her namesake in your life.

I agree - feelings are feelings, and we have to let them be, no matter how painful. It's so much more damaging when we stuff them.

I'm so glad you're not retreating and that you're open to allowing all of us to stay close beside you and support you. It is a privilege that I cherish.

Lilli said...


Sometimes it's hard to get to the feelings we know are there, but letting it go begins the healing of both body and spirit.

I'm ready, willing and able to be one of your supporters. Shall we start with sushi or girls' lunch or dinner over a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? Just say the word and I am on it!


Susan Carrier said...

Dear Friends,
I've been in tears all day today - the good kind. Every time I read one of your posts, I choked up.

I like the idea of creating "different moments" than I imagined. Come to think of it, my entire life has been a series of "different moments," and I wouldn't trade 'em for anything!

Love back,

Karen C said...

You are strong, amazing woman. Much love to you.


Lilli said...

I found this poem on another friend's web site and thought you might like it


Cancer is SO limited....

It cannot cripple Love
It cannot shatter Hope
It cannot corrode Faith
It cannot destroy Peace
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot suppress Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the Soul
It cannot stead eternal Life
It cannot conquer the Spirit.

(author unknown)

Susan Carrier said...

So true, so true.

Love it!