What Cancer Is Not


Most of you do not read complaints from me.

I try to put my best face forward.

But the reality?  The first week of this month has been rather rough. There have been some enjoyable moments, but dealing with some of the symptoms I live with has been unbearable.

Over the 4th of July weekend, I wanted to get away.  By the time Thursday rolled around I was feeling much better and it was a decent day, so I drove to Westport to visit my dear friends, Debbie and Danny.

That night, I slept like a baby with the cool, fresh ocean air coming through the bedroom window.  I am sure that the fact that I had only slept for a short one hour nap in the previous helped.

But Friday night, once again, I did not sleep much.  The following night was a night from hell.  What sleep I did get was fitful and for just a few hours.

My drive home on Sunday was one of the worst for symptoms I have ever had. I found myself crying out to “God”; I was angry and screaming at top of my lungs at it/him.  I  felt forsaken many years ago.

Yesterday’s emotions took hold of me. Extreme physical pain triggered, though I am usually strong and resilient, and my pain threshold is usually quite high. Yesterday was unbearable.

I become scared and frustrated sometimes.  And yesterday I encountered physical symptoms  that were likely evidence of the tumor burden on my liver.

I do not like to share the ugliness (the particular symptoms) of this disease.  Yet, I think it is important that others understand.

People need to know.

They need to know what these cancers can do to us.  But how are we supposed to share some of these things?

Putting it all out there for the world to see is not easy.  It is downright embarrassing, at times.  And though I am tiptoeing around the reality here in this post, I am beginning to disclose more.

In 2009, I watched the video journal recorded by actress Farrah Fawcett documenting her fight with anal cancer.  At one point when her friend averted the camera and was turning it off to give Farrah privacy while she vomited, she told her friend to leave the camera rolling.

“I want (people) to see what cancer looks like.”

Those words have stuck with me for the past four years.

Yesterday, when I wrote  “What Carcinoid Cancer Is Not,” I tried to be a bit more open, but it is so difficult to share the hell that so many of us encounter.  (Follow the link to read the post.)

There will come a time when my disclosures will be as difficult to read as they are for me to tell.  I do not know how to make it easy or palatable. At some point, I will not tiptoe any more.

Cancer is not…

  • Fun
  • Good-looking
  • Pretty
  • Funny
  • Palatable

And if you stick around long enough, I will show you (through the written word) just what this cancer looks like.

* * * * * * * *

For more information about Carcinoid/Neuroendocrine cancer, visit the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation website at: www.carcinoid.org/ .

What Carcinoid Cancer Is Not

Copyright © 2013 Coral Levang

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2 thoughts on “What Cancer Is Not

  1. Loren

    Coral, you are very close to my heart always. I am so sad that you have to go through this pain. I will always be here to help you in any way you need…. or let me. I love you like my sister.

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