Archimedes and Me!

May 14, 2008 at 10:40 am 11 comments

blue as I  can be
by Loraine Ritchey

It is most famously attributed to the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes; he reportedly proclaimed, “Eureka!” when he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose – he suddenly understood that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged. This meant that the volume of irregular objects could be calculated with precision, a previously intractable problem. He is said to have been so eager to share his realisation that he leapt out of his bathtub and ran through the streets of Syracuse naked.

Those that know me well , know that I do not suffer fools gladly , I will rush in where angels fear to tread, I have been known to swear ( upon occasion) and will stand my ground and go head to head with anyone. I love to laugh and my humor can be irreverent. Crying is not usually part of my make up .

But in the three months that have passed since I received THAT phone call, I have become a great flaming wuss. I feel like I should carry a “warning label “ plastered on my forehead. Things are progressing, we are half way through the one set of treatments … I hate it …I hate the waiting ..I hate the fact that there is this overwhelming weight that is hanging like some Edgar Allan Poe like creation over my heart…….
“The Pit And The Pendulum,” pen and ink drawing by “Kep”, 1909.

I just want things back to normal….no more chemo… more 10 thousand dollar injections…. no more wondering what is going on with cells and nodes …. It seems everything you do or think or cook or buy has this disease intermingled with your thoughts. You pretend all things are normal , go on about your daily routine but the scream is still echoing in your soul.

I can be laughing at something one minute and sobbing my heart out the next, I can be anywhere at any time when my eyes fill with tears and I catch my breath to stop the wracking sobs that I know will come .

Why? When does it stop , will it stop – this feeling of helplessness that no mother should feel when it comes to her child.

All I can think of is Archimedes -like his bathtub -the vessel that is me- is filled to the top with emotions, hope, happiness, anger, passion, sadness, overwhelming fear , love and all it takes it just one more emotional drop in the vessel and the vessel that is me overflows with a tearful release.

Other emotions have lessened – it takes a lot more to get me to care what is going on about me, I have even less patience with posturing, and I am tired of trying. There are days when I think I am so full of fear and trepidation that the sadness that touches my heart can no longer be borne and yet I hold on to the prognosis that is excellent , the chemicals that are apparently working, the bravery of a young couple who should be planning a honeymoon instead of the next chemo appointment and I feel guilt that I am being such a wuss. I shake myself mentally , tell myself to stop it and I start again – get involved in something – plan something – buy something- cook something – write something – anything to stop the welling within

Warning “that woman” is an emotional time bomb – approach with caution !


Entry filed under: commentary, health.

Paula’s Perspective – May 12th Committee Meetings CRA – Continues

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paula Tobias  |  May 14, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Will it help to tell you:
    It will get better
    All the emotions are normal
    That writing and talking about it are good
    You’re not alone
    Tell people what you need
    There are people that can help
    There are people that care

    And I feel sorry for the people that cross you during this time.

    Besides all that….. Call anytime, any where. I’m sure we can find something to laugh about and I always have a kleenex. (Maybe used, but I got one)

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 14, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks Paula – I know and I tell that to myself all the time – people have been wonderful….. I just hate “it! and I know you know exactly what I mean …..

  • 3. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  May 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    You know that you can call here, any time, too . . .

  • 4. Liz Tobias  |  May 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Do you find yourself crying at commercials? I remember a few that would get to me every time.

  • 5. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    No there doesn’t seem to be any one thing that triggers ( so I can stay away from it)

    God knows how I will get through dancing with my son at the wedding I have already got a contingency plan in place for that one…and he has been warned…

    but it seems the emotions whether happy sad, angry are all fighting for room and if I add one more to the mix say getting ticked off with the county and the CRA(p) or some idiot on a blog saying they would rather have cancer at 75 than something else at 35 to make room for that emotion I burst into tears…. even laughter well I am looking at it as a safety valve….and a release…. could be worse I could be wetting my knickers 🙂

  • 6. fivehusbands  |  May 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    I found your blog through Jill’s Gilda Radner entry at WLST – I read your February post and just wanted to say I will keep your family in my prayers. My neighbor and friend was recently diagnosed and his wife (and their son) is reeling – especially on pre-chemo days.

    A group of friends set up a blog and benefit for them but we still feel so helpless – I can only imagine what you are going through.

  • 7. thatwoman  |  May 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I have great people around me and it sounds like your friends have much of the same……… it realy is like walking a tightrope of hope looking over the chasm of despair amd uncertainity that looms up from beneath……. Loraine

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