A few things are in my mind. Ironically, as I begin to write, they seem to be disappearing. Hopefully, like a dream that begins to fade, thet will find their way back as I write.
The biggest thing on my mind are the statuses of someone I follow on Facebook. Before I say much about them, I feel like I need to say something else.
This person is not someone I know beyond Facebook. She is also not someone I would suspect reads my blog with any regularity - if at all. It might be ironic if I am wrong, or she happens to read this post.
I am not yet sure what I am going to say, but in my sharing how I feel it would not be my intention to in any way call her out, or make her uncomfortable. It is just that what she is doing is tuning into stuff that is affecting me, and I feel like it is something I want to share. On some level, need to share.
So...what is this about?
Her mother is dealing with cancer. As she shares about it, she says things like "chemo will shorten her life." She also emphatically posted about how her mother is going to die.
Well. We are all going to die. I have said that many times, and many have even pointed that out to me.
But, here is the thing: no one knows when any one of us are going to die. Doctors give predictions that many fail to meet. Accidents call to death to the seemingly healthy.
Most do not plan for death, and even those who do, don't always make it.
When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I did not want to tell many people; I did not want them to think I was going to die. It is likely to be the reaction many would have, as many have the equation cancer = death in their head.
There are many things that people do say to me. I also realize, though, that there is likely to be a lot that isn't said...possibly like this woman's post.
And, quite frankly, it unnerves me to think that people think I am going to die.
The irony, of course, is that I could. Another irony is that because I do not talk about the stage I am in, or walk around saying that I am dying, I suspect prople think I am more OK than the docs think I am, or a "good PR approach" would advertise.
At one point, I had even told an astounded person that unconsciously I wondered if I wanted to be healed. People don't seem to want to help me much while I am dealing with cancer, the minute they think I am cured, they see no reason I would not continue to need help.
They do not realize the on-going impact of cancer and treatment on my life.They do not realize the big mess my life has become. The do not realize how greatly impacted I am on many levels. I also do not help their perceptions by doing the best I can to appear, and be, as normsl as possible.
It is a paradox that I struggle with, so I can only imagine how it must be for those who struggle with what may, or may not, happen to me. There are those who put things off in relation to me as though tomorrow will always be there.
I certainly hope it will be. At the same time, I wonder how much urgency people do feel in regard to me and my situation when they don't interact with me for long periods of time.
But that is how many of us "do life" in general. We live without the urgency. We live, caught up in many moments that probably should not matter as much as we think they should.
I will admit that it stings when people prioritize certain things over me. I get that they are important, but what are these people going to do? Wait til I am dying to show up? Or worse, even miss that opportunity, and then say, "I should have..." Or "I didn't know it was that bad..." Or...any number of other things...
This, while I sit here doing my best to embrace what moments are left on my clock. It is very hard to feel the urgency of life while so many others are oblivious. It is hard to live in a world of planners when the best you can often do is just get through the day.
It may sound like I am being critical of the choices of others. I might be. I think I am being a bit selfish. There are things I want that others say I can't have by the choices they make.
Think about it, though. What if you weren't sure tomorrow was a given? How would you feel if you had to wait for something that may or may not ever happen before you took your permanent voyage away from the people and things you know and love?
Your perspective would likely be a bit different than the one you have now. You might question your priorities. You might find yourself, or others, upset. Life has parameters, and very few like them to be ruffled.
We have to find a way to live, while we are dying. The game of pretend immortality is one we seem to play a lot of. It is one that seems to allow us to project ourselves into a future - which is only an illusion until we make it there, and it becomes our present.
We often hear "all we have is the present," but the meaning is lost in the noise of tomorrow's planning. It sounds good, but rarely is life implemented in such a way that shows we truly get the value of this moment.
Conversations like these stimulate defensive arguments for the things that we know; life as it is. Life experienced as the illusion is sometimes fought for more than the experience of life itself.
Nothing like the wake up call of something like cancer. The alarm is loud and incessant. It just so happens, though, that of those you know and interact with, you are the only one hearing it. And, even if others did hear it, it would likely be that annoying car alarm they had no control over. They would just want to make it stop. It's not their car, nor their problem.
Many times when I share the stuff I do, I think it comes across as unwanted noise, or as things that need to be fixed, or in cases where there is no fix, to be avoided.
We all have our own realities. We just do a much better job of dealing with them - and those around us - when perceived realities are aligned.
But that is not always as helpful as we might like, and want, it to be. It often works, though, at least until the wheels fall off of our own reality, and we have no choice but to stop and question things and deal with them in their present terms and state, often hoping what is, and has happened, is only a temporary blip.
That is what I shot for when I was first diagnosed. Surgery, chemo for 6 months, and "back to life."
Well. It didn't happen. But a lot of other stuff did. Including "life." I didn't get to "go back."
In many ways, I am grateful. In many ways, I am conflicted. In many ways I am different than I used to be, and different than others would want me to be.
It would seem being different most of my life was good training for this part of my adventure. It is something I am all too used to.
It still is uncomfortable, though, to be in this place. People would often rather think something is wrong with you than think something is right about the unique way you seem to view things.
As usual, I am all over the place. Hopefully I made some sense of things along the way. I am really tired, and mg eyes are wanting to close.
I would love to tie this up with a great summary, and a bow, but that just ain't gonna happen. :p But perhaps you got something out of this, any way?
I am just glad it is out of me.
Ps please consider $1 per month for Patreon.com/jolope if you appreciate my writing. Thank you.