“Fish are Friends… “

While chatting on facebook with a former student of mine Paul,  I found myself quoting from the Disney cartoon, “Finding Nemo”.  Remember when the sharks are in “fish-eating rehabilitation program” to try to re-train themselves to consider fish as friends?  It was an intense moment for the sharks no doubt.  In the end, the sharks had to be true to their own nature and failed to transition to non-fish eaters.  I feel like I am in the same sort of mental rehab.  I am trying to transition, on this glorious fall Thanks-giving day, from thinking about my ensuing chemo treatment as my friend, not my enemy.  I can say the words and I can walk the walk – but when it comes right down to it – I just have a hard time willingly going to a place where I am happy to be poisoned.  There, I said it.  I don’t want to go!  Like the shark – I feel compelled to be true to my own nature. Hence the dichotomy and the struggle.  I know the chemo could save my life – at the same time I know it is killing parts of me.

Books I have read and individuals I have spoken with all sing the same tune:  you must stay positive.  You must be happy and let go of the psychological toxins in your life.  You must eat well, sleep well, think well.  Then, you will have a much better chance at being well.  I know, I know, I know.  My blood is red and no matter how much I can think about it as being more than red – it is still red.  As my former student Paul advised me, “After all we say and all we do, we are still only what will be.”.

The problem is – I need to be more.  I need to be better.  I need to be strong.

I have such a large community of support and I am so incredibly grateful for that.  The individual messages I get are so kind and generous of spirit.  I COUNT on those messages from those who read this blog and those who are on facebook.  Who would have thought that these social media tools could be so effective in helping lift someone from the depths of despair to the clouds?

I seriously marvel at the possibilities of social media.  I don’t get out much anymore as my immune system is so compromised and I need to stay healthy.  People need to communicate.  The need is so great that we find alternative ways to do so if face-to-face is not possible.  But I digress.

Fish are friends, has become my new mantra.  Anyone who has not read this post will think me odd, no doubt.

I think the journey that Nemo’s father took in Finding Nemo may just well turn out to symbolize my own.  “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”  was the line I remember best from Dory.  How totally important it is to keep swimming.  And it is as simple as that.  I have to keep swimming.

Poor old Marlin faced so many challenges along the way to find his son… but he just kept going.  Talk about tenacity, resilience, courage.  He felt the fear and acted anyway.  That is what I need to do.  Okay I’ll admit I am afraid.  But, I’m more afraid of not acting than I am of acting.

My emotions are roller-coastering right now.  I can’t believe I am spending so much time thinking of the lessons I have learned in a Disney movie!  Fish are friends.  Chemo is my friend.  That which doesn’t destroy us makes us stronger, right?  Hmmm. Yes.  Fish are friends.

On this wonderful, sunny, Thanks-giving day…  I am thankful to all of you who, like the characters who helped guide Marlin to find his son, have guided me along my path to healing for helping guide me to health, strength, and courage.  It is because of you that I am able to just keep swimming.  Thank-you.

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About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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13 Responses to “Fish are Friends… “

  1. kiwiskan says:

    That’s what you’re doing – facing the fear with courage. Love the Nemo images…

  2. Great way to explain your thoughts Stacey. Swim. Swim. Swim.

  3. Janine Baines says:

    Stace just keep on swimming. My prayers are with you everyday. I am asking our Heavenly Father to give you strength and the medical staff wisdom. Love you. Xoxo

  4. I’d say it isn’t so much that chemo is your friend; rather, chemo is the specific enemy of the cancer cells that may be lurking inside of you. Like the pain-killer that hits the headache over the head, you need the chemical to combat an enemy. But yeah, there definitely will be some “friendly fire” –as the US army calls it when they shoot Canadian soldiers.

    Please don’t feel you have to be so strong. You just have to survive this period so you can move on to the good times again. Whimper if you want. I gave thanks as often as I could, especially that I didn’t get nauseated. But when I was headed into the city for my treatments, I wasn’t very strong at all — and all the way home I repeated the words “It’s over now.”

    • inmycorner says:

      Your insight is so very helpful to me. I don’t feel strong. And you are right – especially as I head towards another treatment. Bad night last night. And I am with you on the appreciation of no nausea! So far, so good. I do get a lot of head-aches these days – wondering if I have been pushed into menopause with the hot and cold flashes to boot. My mom used to get migraines. I know “coming home” will be so much better — I so appreciate your support, Christine. Thank-you.

      • They treat these kinds of cancer with hormones — at least they did. so don’t be surprised if you get hormone type effects. When I described to other women the “waves of blue” that washed over me after chemo was done, they’d say, “That sounds just like when I was pregnant!”

      • inmycorner says:

        Oh – indeed wave of blue. So happy to hear this – it explains my mood today. I think this is a good title for today’s post. I will ask tomorrow!

  5. 409 525 peguis street says:

    you will have your weak moments and you will have your strong moment but remember that god is with you and will be there to support you along the way. I have sent an angel of support your way, to give you the strength you need on those hard days. on this day of thankfulness, we give thanks that you are strong and are a fighter and will come out of this still a beautiful person as you have been

  6. Gallivanta says:

    I love Christine’s ‘Whimper if you want.’ In its own way that is positive too. Keep on swimming. As I quoted to another friend ‘remember when fear cramps your heart what I told you: lie gently and wide to the light-year stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.” That is from Philip Booth’s First Lesson.

  7. RoSy says:

    Deep breathes. I am no one to say how to deal with anything. But – I will say – take your moments as you need them.
    {Hugs}

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