Sunday, February 28, 2016

The hanging sword over your head or embrace each day

I read an article this morning on how a cancer diagnosis changed a couple's perception of life. Without a cancer (or other icky) diagnosis, do we view the definitiveness (yes that's a real word - I had to look it up) of our lives differently than with one? Does the hanging sword called cancer, redefine us, or how does it redefine us?

I struggle with this one sometimes. I was barely an adult (19) when cancer first dropped into my life. Therefore I am not sure I would know how to be an adult without cancer. But have I learned to embrace every day for what it is? I'm not sure either.

I do agree that once cancer appears, life in Cancerland is very different than life without cancer. At my second diagnosis I was pushed deeper into Cancerland than I was before. So as I was pushed in deeper, I pushed back and focused on taking better care of me emotionally. I was more sure of what I was not going to let cancer do to me again - it was not going to take any more fun out of my life. Or suck any more time emotionally from me.

Now almost 9 years from diagnosis number two, do I still feel that hanging cancer sword over my head? Yes. But I feel I have pushed it up higher and further away. Has it changed me? Yes, and I hope I am a better person than before.

After my first diagnosis, if someone I knew also knew someone with cancer, they would somehow get me in contact with them. I didn't always feel comfortable talking to someone I didn't really know who had cancer. Because I had cancer, I was supposed to want to talk about it? I didn't. And that wasn't the best way to cope with my health.

Now I reach out people I meet with cancer, because I don't want anyone to go through all the same hell I went through. I want to help them push that hanging sword further away. Let them embrace their life and not live under that sword.

From the article I read:
"The gift of the diagnosis — and it’s a tough one to embrace, but what choice do we have? — is to dedicate ourselves instead to embracing every day with the particular passion that comes from knowing the number is finite. I am just as glad I don’t know the number of days remaining to either one of us, but I know every day, I have one less. I had better make the best of them all."

1 comment:

KT said...

I'm about two months in since my diagnosis. Up until now, I've avoided blogs about cancer, but today I went seeking them. I found yours and I'm glad.