Thinking about Cancer
It’s June 5, and I am often surprised by how much I think about cancer and how often I avoid thinking about it.
Now I have no explanation for this. The other day it was cancer survivor day, and I was there again. Feeling sad that I had cancer. Grief over how my life changed, my perspective, and the world. I often describe the disease as the scene in pirates movie where the boat is upside down,, and I’m tied to the mast holding my breath, hoping to surface soon.
Now cancer is not something I like to talk about. Who wants to talk about the hardest time in their life? I would much prefer to talk about my faith, visiting Disney Parks, fandoms, and ships that I ship, superheroes, and so many other things.
There are seasons when I dwell on having cancer, and I feel rawer. Even yesterday I equated being flummoxed to that original doctor’s appointment where I felt like I was underwater listening to the doctor give me the diagnosis about cancer.
There are foods that I like now that I didn’t like before, like Cheesecake and potato salad.
I see my scars every day. The place where the mediport was placed has scared. In the beginning, it would itch. I have three pinprick tattoos that actually look like blue freckles.
There are moments that I’m struck that my treatments were nine months, and that’s how long it takes to conceive a baby.
There are moments like last week when I was hypothetically saying when I want to get a time machine and head back to 2012. Jman immediately said not 2012, and I agreed.
There are moments when I get glimpses of my previous life, and then it’s like a distant dream. Like when I’m visiting my family on vacation. Or when I’m watching tv shows that were on before cancer. At this point in my life, there is only one show. But I started rewatching it, and I’m back before life went crazy.
There are moments I’m grateful for things, I am thankful for taking a honeymoon. I am thankful for good Doctors and chemo. Even though chemo is horrible.
I share my story because I feel like God gave me a voice, and even though I am private, God gave me, and it might help others.
I avoid asking whys. I try to avoid the what ifs. And Distrust that the doctors lied to me, that it was a ruse to get money from me. I avoid the thoughts that mean travel down a dark valley, ideas like if I didn’t have cancer, I might have already gotten pregnant. If I didn’t have a disease, I wouldn’t have anxiety. If I didn’t have cancer, my life would be further along.
I avoid those thoughts because they are not conducive for being happy or healthy.
But there are days when it knocks me off my game, and suddenly I’m mad at the world. I’m watching a tv show where a minor character has cancer, and it’s beautifully written, and I feel like the character, and I’m crying. There are moments when my stomach usually turns with the smell of rubbing alcohol. I avoid commercials about cancer.
Then there are days when I’m contemplative about my life. People always say that when someone survives cancer, they get a new zest for life. This is true, but then there are days that I just want to hide. The world is loud, and my heart can’t take any more meanness. There are days that I’m thankful for life and embrace the sunshine with open arms. I try things more , ask questions more. I am easier to forgive and choose my battles. I know what’s important and strive for those moments. I spend time with friends more often.
I think about cancer quite often. Sometimes it brings me to my knees, and some days it propels me forward. I survived. I keep moving forward.
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
TTFN and God Bless and Keep You