I have been meaning to write this for a while now but in all honesty it has been difficult to get my head wrapped around it enough to write about it.
Since being diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently going through surgeries and treatment, my whole focus has changed. As much as I really wanted to pursue a D/s relationship I have found my interest has shifted, possibly even waned completely from ever stepping foot into that lifestyle.
Some of you may not understand this and so I’m going to attempt to write about my thoughts as to how this has changed for me.
Anyone who has gone through two surgeries and chemo in a sixth month time span may understand. People who are around people who have gone through this may think they understand but until you have lived it, with the uncertainty of it, learning how completely vulnerable and defenseless we really are, you won’t really understand.
I spent months being afraid, more like terrified. Not for myself but for my daughter. I know how emotionally difficult it is to lose a parent or both parents but I know it only as an adult who lost her parents. My daughter had to experience the possibility of losing me at the young age of 11 when a girl needs her mother the most.
During this time, I did not feel free and empowered. I felt bound. Constricted. Defenseless. But mostly I felt desperate. I hated the first doctor who examined me and told me “you will be surprised what you will be willing to do” when I told her I didn’t want chemo or radiation. I hated her and swore I would never go back to her. I wanted to know I had options. I wanted to know I could live through this and get the support I needed to do things the way I wanted to do them.
ALL OF THAT WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME.
Oh, I could tell them “No. I don’t want the chemo.” They would let me walk away. But what that would do would essentially leave me on my own because as much as I wanted to go with natural alternative treatments, I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t go to my Naturopath and do all the things they recommended because healthcare doesn’t cover what they do. It is all considered supplementation and supplements are not covered by medical insurance. My choices were, either go it alone, or follow mainstream treatment recommendations by my Oncologist.
Basically, I lived my life for six months under another person’s or group of people’s control.
I did not like it one bit.
While I felt wonderful on the treatments, it was all good. When things fell apart when I had a bad reaction to the chemo and my body started shutting down, they left me stranded. I had to do my own research, go to my family doctor to get blood work to prove my diagnosis, then go to my natural health store to get what I needed to treat myself.
When a person puts everything they have into the hands of another person or a group of people, the expectation is the person or group of people would take great care and step in to help when help was greatly desired or needed. When that expectation fails, then their whole world comes crashing down.
Respect is lost.
Trust is lost.
Gaining either one of those back is very difficult and takes an effort from both parties. A HUGE effort.
In the medical industry, it is only the patient making the effort.
Many of you will probably try and tell me, “but the medical industry, isn’t two people in a D/s relationship.” I would have to disagree with you but then I’m viewing it from a patient who was told in no uncertain terms if I don’t do as they say, the cancer will kill me. I am no longer viewing the medical industry as a patient who has a case of the flu and just wants some medication to get me through it, or some other ailment which can be treated by some mild medication to get rid of the symptoms.
When a patient goes to a doctor for a life threatening illness, that patient is putting their very life in the hands of the doctor or group of doctors and trusting them to do everything in their power to help them survive or live a naturally long life in as healthy a condition as possible. What about this is not the same as two people entering a D/s relationship?
When I look at it this way, I realized, I lost my faith, trust and respect for the medical industry when they did next to nothing to help me. They pulled out their text books and said, “oh look, here is the treatment for this type of breast cancer… oh, you CAN’T eat or drink?… push fluids… oh, you are losing weight?… that’s okay (even though they told me they didn’t want me losing any weight at all during my treatment)… oh, you had a bad reaction to the chemo? … let’s try it again but at a lower dosage… oh, you don’t want chemo or radiation? … okay… good bye… have your family doctor do breast exams and send you yearly for mammograms and ultrasound.. hope we don’t see you again…”
In D/s? Yeah.. tell me it doesn’t happen… tell me there are never times when a person’s need, no matter how often spoken or strongly spoken doesn’t go unanswered…
I agree, there might be rare cases where a D/s relationship is wonderfully cohesive and provides everyone’s needs. I also know nothing is perfect and in life we will be disappointed for one reason or another.
Basically, from this past year, I have been held in bondage. A bondage which has soured my taste for any other type of bondage and yes, my perceptions are twisted from a perspective of relationships where people are bound to one another and in some cases one holds the other in bondage. This can be in vanilla or D/s. Obviously I don’t want that.
I know what I want. I’m trying to learn to provide it for myself and for my daughter. I’m approaching things completely different now.
My feelings for the medical industry were confirmed yet again, when my family practitioner went on medical leave/sabbatical, and left all his patients without a doctor to fill in for him. I don’t blame him. I blame the medical industry here in BC. There is a huge problem with availability of doctors in Canada. The experience I had in Quebec Province was even worse than here in British Columbia. But in both places it is very difficult to find a family doctor. A lot of people are left with their only option of going to an emergency clinic.
There are two things which make this situation worse.
1. the PAM program which was set up to put patients who do not have a doctor in touch with doctors who are accepting new patients, won’t help the patients of my ex-family doctor, they only help people who are new to the province or so that is what they told me.
2. a doctor who is accepting new patients, WILL NOT, accept any patients from my ex-family doctor, this apparently is a choice he made and I wonder how legal it really is. How can a doctor accepting new patients turn away people who need a doctor?
So here I am, a cancer survivor who needs regular medical checkups, with a daughter who is suffering badly every month, left to just emergency clinic care. Each time we have to see a doctor whether it is to get prescriptions refilled or because of painful periods which over the counter medications don’t help or whatever, there is no guarantee we will see the same doctor and therefore our medical history will be unknown to them and we’ll spend a lot of wasted time trying to get help for something which needs to be followed carefully to make appropriate adjustments to find solutions.
I am about solutions. I’m about root causes. I’m not about covering up with a band aid and pretending there isn’t something deeper going on. My cancer taught me that. My life taught me that.
Life should be simple. It should be pleasurable. It also should be about learning what is important to us and living a life that has meaning to us.
I was attracted to D/s because of what I read about communication. How important communication is to a D/s relationship. Sure some of the other aspects of D/s were exciting and had its intrigue but what I really want in life is a partner who will communicate. Not just talk but listen, will really hear me and want to understand me. Once this happens then we can pursue anything else we want to because we will have built the foundation we need to trust each other.
Until that happens D/s is out of the picture.
Until that happens between me and a medical doctor, I won’t have a family physician.
With this being said, my blog will continue to be about my life and those things which I am pursuing. Right now, I am enjoying the crafts I am working on. They are giving me a sense of myself. They are an external representation of my inner beauty. I wish I could pursue them full time but like most of you I have to work to make enough money to support my daughter and me, and the crafts we both pursue and whatever else we want out of life.
I haven’t given up on anything. I’m just taking things one step at a time and enjoying life along the way and learning how to deal with the frustrations thrown our way.