Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/02/19


denialI’ve had a week of denial, my friends.  From the fact that I had no Valentine last Tuesday (and it didn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought it would), to the concerns I have for my appointment tomorrow when I’ll find out the results of last Friday’s CT scan, to the return of some symptoms in my right eye that make me worried that that tumor is again on the move, to the bills that came in the mail indicating that my health insurance company doesn’t want to pay for last Friday’s CT scan (not a medical necessity – WTF?), nor does it want to pay for the $12,000 worth of chemo that I had last month,to the sad fact that Lung Junk is a reality, and will be a reality for whatever constitutes the rest of my life,  I turned a deaf ear and a blind eye (not quite literally, but you know what I mean) to all things annoying and sad, and lived a week of pure denial.  I simply decided that there was no way that anything I did or said to agitate myself was going to make any difference in any outcomes, and since it was the last week of feeling good before tomorrow’s chemo, I was just gonna live the week.  And all things considered, aside from being a little depressed, it was a pretty good week!  This denial thing can really be all right, you know?

So as I complete this week of denial, and mind you, I am determined to go the distance with it, I am NOT going to blog about cancer or Lung Junk or my book or anything even about me.  Instead, I’m going to nod my head in the direction of all others who are dealing with any number of types of junk of their own, recognizing that we all have our pain (see January 22, 2012’s blog, “Light In The Tunnel”), and share with you, with permission from the author, my excellent friend, Tina Caldwell, her piece called “A Rheumatoid Arthritis Prayer.”  Tina speaks for so many with great eloquence, great humor,and  great warmth.  I know you’ll enjoy, and possibly relate.  And I know you’ll excuse me as I go back to my television program, my bag of chips, my dill pickles, and my denial.  I love you all and wish you a fabulous week–and me, too!


Teri, the In-Denial Flying Elephant

A Rheumatoid Arthritis Prayer

by Tina Caldwell

Dear Lord, please help me through this day. Help me not to fall on small children, therefore crushing them beneath my steroid-bloated weight. Help me to open pickle jars and thermoses so that I can pack my children’s lunches. Lord, when I try to pull apart the coffee bag, please control my fingers so that I don’t send coffee beans flying, because, Lord, the vacuum cleaner is mine enemy. Its cords and its weight torment me.

Lord, please comfort me so that I will stop trying to find comfort in the refrigerator and the pantry. The starches, they call to me. The months-old Halloween candy, it beckons. Get behind me Satanic foodstuffs with your empty promises of comfort and love. When nothing else seems to feed my soul, the Chef Boyardee ravioli promises to feed all of me.

Lord, please give me the energy to exercise. It’s what your people tell me I need. And Lord, you know my heart, so you know what I want to tell your people. When it feels like exercise to shuffle to the mailbox, Lord, I ask that you give me the impetus to shuffle up the street.

Lord, since I shouldn’t ask for sunny days all the time because your earth needs rain, I ask that you coordinate your rain with the days I give myself the prescription injection. Really, Lord, is it that much to ask? When a cold, wet front comes through and it’s two days before my injection, Lord, I am sorely tempted to blaspheme thee and smite thy people.

Lord, most of all I ask for patience. When I make the mistake of telling someone I have R.A. and they pat their leg and say, “Oh I know, I have some arthritis in my knee and it causes me trouble when I ski,” Lord, I ask that you hold my hand so that I don’t send its swollen claw across the face of mine enemy.

When I have to call the insurance company to jump through hoops so I that may get my overpriced prescription, Lord, I ask that you steady my nerves. Lord, please don’t let me open up a can of whoopass on these poor, unsuspecting people. I know I hurt like hell and I know I’m on steroids, so my fuse is short, but Lord, these people are just doing their jobs and speaking English is difficult enough for them. Please don’t let me be another problem in their difficult days of pronouncing sentences on the sick and ailing.

Perhaps most importantly, I ask for patience with myself. When I can’t “be” who I believe I’m supposed to be for my friends and family…when I can’t “do” what I believe I’m supposed to do…when I can’t obtain all that I believe I should be obtaining, Lord I ask that you gently remind me of the plethora of blessings you have bestowed upon me. Please gently nudge me toward gratitude for this overwhelming reason to slow down, to grow in mind and spirit and to take time to be with you Lord.

In your name I pray,





  1. Thanks for your prayers, support, and encouragement! I hope your journey has been going well. You’re in my prayers, too!

  2. You are amazing . Bless your heart – I don’t know how you keep your sense of humor after being hit with all this crap , but as a fellow lung junk person – you are my role modell!!! When I get down and out, I pull out your book and read a few pages. I hope remember how many people you helped and inspired.
    As my mother always said ” keep your head down and keep plugging!”
    You are in my prayers!

  3. Every once in a while, denial is just exactly the right thing to do. Kind of clears the bases for the next play, if you’ll pardon a baseball metaphor. I wonder if the insurance company will cover a uniform for your “recreational” scans and chemo? (Kim — that is a great image.)

    As for the chips and the dill pickles, salt is one of the four major food groups — along with sugar, bourbon, and butter — so go for it!

    “Lord, most of all I ask for patience. When I make the mistake of telling someone I have R.A. and they pat their leg and say, “Oh I know, I have some arthritis in my knee and it causes me trouble when I ski,” Lord, I ask that you hold my hand so that I don’t send its swollen claw across the face of mine enemy.”

    I can relate to Tina’s reaction to this. It may be akin to the feeling I have when I mention autism and someone brings up Temple Grandin. 🙂

    Good luck today. Love and hugs.

  4. I suppose the insurance company considers CT scans and chemo to be recreational. Oy. Dill pickles and some sort of crazy reality show might be just the thing.


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