Tangled Thoughts from a Restless Mind (a reblog)

Joining an online community of lung cancer patients and caregivers is wonderfully supportive, informative, even lifesaving.  But members must  pay dues by weathering frequent losses of friends.

Saturday night, March 29,  2014, another young stage 4 lung cancer patient died of her disease.  Jessica Rice, age 33, who tweeted as @stage4blog and blogged at stage iv.wordpress.com, gave hope and inspiration to many lung cancer survivors before succumbing to multiple brain metastases.

Sometimes it’s too much.  Tori Tomalia (@lil_lytnin, who blogs at A Lil Lytnin’ Around the World) reflected on this in her blog yesterday.  She voiced what many of us feel when we learn of another death in the lung cancer community.  She said it so well, I asked to reblog her post from Sunday, March 30. Here is her blog entry, reposted with permission.


Tangled Thoughts from a Restless Mind

by Tori Tomalia

“Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.”

I’m tired of being reminded of the fleeting nature of our time on Earth.
I’m tired of being aware that this can all end so quickly.
I’m tired of knowing how important it is to stop and smell the roses, that the frost is coming soon.
I’m tired of happy moments carrying the pang of realization that this can be gone in the blink of an eye.

Understanding the importance of living for today is a terribly heavy weight to carry.

“when Time and Life shook hands and said goodbye.”

I’m so tired of people in my community dying.

Making Space and Losing Memories

Today my college and grad school textbooks become property of Friends of the Library. I hope they find another loving home while raising funds for library activities.

The books were cleared out to make space for exercise equipment, which helps me combat the side effects of cancer treatment and helps other family members stay healthy. I’m not using the books, and if I hold onto them too long, they’ll become obsolete and useless to anyone else (if they haven’t done so already).

I know I will never have cause to do complex variable calculus, satellite design, digital signal processing, systems engineering, microwave remote sensing or data fusion again. However, it’s still hard to let go of those books. It’s like shutting a door on twenty years of my life.

Part of me fears that when my cancer progresses and my brain gets fuzzier, I will forget my years of aerospace engineering. Not all of it was good, but lots of it was fun. I’m feeling anticipatory grief. Guess I need to find a less bulky way to stimulate my recall of those times.

Just as I have to clear physical space to help my physical body cope with lung cancer, I must clear mental space for new activities that support me in this phase of my life. Now writings on cancer genetics, cell biology, and new treatment discoveries fill my thoughts and give me hope.

The decluttering continues.