Bitter Fruit

It started with a friend’s new job… A major new job that was to double her annual salary. I am outwardly very happy for her. She deserves this. I am proud of her. At the same time, I was forced to acknowledge this snarky little demon called jealousy. I can ignore it for periods of time, but it remains there, gnawing on my shoulder. I want to just brush it off for good, but this great new opportunity has turned the 120 watt lamp of stark contrast on my present circumstances. I can’t even talk about it with anyone, which makes matters worse. I feel like a horrible person, lugging these feelings around.

Imagine being set adrift on a teeny tiny boat, and being pushed off into a ginormous sea. Your friends are there for the bon voyage party and promise to be there when you get back. It’s a very lonely journey, and there is no way you can come back the same person. There is no room to take anyone with you on this little boat.

(Now in my mind comes the barrage of: Be grateful you’re even alive. At least it was Stage 1!  At least it wasn’t in your lymph nodes! Look at your beautiful son and your loving husband. You have so much to be grateful for! Just shut it you whiney cow!)

I am having a hard time relating to anyone the way I use to. I hear people complain of this or that, and it seems trivial and trite. This nasty bugger keeps piping in with judgments, inward and outward. I don’t know how long I can keep this ugliness bottled up. I better just stick to being alone. I’m afraid of what will come out of my mouth.

The realization hits me that I want more from the relationships in my life. Everyone is so busy, everything is going at a way faster pace than me, and I just can’t keep up the way I am accustomed to. My friends aren’t as close and accessible as I thought they were. They are waiting for me to reach out I guess, or maybe they just don’t know what to say. Or they are busy with their fabulous, productive lives, making plans, going on vacations, getting new jobs, new cars, making money.

Me, I’m drifting off on an island… getting smaller and smaller in the distance. I don’t know if I’ll make back to shore, and when I get there, will it be some strange and foreign land or will it feel like home? Will we speak the same language?

Breast Cancer at 36 was a terrible shock. Even worse is knowing that I carry this BRCA 1 gene mutation. I will need to have my ovaries removed before I am 40. My breast surgery didn’t heal properly and I will need another surgery which has to wait until chemo is through. I have possibly passed on this genetic trait to my son, and that just feels horrible. Is it insanely selfish and stupid to entertain the idea of another baby someday? This triple negative cancer business is another matter. (With higher reoccurrence rates, this pondering feels pointless. Better stick to the present moment and try to find gratitude.)This is such sad, bitter fruit to swallow.

What I know is that these feelings feel poisonous. I don’t want them to eat up what is left of my time (even if “my time” means another 70 years of living). The irony is that I KNOW the preciousness of every damn day. That makes facing these feelings even harder. There is no brushing this off, no room for denial. Talk about an elephant in the room.


9 thoughts on “Bitter Fruit”

  1. Hi Melissa, I’m sorry things are hard for you and I’m sorry for your pain, sending you love and healing. My friend Isis, (also Rachel Marco’s friend), an artist and photographer is working on a really special project called ‘the Grace Project’, she has been working on a series of portraits of women who have experienced Mastectomy surgery in order to survive breast cancer. Her website is and I mentioned you to her the other day as I thought you may possibly be interested. Her work is very healing and empowering and she is an awesome person and has touched the lives of many women she has worked with, I thought you might enjoy meeting her with no obligation to her project of course. The dress from me still awaits you. I will not be at woodstock flea for the next few weeks but will be doing a trunk show locally soon and will let you know so you can come and find a dress. Lots of love Sharon

    Sent from my iPad


  2. This blog has opened the door so the elephant can leave. You know what big ears he has so I’m sure he’s hearing your words loud and clear. In all honesty I don’t believe that you are unique in experiencing the green eyed monster. It’s true that this Cancer voyage belongs to you, but your awareness of the beast is, in all honesty, shared by all of us. Your words are so powerful that they resonate profoundly. I believe that this awareness has put you further on the path to self-actualization. Keep on trekking girl…once again, thank you.

  3. What’s that saying? …. “Be kind to everyone, we are all fighting some kind of battle” Your friend who has the new job, I’ll say I’m a little jealous too. We could all use a financial boost, a vacation, a new car or a fancy dinner. But we all have our own demons and no-one is immune to sadness, pain and all the other the battles that we must go through.
    Say what you feel. Let the poison out. Release anything that no longer serves you.
    This difficult journey that you are currently navigating is a bit like labor and birth. The painful parts suck. Only you can complete this task. You were so good at labor! And just as you did in labor you must breathe and release. Breathe and release. Or as Thích Nhất Hạnh says “Smile and breathe”

  4. Oh, Melissa, I feel for you! I also had a low BS tolerance during my BC journey. I divorced myself from the negative (and people who talked to me about their sister’s oncologist before my biopsy results were even in) because I only needed positive forces in my life. Also realize that you are not alone. A lot of women are in the same boat, literally and figuratively. Your job–find them! A support group called SHARE saved my life, being with women who all had BC, who knew exactly what I was feeling. Share’s main office is in NYC but they have a hotline all staffed by survivors. It’s 844-ASK-SHARE. Big, gentle hugs to you.

  5. Thanks for this Melissa. I love the raw honesty and the beautiful expressive way that you tackled this demon … one we all share … that dark side that exists for all of us and yet none of us wants to attest to it’s presence. Thanks for courageously meeting it head on and sharing your inner struggles . Your an amazing light … dark side and all! xxoo

  6. Melissa, another beautiful blog. Your writing is filled with powerful emotions, and a message we all can relate to. Your courage and willingness to let us see you are inspiring.

    Love, Win

    On 10/19/14 9:32 PM, “melissa’s healing hope” wrote:

    > Melissa Eppard posted: “It started with a friend¹s new jobŠ A major new job > that was to double her annual salary. I am outwardly very happy for her. She > deserves this. I am proud of her. At the same time, I was forced to > acknowledge this snarky little demon called jealousy. I ca” >

  7. thank you for being courageous enough to expose your current perception and truth. i can only imagine what you are experiencing and how alone you feel. if only we could actually go on the deep inner cathartic healing shaman journey with another… and yet i believe this journey is also leading you on a great treasure hunt and re-birthing you into an even greater expression of the brilliant inspiring light being that you already are. and your right…we all get so busy, and consumed in our lives, and also hope/expect you to reach out…i feel guilty of this and i am sorry. i want to be here for you, and i know it sounds silly, but i sometimes just don’t know how? i love you so much!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s