Monday, February 3, 2014

Thoughts on battling cancer

People talk about "battling" cancer, or talk about how someone "lost their battle" with cancer. I have never once talked about battling cancer. My battle is with people's fears and the stigmas around the illness. 

I hope when I die no one ever says anything about me and cancer and battle in the same breath. I hope I will have battled people's perceptions enough by that time that those closest to me know better than to say something like that about me. 

I would hate to have the last lingering message about me and my life be about how I lost my life to something that in many ways gave me life.

To give cancer that place in my death is to call attention to the only one thing most people will hear. It has a way of drowning everything else out, and since I won't be here to rein it in, it is my hope others will do that for me.

It is a disease that has a reputation for killing off many things, not just healthy cells. But it is the people who do not know how to interact with it that do that. 

There is much life among those who are said to be dying, often more life than in those who are supposedly living. cancer is perceived to be a villain because it reminds us of our mortality and steals away those we love and care about. 

It can bring about different responses in people, some of which can be incredibly life affirming. None of us know when our planetary trip will come to a close, and we get lackadaisical in our approach to life.

So few things in life have the wake-up call power of a diagnosis like cancer. What if my life was going to come to a close at a certain point with, or without cancer, and cancer came along to help me make sure I got the best possible experiences of my life before that time came?

There are times I wonder what I am supposed to do in the midst of this. At the same time it calls me to be, it seems I am affected in ways that prevent me from moving forward in the way I desire.

It is an incredible paradox. 

I don't think this is the end, yet. But I very much feel like I am on the edge, dangling.

What is life supposed to be? Where are you supposed to be? Who are you supposed to be? What are you sipposed to be doing?

It occurs to me that maybe there is no one right way or answer, other than the one we choose. Maybe all the magic of life and all the answers to the questions about  life are present in the process of living life.

How would we live without the idea that we are doing anything wrong? What would life be without that idea as a guide? If it always helped us, it would be one thing. As it is, more often than not it creates a personal hell because we feel as if we can't do anything right.

How many of us would ever feel badly about things, if we were not taught to feel badly about things? How often could we feel good about life's seeming imperfections, if we were never taught that imperfections existed?

Much of who we are and become we are taught to be, or we learn to be by what happens around us and to us. But ifthose  things aren't who we truly are, there is an incredible disconnect that leaves us feeling unsettled, distracted, uncertain.

So much of my life I have lived there because I could never seem to be who others thought I should be. It is exhausting and demoralizing.

What am I supposed to be teaching others? What are they supposed to be teaching me? More often than not there is a disconnect and discontent. A butting of heads.


Before this gets too long, I am going to bring it to an end. I began this yesterday, continued it this morning, and could easily go on tonight.

No comments:

Post a Comment