Cancer in all of it’s varying masks has the predisposition to inflict havoc on all areas within one’s life; mind, body, soul. The all-consuming veneer that is the disease attires a masquerade, shadowing your every move until there is nothing left to do other than reveal itself in its entirety, in its whole hearted completeness. Once this illustration of pretenses occurs and are no longer concealed under the cheap surface, we are left but with the raw aptitude that this malady brings forth.
In my case, my cancer hid away from me for what I believe to be years. That was until one day, it decided it didn’t want to hide behind concealment any longer. Within a transitory moment, my world went from being cancer-less to cancer-full. With that comes a lot of altering sentiments, but more than anything cancer becomes the center of your world and you instantaneously begin to orbit around it.
Diminutively, prior to the recent change in events and the cancer diagnosis, I was unknowingly feeding into the cancer; already orbiting myself around it, while it wore it’s camouflage and prepared for terror on my body. It weighed me down, made me less of a person and to be frank complacent with the mediocre nuances of life. Then, once it undisguised itself and I became aware of the cancer, it suddenly took over in another fashion, but this time being Doctor’s appointments, subjects of conversation and the incessant nagging in my brain telling me that “Hey, just a reminder, you have cancer…”
Even while I sleep, I am retold that I have cancer. It becomes something that you live and breathe. On the other side of the spectrum, it also may have the tendency to engage you in egotistical behaviors. Suddenly, everything is about the cancer, you have the cancer, therefore everything is about you. If you aren’t careful, it can clout your thoughts on that and that alone. At appointments you are naturally talking about you, when catching up with friends or family they care enough to want to talk about you, strangers on the street see you with a fusion pack and they want to talk about you. You, you, you, you. YOU can’t get enough of you or rather AWAY from you.
After the first few days undergoing my chemotherapy treatments and awaking from my fog, my Nan decided it would be a good idea to head up to the pines and simply get away. What I really wanted was to get away from ME. I spent the last four days in beautiful 60-degree weather, enjoyed the smell of rain and was able to escape from the world, but most of all myself. It was an opportunity for me to engross myself in anything but my cancer and take a breather from talking about it with Doctor’s, friends and yes, even myself.
My point is, everyone in my life means the world to me and they are always asking how I am and I’ve realized that through cancer I have some of the most amazing people supporting me in my life; despite my diagnosis. What I want to ensure I work on throughout this process is supporting those people, too and realizing that even though my reality right now is everything cancer, it is not everyone else’s. I am vowing to not let the cancer consume me, but let me consume it. Instead, orbit around my family and friends and show cancer that with or without a mask, I am not ducking from it’s disparity. I am standing up to cancer and there will be a day when I am able to relish in things outside of this hideous disease and myself.