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I find myself in the odd circumstance of realizing that most, if not all, of my needs, broadly defined, are being met at this moment despite my cancer diagnosis. I say that’s odd because I’m not sure I could have said that as confidently beforehand.

However, just as soon as I started to think about that I realized that the concept of “need” requires some definition. So that’s the exploration that I’m asking us to pursue together this evening. Has dealing with cancer, as a patient or as a caregiver, caused you to think differently about what you need as compared to what you want?

I thought I might rely upon Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as the paradigm here. But now that I’ve done a smidgen of research about what that hierarchy includes, I’m discovering (anew? Damn, but I hate not knowing what I’ve forgotten!) that those levels are not necessarily well-defined, and that furthermore I’m not entirely sure I agree with his levels after all. Still, it seems to be worthwhile to have something as a common base for discussion here, so below I’ll provide one version of his steps on the pyramid.

Of course, there are some biases inherent to the system. As much as possible, I ask you not to get distracted by them but instead let them prompt you to think about your own personal configuration of a hierarchy of needs, whether it comports in all details with Maslow’s or not.

The other important element of his system is that he presumes significant development cannot take place unless the lowest level of needs is met, and so on.  (In this regard let me add as an aside that he appears to disagree with Jean Piaget, whose concept of development as I understand it is more like a spiral, in which children and adults circle back around to address increasingly more sophisticated versions of various “needs.” Oh, and one more parenthetical remark: the resemblance between these seven levels and the seven chakras must be mere coincidence, no?)

All right, enough preliminaries. Here is one representation of those different levels, starting from the most basic and moving toward the most exalted:
1. Physiological fundamentals (air, water, food, clothing, shelter, sleep, sex)
2. Safety and security
3. Love and community
4. Esteem and competence
5. Cognitive activities
6. Aesthetic pursuits
7. Self-actualization

All false modesty aside, I am not exactly in a position to pursue activities that are exclusively related to the seventh level. Most of my day is devoted to activities and practices that relate to the first three levels, with smatterings of attention to the second set of three (that is, levels 4-6). There’s no question, however, that I do feel better, more centered, and more healthy when I do address “needs” that presumably fall under Level 6, such as listening to music or creating some.  And on the other hand, I have no real way to assure myself of Level 2 as it applies to my physical condition; I can behave as though I am healthy but it’s always now at least a little bit of an act of faith.

In that regard, in fact, I wonder if Piaget weren’t onto something important: we never are without the need for beauty, and one way or another we will seek to be engaged with it even if our resources are limited. That may be a topic for another conversation, but maybe not. Again, I’m really curious about what you have found are genuine “needs” for yourself in contrast to “wants.”

I’m not trying to dismiss or disregard the real need that human beings have for personal fulfillment, which is an amazingly varied process/objective for most of us to define, let alone to pursue. And perhaps that, too, is something that we cannot afford to neglect even when our other very basic needs are at stake. Those ideas about who we are and what we can be keep us going.

Let me also admit that I have plenty of trivial wants, too. At the moment, I really want a dishwasher. I don’t like to wash dishes, never have. My daughter is rather phobic about it, and it’s not worth it to me at this point to press her on the issue. My husband often has dish-duty, usually with good cheer, but there are stretches like now when he is just not available. So I am thirsting after a nice, quiet, portable dishwasher, since we don’t own the house we live in and can’t install one. Even though our TV went kaput several months ago, the dishwasher outranks a new TV on my personal wish list.

A want of much greater duration, frivolous though it is, is for a pair of beautiful Italian leather boots. I’ve lusted after them since I was a young graduate student traveling in Europe, and marveling at the elegance of the women in Florence, all of whom seemed to walk on little doe feet, as I called them then. I can’t wear heels any more, so some elegance would certainly be lost, but I still covet some really, really nice leather boots. Maybe someday.

Truth is, as long as I can keep working on the issues contained within those seven levels of needs, I really don’t want for much. I feel very, very, very lucky.

What about you? Any secrets you want to share, or illusions you want to dispel? What do you think about Maslow’s ranking anyway? Do you see that differently now too?

Monday Night Cancer Club is a Daily Kos group focused on dealing with cancer, primarily for cancer survivors and caregivers, though clinicians, researchers, and others with a special interest are also welcome. Volunteer diarists post Monday evenings between 7-8 PM ET on topics related to living with cancer, which is very broadly defined to include physical, spiritual, emotional and cognitive aspects. Mindful of the controversies endemic to cancer prevention and treatment, we ask that both diarists and commenters keep an open mind regarding strategies for surviving cancer, whether based in traditional, Eastern, Western, allopathic or other medical practices. This is a club no one wants to join, in truth, and compassion will help us make it through the challenge together.

Originally posted to Monday Night Cancer Club on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hi, everyone. Good to be here, (34+ / 0-)

    though I'm a bit sleepy and hungry. Might eat something now to see if it helps.
    I have no other obligations tonight, however, so I'm here for the duration! Looking forward to the conversation.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:00:54 PM PDT

  •  Hi Kate! It's quite the luxury (16+ / 0-)

    to be able to list wants that don't consciously include "keep breathing."  

    I hope you get both your dishwasher and your boots.  Modest want, actually.  But then, good boots are luxuries that quickly become necessities once you have them.

    I actually like to wash dishes.  Always have.  But growing up with too many people in a too-small house, everyone cleared out of the kitchen after dinner, so doing the dishes meant a little quiet time.  And about the only chance to get it.  So to me the act of washing dishes puts me into a peaceful state of contemplation.

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:32:04 PM PDT

  •  We've been listening to the Sanford/ (16+ / 0-)

    Colbert Busch debate tonight.  Sanford was throwing his hail mary and going on the attack relentlessly, trying to draw blood.  Colbert Busch was playing it low-key, whether because the rules of conduct are different for men and women, or she has a lead to protect, or because it's South Carolina and the crazy is strong with many of them....  And the heavily partisan and raucous crowd kept throwing them both off.

    Very interesting.  In the wrap up, she went inspirational, while Sanford talked about the need for austerity and the sky is falling.

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:45:43 PM PDT

  •  Here's the ongoing topic list: (7+ / 0-)

    Cancer and PTSD
    Cancer and Depression
    Cancer and Anxiety
    Race and Class Disparities in Cancer Survival
    Clinical Trials (murasaki)
    Cancer and Genetic Testing
    Cancer and Environmental "Hot Spots" (DWG)
    Cancer and Patient Advocates (Avila)
    Politics of Cancer (ZenTrainer)
    Cancer and Survivor's Guilt

    Please be advised that this week I'm going to start twisting some virtual arms regarding diary contributions. The relatively low turnout for the past few weeks suggests to me that we need to feature some other perspectives here for a while.
    Any and all other topics are also open to consideration; just drop me a Kosmail. Thanks in advance.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 09:02:12 PM PDT

  •  I assume that folks will continue to pop in (5+ / 0-)

    during the night, but I need to turn in myself. I'll take a look in the morning.
    Thanks, DrLori, for keeping me company tonight!
    Peace and blessings and restful sleep to all; see you next Monday one way or another, I hope.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 09:03:57 PM PDT

  •  I'm still quite floopy. Getting ready to look up (5+ / 0-)

    the Epley Manuever - a test my doc wants me to take. That means I have to go to the free clinic and get a doc there to prescribe the test for me. Then I have to wait till they find me a free one. I'm not sure I can be dizzy for that much longer.

    My acupuncturist is working on it but it's slow going.

    I think a dishwasher goes under #2 - much safer and more sanitary. I think it uses less water also.

    In college I actually took a class called "Self Actualization" I hated it, 25% of the grade was based on class participation which involved crying about something about your childhood in front of the class.

    I got a D after going to the teacher and stating that I thought I was already self actualized and could I just take a test to prove it?

    I was young, what can I say?

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 09:19:45 PM PDT

    •  Oh, I'm sorry to hear this. Vertigo is really hard (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sara R, Sylv, corvaire, citylights

      to deal with.

      I'm not sure you need a Rx for it (Epley Maneuver) though. When I had a recent bout of vertigo I found some online descriptions of the process that people can do on their own. I hope that in any case you get some relief quickly.

      All the rationalization I need about the dishwasher! ;) I'll bump it up on  my to-do list.

      Leave it to you, my dear, to be able to say something funny about "Self-Actualization." That is a great story, really.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:52:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You sweetie you! You would have to really know me (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate, Sylv, corvaire, citylights

        know how self actualized I am not!

        Years ago a clients child was getting sick all the time so she got a dishwasher and he stopped getting sick so frequently.

        http://www.pluggedin.co.uk/...

        Here are some good reasons. Are you going to live at your house for at least a few years? Maybe your landlord will split the cost with you? This isn't like A/C in the North which isn't mandatory the way it is here. ;-)

        I read the stuff on the Epley last night. I don't have that I don't think because I remain dizzy even with my eyes closed.

        I feel MUCH better today though. My acupuncturist has a plan and it seeems to be working, I feel much better so far today and mornings are the worst part!

        Now I have to go get a heating pad. He wants me to put heat on my lower back. A heating pad or maybe a small dog...

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:22:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's all relative, isn't it? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sylv, corvaire, ZenTrainer, citylights

          The self-actualization, that is. Who can really tell what we're accomplishing compared to what we "could" do? Perhaps what we manage to do is achieved despite great odds against us. That's what I tell myself, anyway....

          We'll go with the portable, it's OK. We don't have enough cupboards to spare a section, and the floor area is pretty big. Besides, if we're lucky, we will move in another year or two. I am NOT fond of moving, but I would very much like to own instead of rent. Now there I go again--another want~!

          I'm glad you're doing better. I've had two bouts of vertigo, the first one very bad. Don't want a third, thank you very much. I hope yours is gone gone gone very soon.

          Heating pads are good for lots of ailments. I've also recently acquired a so-called "bed buddy," which is like a very long sock, closed off, with handles, full of rice. Heated in the microwave, it stays warm for a long time, and it does have a bit more resemblance to a small dog.

          Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

          by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:35:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I want to buy a bed buddy, but don't know (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            peregrine kate, citylights

            where. (meaning it's not on the table in front of me.)

            Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

            by ZenTrainer on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:35:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZenTrainer, citylights

              But it wasn't in an obvious place; I had to ask.

              Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

              by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:46:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You can also make your own using a pair of ladies (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              peregrine kate

              knee socks. Add rice till firm but still has some "give" and sew up the opening (you can even do this by hand if you don't have a machine-just reinforce the closing seam a few times). The cool thing about making your own is the funky socks you can find in the "teen" boutiques in the mall.

              Or you can even use the material sold as quilting fat quarters, but there you have to sew at least three sides (four looks better to my persnickety self), and I wouldn't reccommend that as a project for hand sewing.  Makes you think about our ancestors having to sew dresses and why poor people's clothes had less yardage, doesn't it?

              The sock rice bag can be a fun gift as well. But if you're not feeling crafty for whatever reason, I concur with peregrine kate. BB&B is a good source.  ;)

              "In politics stupidity is not a handicap." Napoleon Bonaparte

              by citylights on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 10:51:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Vertigo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate

        Peregrine Kate do you have Meniere's Disease? That really plays havoc with balance and stability. When mine gets bad I've been told to try meclizine. It's been quite a while since I've been able to deal with the issue due to other conditions; what is the Epley Manuever? Don't forget there are more of us out there than you may know. Take care.

        •  Thanks, a k, for asking. (0+ / 0-)

          No, my one really bad bout was related to flying. I can't recall the name they give that condition. Fortunately for me it was temporary, but that week was bad enough.
          My sympathy to anyone dealing with Meniere's. That seems really tough.
          The Epley Maneuver is apparently a series of motions in which you hold your head upside down and twist it in the hopes that something lodged in one part of your inner ear will get jostled into another section and be less troublesome that way. I've not tried it and all I know about it is what I've read on line ;)

          Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

          by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:49:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm heading to DC next week (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sara R, peregrine kate, Sylv, corvaire

    to lobby for a good breast cancer agenda - Breast Cancer Deadline 2020.

    Are you with us?

    Breast Cancer Deadline 2020

    Link

    Hint: There's a DKos member in that photo.

    "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

    by Betty Pinson on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 09:46:48 PM PDT

    •  Don't quite get what this means. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sara R, Sylv, corvaire

      The link didn't make sense to me.

      Are we going to find the cause and cure by 2010? And how is that going to be done?

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 10:09:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're setting a deadline for 2020 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate, Sylv, corvaire

        They're looking for answers in 2 areas - real prevention and how to stop metastasis.

        Read up at the web site, its very detailed.  The link at the advocacy page has the 2013 legislative priorities

        PRIORITY #1

        Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act: In September 2010, NBCC set a deadline and launched a plan of action to reach its mission: Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® – knowing how to  end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. The "Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act," first introduced in the 112th Congress, defines an important role the federal government must play in this effort. The legislation complements and enhances the strategic work being done by NBCC to end breast cancer once and for all.
        PRIORITY #2

        $150 Million for the Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) for FY2014: As a result of NBCC’s grassroots advocacy, the DOD BCRP was created in 1992 to "eradicate breast cancer by funding innovative, high-impact research through a partnership of scientists and consumers."  NBCC seeks continued funding for this successful program.
        PRIORITY #3

        Guaranteed Access to Quality Care for All: Ensuring access to quality, evidence-based health care has been a top priority of NBCC for many years and is an essential component of the Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® goal of ending breast cancer. NBCC works to identify, advocate for, and support the implementation of laws such as the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" which mark important steps forward in access to quality health care for individuals with, and at risk of, breast cancer. In addition, NBCC remains committed to protecting vital existing programs such as the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (Medicaid BCCTP) and critically examining any proposed changes to programs such as Medicare in order to determine the impact they would have on this population.
        PRIORITY #4

        Ensuring the Participation of Educated Patient Advocates in all Levels of Health Care Decision Making: NBCC continues to work to ensure that educated patient advocates have a "seat at the table" in all levels of health care decision making which affects their lives.

        link

        "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

        by Betty Pinson on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:44:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you read Peggy Orenstein's NYT Magazine (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sylv, corvaire

          article on Sunday? What did you think of it?

          Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

          by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:49:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, it was pretty good (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            peregrine kate

            I'm glad she finally accepted scientific evidence and she made good points about so much time being wasted catering to the fears of women who never get breast cancer.  

            She still has a way to go in pushing the boundaries and advocating for better, faster research though.  She did make one small mention about research to understand and stop cancer metastasis.  There needs to be a much bigger push in that direction.  

            It's a shame that it took the revelation of Komen's dishonesty to finally wake up so many breast cancer survivors. We could have used them in the battle years ago, but its better to have them understand some of the issues now.  It will be encouraging to see more attention focused on women who have breast cancer and less on those afraid of getting it and who likely never will.

            "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

            by Betty Pinson on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 01:08:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  How does this compare with other countries who (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peregrine kate, alice kleeman

          have much better success rate with cancers? Wouldn't it be cheaper just to adopt some of their treatment options?

          Fro instance my oncologist says that in the US 10 out of 10 oncologists know that chemo doesn't work for breast cancer and yet they prescribe it anyways because it's the standard of care.

          I guess what I am thinking is that a deadline set up by congress is meaningless - a political move.

          Maybe a more useful step would be to adopt the standard of care treatments that others countries use with more success for all cancers?

          Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

          by ZenTrainer on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:09:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to talk with you about advocacy. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sara R, Sylv, corvaire

      It appears that the gyno cancer "community" is starting to coalesce; there's a meeting planned for early November in DC that I'm hoping to attend. But it would help me be a lot more effective if I knew in advance what to say, what to ask, what to look for.
      I'll look up the particulars and let you know what is on the agenda already.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:55:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I volunteered at a cancer support center (5+ / 0-)

    years ago, a woman came in whose cancer had returned and she was terminal. When she'd had it years before, her family of four had been a mess. No one talked to each other except to argue, no one wanted to hear about her cancer, so she went it alone without support from her husband or children (granted, the children were quite young then). She went into remission, and a year later her husband had a several heart attack and she had to take over his business. She kept it going, forced her family to interact and her husband recovered with a great appreciation for her and was able to take on the business again while she finally went back to school for her teaching degree. I met her just after she'd gotten the degree. She told of the closeness of her family, the rafting trips they had enjoyed, and being a student teacher. She finally said she wished she could take more rafting trips - I loved that! I looked at her, asking if that was her biggest regret and she said it was. There were about four of us in the group and we sat silently for a moment, until I finally told her, "If that is your main regret, you have a great life and have accomplished much!" We all started laughing and she agreed. What a lucky family to have had someone like that.

    "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

    by cv lurking gf on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:52:53 AM PDT

    •  Nice story, cv l gf, thanks for sharing it. (5+ / 0-)

      I imagine some of us are lucky along those lines, despite having a relatively short life. Good for her for doing what she needed and wanted to do.
      I have many, many regrets myself, some of them staggeringly major and irreversible. At this point though, years after most of them, I'm lucky enough to say my daily life is pretty stable and fulfilling. That was not the case for me in my teens, twenties and thirties, and come to think of it most of my forties too. I should be relieved, I guess, to have had the chance to move past that. No guarantees.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:02:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  G'morning! When you think about it, (4+ / 0-)

        in many ways being in the terminal parade has certain advantages (this is my way of saying, "Yeah, it sucks, but....").  You live with a perspective on life that most people don't begin to approach until they're in their 70's at least.  When you realize that time is not infinite and realize it in a way that is concrete and immediate AND you're still well enough to do something about it, everything you do becomes more satisfying and rich.  

        In other words, I don't need to go to Florence (although I'd like to).  This morning, being in the garden is enough to make me happy.  I don't believe in deferring happiness.  Even my kid driving me crazy makes me happy.  And when it's time for me to bow out, I'll have the chance to say everything I want to say to the people I love.  When you realize just how rare that privilege is, a lot of priorities shuffle into place.  My own dad, in his 70's and facing a quintuple bypass which he did not survive, so disbelieved in his death that he left a huge mess for the family to clean up.  It took years.  And his entire family never got to hear goodbye.  It left my sisters shattered in a way they'll never get over.

        So from that perspective, it sucks but.....

        "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

        by DrLori on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 08:39:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. More later. n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvaire, cv lurking gf, citylights

          Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

          by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 09:27:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OK. Yes, but--the insight to seize the day (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvaire, cv lurking gf

          is valuable, and also surprisingly difficult to maintain. At least it's been so for me as I've slid back over the line toward "health." I think I'm still doing what's most important, most days, but over the weeks it's hard to tell.
          Love this though:

          I don't believe in deferring happiness. Even my kid driving me crazy makes me happy.
          I'm very grateful to have kids to drive me crazy. It could have been otherwise.
          My own older relatives have been very bad in this regard. My 90+ y-o parents still plan to live forever. It is unfortunate, but I can't make them behave any differently now than they have for the past 80+ years.

          Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

          by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:12:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wanted to make it to Ireland to fulfill my (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            peregrine kate

            dad's wish for years after he died from cancer. Now, I'd still like to go, but I like gardening too. I'm long past my "touch" of cancer, but I learned a lot about what matters from facing it, and what I didn't learn then was slammed into me when that car hit me. Overall, I'm lucky. I suppose I regret only my loved ones who have died and I can no longer hug or hear their voices or laughter. I carry those memories in my mind, and I'm grateful for them - I am one of the luckiest people to ever walk this planet I've had such a plethora of wonderful people who loved me and I love - but the physical presence is much missed.

            "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

            by cv lurking gf on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 01:40:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Glad you feel lucky, dear cv l gf. A fortunate (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cv lurking gf

              condition, losses and mourning notwithstanding.

              Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

              by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 02:43:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I start my final chemo on Friday (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate, DrLori, Sylv, corvaire

    2 hours in the hospital, than hooked up to an infuser for another 46 hours. I figure it will be disconnected by 11 AM on Sunday. I can't wait. Luckily, I haven't had a lot of side effects. My oncologist calls me "The Lizard Man", because my body seems to heal really fast. I had 18" of my colon removed on a Wednesday afternoon, and by Friday night I was home eating a turkey sandwich and ice cream. It's now been 6 months since I've had ice cream due to the neuropathy from the chemo (the only side effect I've had). As soon as that goes away, it's ice cream for dinner. That 1st ice cream headache is going to feel like an orgasm.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:36:21 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, it's great to reach that milestone. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jhecht, Sylv, corvaire

      Good for you. Such a tough haul!
      But your onco doc has a point. Wow--48 hours post-surgery eating a turkey sandwich!
      FWIW, did I already mention to you that acupuncture did wonders for my neuropathy? It doesn't work for everyone, but it did for me, and quickly.
      It's heading into ice cream cone season now too. Hope you don't have much longer to wait for that.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:48:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate, Sylv, corvaire

        I haven't tried acupuncture, but I find playing the guitar really helps with the neuropathy in my fingers. The neuropathy in my feet went away with the cold weather. It's the tongue and lips neuropathy that's really annoying, but I figure it will go away quickly once I'm done with chemo.

        I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

        by jhecht on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:59:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is a very pleasant remedy. Glad you found (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvaire

          something that works for you.

          Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

          by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 08:32:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Congratulations on finishing! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peregrine kate, corvaire

          Some neuropathies go away.  Some you get used to.  The neural pathways in your mouth should heal once the chemo finishes, if only because there are so many of them that the undamaged ones should take over for the ones that go numb.  I hope.

          I don't have feeling in the ends of my fingers.  I burn myself all the time.  It's earned me the "asbestos hands" award. And if it hurt, I wouldn't joke about it.

          "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

          by DrLori on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 08:43:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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