Susan Neder

Smiles and Frowns

In Cancer of the "Netherlands", Power of Love on December 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm

A few of you have asked me if I am always “up” –  is everything always funny?  Do I ever get down?  The answer is yes, I do get down.  It is seeing the humor that pulls me out of that thought, and sometimes it takes me a day or two to get my sense of humor & balance back.  So for those of you that may also be going through some of this yourself, please know that I do know and acknowledge the awfulness of this process, but I think this could swallow  person up if they let it get the best of them, so I am making a conscious choice to not let that happen, but every day is a different fight.

The other day was a case in point for me:  in addition to the other side effects I am dealing with, yesterday I learned that the skin in the “Netherlands” is literally melting off now because of radiation.  The doctors told me not to let plastic too near the “Nether regions” because I am putting out so much heat that the plastic would melt and stick to what skin I have left and pull it off.  This really shook me up and nothing was funny yesterday.  To have said I was cross would have been an understatement.  I was angry and scared… I think that it is important to acknowledge those feelings and not stuff them, but let them pass over me so I don’t get stuck in them.

What pulled me out of that ( I had to kick myself in the butt, which isn’t as easy as it sounds!) was going into the treatment center and seeing so many people much sicker than me that are probably suffering worse than me and some of those people were all alone.  When I thought about all of the family and friends that are with me providing love and support, I felt so lucky and so blessed that I couldn’t stay down.  I wish I could have gone up to some of those people and give them a hug and a warm cookie or something, but that would have probably gotten me arrested, so I decided to settle for smiling at everyone– did you know it is almost impossible to feel bad when you smile?



  1. Hey Susan, I just want to give you a big hug and acknowledge what a champ you are in dealing with this yucky (to say the least!) situation. I know its very difficult, and in dealing with it with my daughter, I also know that your positive attitude, the love that surrounds you through family and friends, and gratitude for the drugs that are saving your life (even though they are also challenging it sometimes) are absolutely the most valuable things to have in your arsenal! You have a wonderful attitude, great sense of humor and you’re going to be just fine! Hang in there, Girlfriend! 2011 will be “The Year Susan Beat Cancer”!!!
    Lots of love and support coming your way,

  2. Hey there Susan-
    Sorry to hear about the recent events…I hope that you get back on “track” soon. I can’t help but think that you will recover from all this and be able to look back on it as another big hurdle that you have jumped.
    My thoughts and prayers are coming your way-

  3. Actually, you had/have every right to be angry and scared. A very rational reaction. That situation is just a little over the top for your aforementioned turkey karma. But the good news is that you are doing something that is going to work and, afterward, you can make suggestions for what your doctors can do with any spare plastic they have lying around. Don’t let anyone give you a hard time about being upbeat — even if you are faking it. Cannot imagine life without a sense of humor — irony alone will give you the giggles 24/7 — and I know you can’t. Hope you are not one bit hotter than absolutely necessary. Love, Suzanne

  4. Honey:

    A hug and a warm cookie is not such a bad idea. Still,that smile of yours was a blessing to some of those you saw at the treatment center. Who knows how many days we have, and if you can use even one to be a blessing to someone, it has been a good day. I am glad you took a scary day and made it a good day.

    You inspire me.

    Love, Mike

  5. That’s awful. We’re rooting for you.

  6. Susan,

    That you are able to maintain your “sense of self” which obviously includes your wonderful sense of humor through your current experiences with both chemo and radiation therapy has instilled in us an even greater level of admiration for you. As Mike indicated in his post to you – you are an inspiration for those around you that care about you, and you no doubt were an inspiration for those that don’t even know you in the treatment center. You should be the poster woman for the adage that positive thinking will carry one through almost any challenge. We wish you all the best in a hopefully speedy recovery from the after effects of the “therapies” you are having to endure, and we hope to see you soon.
    Love, Julia and Dick

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