Posted by: jeanne | June 10, 2008

the worst thing about having cancer

do you know the worst part about having cancer?

the best part is that you know you’re going to die, and probably how you’re going to die, and maybe even how soon you’re going to die. this settles a whole lot of issues.

it lets you organize the remainder of your life. it gives you a lust for life that you never had when you expected to live forever. it makes everything precious, and yet reduces its scale in the grand scheme of things to itty bitty. it puts things in their proper perspective, and mainly what that means is that nothing you used to get upset about is all that important.

so what’s the worst? the worst thing about having cancer is that, for the rest of your life, every time you get a twinge in your body, every time your bowel habits change, every time you lose weight, every sleepless night, you suddenly think – it’s back.

not only IT’S BACK, but oh shit it’s back and now i have to go thru chemo and radiation and be sick as a dog before i die, for months, and if i’m lucky/unlucky/deserving of punishment, the treatment will kill me before the cancer does.

you get a headache. it’s a brain tumor.

your stomach hurts. it’s stomach cancer.

you get a rash on the chest wall where your breast used to be. it’s inflammatory breast cancer.

you’re tired and fatigued. that’s the sign of undiagnosed cancer gathering strength.

and every time you get a twinge, every time you think – it’s back – you get depressed and hopeless, or angry, or sad and teary, because you know you don’t have long to live, and that shortness is going to be full of pain and the busyness of dying.

and after awhile, you get used to these waves of depression, and you almost welcome them, because it would be so much easier to just lay down and die than to have to muster the courage, the cheeriness, the spark required to continue living.

is death just giving up?

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