Posted by: Judy | November 9, 2011

Hard Work…

There comes a time when you realize that the only way to reach what you want is through a lot of hard work. Now, growing up in my house that meant hard, physical labor. Compared to what’s coming, that’s a piece of cake.

Over the years, I was taught that I was lazy. I believed it. It seemed a logical assessment. With a herniated disc in my back, there’s a lot I cannot do. A lot I will never be able to do again. I tire easily. Headaches are a common occurrence, but if I take pain medication more than once a week, I will have rebound headaches.

My mind wanders, a lot. I put in ten or fifteen minutes of concentrated effort, and then my mind shifts somewhere else. I allow it. After a bit, sometimes only five minutes, sometimes thirty, I rope my mind back to the task at hand.

Now, the truth campaign kicks in. For the last thirteen years, I have worked in a field that requires a 24-hour turn around. It doesn’t matter how lousy I feel. When I messed up my back, the work still had to be done, even if it was only five minutes at a time. I’ve completed three manuscripts, one of which is submitted to a publisher, with another dozen in various stages of completion. I maintain three blogs, and interact with a wide circle of acquaintances and friends online, every day. I also devour books, though not as rapidly as I used to, before I started pursuing my writing with honest intent.

Then it dawned on me: There is nothing harder than looking into those ugly dark corners that are kept carefully hidden away, out of sight. I’ve done a lot of that, and made a lot of progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

There are a few filthy, frightening corners I’ve avoided, with care and consideration. It’s time to go to work.


  1. I am keeping you in my prayers and asking God to give you strength, an answers to the questions you have, and reassurance. You have been and are making tremendous progress. One step at a time, one day at a time.

    We all have our own demons that we fight against. Mine are different from yours. I address mine in my head, but I am not comfy talking about them on the web in any detail ( below is not detailed).

    For example, I broached the “chemo topic” to a relative the other day, and I got the answer everyone gets: “Your son and husband would be so lost without you.” (This translates to: “You have to do it: if not, you are reprehensible and you don’t love your son and husband [nor anyone else].”) It was far easier for my mother in 1968. There were no choices then. In those days, people were *allowed* to die without being tortured first. Used to be: Make peace with God, die. Now: Get horribly tortured with chemo and radiation first, then die later anyway. 1968 was definitely better.

    For people who are so early on with cancer that they only need surgery, that’s great. I would definitely do that. But if it’s one of those aggressive 6 months of let’s-chemo-you-to-within-a-millimeter-of-your-life things, for 4 million dollars (to boot), so that the drug/insurance companies and oncos can make a mint ( but it WILL come back) — if you say no to that, you’re labeled a coward. Well, that seems pretty unfair. Kind people don’t even do that to their own pets, but it’s perfectly all right to do it to a human being, and to label them a coward if they choose not to.

    You can delete this post, I will definitely understand!! .(((J))) I thought of all this stuff when I read the last sentence of your blog and applied it to myself.

    Keeping you in my prayers,

    • (((M))) This is the kind of thing that needs to be out there, so people have the opportunity to talk about it. I know of several people who made the choice you present, and had the reaction you depicted. I also know, sadly, a few people who have died because of the side effects of chemo and/or died during treatment, when the quality of their life would have been higher and longer if they hadn’t had it. There are no easy answers. You are in my prayers as well.

  2. You were taught to ‘appear’ lazy so NM could brag about how much she did. All her behaviors she projected on to you and then pointed out all she did to ‘show’ you up. I have seen your list of accomplishments. I know how much you have done. Owning a horse and mucking out the stalls every day is NOT lazy. That label was for NM’s benefit. I highly recommend ditching it. It is not yours in the first place.

    M that choice really sucks. I am so sorry. It is a difficult choice and attitudes of many people don’t help. I switched oncologists when my first one treated me with disrespect. Second one told me the same but gave me choices and treated me with respect. I will add you to my prayers.

    • But the horse was play! ;-P Thanks, Ruth. Reminders are helpful.

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