I never wanted to be the woman who wrote about her breast cancer. You have to believe me when I say that. I never wanted to be that person.
I don’t like talking about it, either. From the outset, my SOP was FOR EYES ONLY. Information was disseminated on a need to know basis and no one needed to know anything, as far as I was concerned. I told no one until I had a confirmed diagnosis. A handful of people knew the cancer had spread. And no one knew the doctors told me I had months to live if chemotherapy wasn’t effective.
I stopped blogging for a year. I was not about to let the entire internet behind this particular curtain. I resisted writing about it even after I decided to blog. When I began blogging again, I hoped I would write about it for a few months, get it all out, and then go on to other things. Much like the magical thinking I sometimes applied to my cancer, I wanted to get through it. I wanted there to be an end point and then I could put it all behind me and move on like nothing ever happened. And we never need speak of it ever again.
But things kept happening, things I needed to continually get over and move beyond. There is only so much moving on – read avoid and deny – before I have to face up to the fact that this is how it is going to be. This is it.
This is the context in which I move through the universe. I am a cancer patient. I am always recovering or healing from something. Sometimes the healing is physical, but this last year, a lot of that healing and recovering has been emotional and mental.
There isn’t much of map for this territory. So, I write. I try to make sense of it. I try to draw lines to connect the dots. I need to marry actions and reactions. Is this related to that? Why is this happening? And I write more.
I’ve gone from saying absolutely nothing to anyone to inviting the entire internet inside my pain. Literally, exposing my physical scars. Inviting everyone to view the price I’ve paid for the privilege of being me.
Time will tell if I made the right decision.