No, it’s not relevant nor should it be! To me, it’s just a glitch, as simple as that. And while some are finding it difficult to understand me and my happy-go-lucky attitude in dealing with this whole cancer issue -because they don’t really know me, I’m going completely bananas trying to understand them and whatever it is they expect me to do or be. Like the every day question:
– How are you?, someone asks
– I’m great and you?, I happily respond
That response alone annoys some I come across with and I don’t understand why. It’s as if they were expecting me to feel bad about my life or look the part of a dying person and since I don’t go for either they get this look on their faces that seems to say “it can’t be so”.
I don’t want people to treat me any different just because I’ve terminal cancer and when I’m told that I don’t look like I’m dying, it makes me very happy… but it also makes me feel unhappy because they seem to imply that it’s all in my head and that the tests and surgery results are wrong. It’s an odd feeling I get. As if I were being judged for not responding to cancer like everyone else seems to when all I need is simplicity.
Well, I’m different!
Of course I don’t look it and neither did I look like I was getting the strongest chemo cocktail treatment a couple of years ago to fight breast cancer! To a degree in which some said I was lying about it only because I was not bedridden like others undergoing the same treatment. So this is like déjà vu and makes me wonder whether I need to prove something or if going for a victim’s face -and the voice that goes with it- is necessary. Hmm… no. I don’t. I really really don’t!
Someone told me that regardless of how strong I am, cancer shows and that I am not showing it and that I even seem to be getting better! And that’s what they kept telling me when I underwent the chemo treatment because it didn’t show either! But every single cell in my body felt it and I lost all my hair and had to take extra care of my nails and stuff… so why would this time be different? My telling people that we can smile regardless of what we have or are going through does not seem to sink in and I end up being called somewhat of a liar even with the facts right in front of them. It’s right there in black & white… do they need more proof?
When will I die? Well, my creator has the last word, but two doctors said I will not make it to Christmas while a third one said “everybody’s different” -as if that were the appropriate answer for someone who needs one in spite of all the tests and documents piled up on his desk stating what I have. I guess he was afraid of giving me a ballpark on my expiration date. And I don’t really blame him. It’s gotta be tough.
No, I don’t want the pity look or treatment, but I also don’t want -nor do I need- the “you liar” attitude only because I refuse to show what I’m going through even when it hurts and itches all over and am having a hard time not feeling tired most of the time. So no… I don’t believe I need to show it nor talk about it all the time and it doesn’t mean I’m in denial, it just means I want to enjoy this life I have right now without ‘cancer’ being a talking point.
I might be full of what seem like contradictions here and the truth might be that I don’t really know what I want. So, what do I want? I guess I’d love for those around me to appreciate the time we have together, not to expect me to look sick or look for evidence of the illness every single minute of every single day and accept the fact that, as of now, I am strong and in control… until I’m not… because I’m sure there will come a time in which I will look the part everyone seems to be waiting for. But until that happens and I cannot handle it anymore… allow me to be happy and accept it when I respond with an “I’m great!” to the “how are you?” question.
Is that too much to ask?