I’m cranky, I’m sad, I’m frustrated.
I don’t want to explain how I feel to family members. I don’t want to have to.
I want to yell, “If you’d had cancer you would understand!” But I know their ignorance is my prize… the prize I get for the fact that some of the people I treasure most haven’t had cancer.
I’ve seen a comaraderie that comes with this disease.
We may have had different types of cancer, different treatments, different prognoses… but… we are tied together.
When I was diagnosed one of the first things I was struck by was how vulnerable I felt. I worried about my family, especially my (then) seven-month old son Tristan who had his own medical problems. “Who will fight for him?” I thought. “No one will love him the way I do. No one will be his advocate the way that I will. I have to do it. I have to be here for him. I have to do what it takes to stay alive.” That became my mantra.
But once introduced, the worry could not be abolished. It could be dampened, minimized, controlled. But it could not be removed.
Two days ago a high school classmate died of brain cancer. Today I got word that a woman I know is in intensive care after complications from leukemia.1
I ache for their families, for their children. I can’t explain the nuances of these feelings well. I have been here at the keyboard trying to find the words and repeatedly come up short.
And so, perhaps it is enough to say that I don’t always have the right words to convey what it is I am feeling.
But that doesn’t mean I feel it any less.
- I am saddened to report that Kellie died shortly after I wrote this post [↩]