Thursday, April 10, 2014

Think You Know What Cancer Looks Like?

Feel free to share this graphic FULLY intact, AS IS 
(and link to this post http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2014/04/think-you-know-what-cancer-looks-like.html)
For anyone who hasn't yet met me, odds are your answer to the question above is likely to be "A." I would be willing to bet you would even think that picture "A" came first, and then "B." In actuality, picture "A" taken just yesterday. Picture "B" was taken in October, 2012 in the midst of chemo treatments.

The fact is what I asked was a trick question as I am dealing with cancer in both pictures. Another interesting fact is that I likely had less cancer in my body when "B" was taken than now. I haven't had a recent scan to know for certain, but at least at the time of my last scan I know that statement to most likely to have been true.

I share this with you because I have found that many people look at me and think I am just fine because I look fine. They have no idea what it took to get me to the point that I am at. They have no idea what I go through on a daily, or even moment-to-moment basis. The same phenomena that has those think I am fine because I look fine allows those who might want to scam to be better able to do that because they play into the perceived image of "B."

I was likely dealing with cancer long before I ever knew it. There are likely to be people walking around who look perfectly fine that are dealing with unfathomable issues. I took great effort to look "normal" when I was undergoing treatment. "B" was a rare look at me when I wasn't "wigging" out. I never once stepped outside of the house without make-up and a wig to compensate for my hair loss and very pale skin. It took me about 7 months after my hair started to grow back to stop wearing wigs.

Ironically, perhaps, I was wearing a green wig in photo "A." A friend bought it because they wanted me to have something fun to play with. I have stopped wearing wigs on any kind of regular basis. Around Christmas I wore one for the heck of it, but I am preferring to wear my own hair these days. At the same time, I enjoy playing with make-up and taking pictures and artistically manipulating them.

I sometimes think that when I show signs of life, people may get the wrong impression of me and what I am dealing with. After all, cancer is about death and dying and ugliness - isn't it? People who are dealing with cancer aren't supposed to be out living, are they? They're not supposed to look good, are they? I can't tell you how many times people look at someone who appears to be fine, only to be shocked when they die only a short time later. For many who aren't personally dealing with the illness, life and living and beauty doesn't seem to be able to co-exist with an experience of cancer.

When what isn't OK looks OK and what is OK doesn't look so OK it screws with us. We don't know how to interact with it. It is no wonder we can be desperate to box things in. The thing is that in the process of boxing and labeling, we seal ourselves and others into perceptions that we have created. By protecting ourselves, we have the potential to cut off opportunities for understanding, growth and love and other good things, too.

There is so much more I could say. There is so much more I have said. If this is your first time here, I invite you to check out more of my blog posts. I write about a lot more than cancer. The illness has given me a framework in which to see life that been incredible for me personally and seems to have potential to be helpful to others. 

PS If you do indeed find my work helpful, I would appreciate it if you would share it with others. If you find value in it, I would also appreciate your support. Even $1 could make a big difference for me, and I am not just saying that because it sounds good. I really mean it. Love and prayers and Reiki are always welcome. If you would like to see other options of things that could help me and info on how to make a donation ((including a tax deductible one), you can click here. 

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