I’m in pain, I whispered to the organizers of last weekend’s retreat.
- They brought me a couch to lie on for two days, and we developed ideas for coping with chronic pain from my metastatic cancer, among many other coping tools and discussions that weekend.
I’m in pain, I softly explained to a stranger who saw my tears and stopped me in the hall.
- He said comforting words, put his hand on my shoulder, and began to pray (more about this story later).
I’m in pain, I cried to my mama, and to my husband’s mama.
- They tucked me in bed and brought me water to flush the chemo out of my system. My father, and my husband’s father, bustled around the house, playing with the kids and finishing projects that we had left undone since their last visit.
I’m in pain, I cried to my sweetie,
- He cuddled me and comforted me, night after night, and arranged the pillows about me.
I’m in pain, I cried to my friend,
- And friend after friend after friend has brought me casseroles to free up my afternoons for snuggling with the children, comforting them as well.
I’m in pain, I cried to my blog,
- And many, so many of you have brought me sweet words of comfort and calm and words telling me that my words have helped you, or my IBC work helped a friend, or that Crickett’s Answer has given out lymphedema sleeves and gloves to 52 needy women who didn’t have what they needed before.
I’m in pain, I cried in my doctor’s office on Thursday,
- She ordered CT scans and MRIs, passionate about finding the cause. Why would the pain be increasing when the chemo was attacking the cancer cells inside?
I’m in pain, I told the pallative care specialist,
- He tripled my dose of oxycontin, increased the other as-needed drug, and reassured me that I’m still on the low-middle end of need. He has patients on ten times my dose, and they’re functioning. If I need this to function, to sit and stand and walk, then it’s fine for me to have these drugs. That’s what they’re for.
I’m in pain, I told the psychiatrist I found after it all went to shit in July and I was hospitalized for pain that took away my normal life. I’m sad because I’m in pain. Do I need more meds?
- No, he said. This is real sadness, because you’re in pain. And he offered me a chocolate bar, dark with sea salt sprinkles.
I’m in pain, I whispered to my sweetie as we drove back home, nibbling the chocolate and clutching the scrips.
- I know, he said, but I love you. And he took me out for pizza in the warm fall day. As the sun shined on us, I smiled again, for all of it is do-able because of those three words. I love you.