Fuck You, Cancer.
“‘A human being survives by his ability to forget,’ he writes early in the book, and near the end, in a line that no writer would disagree with, ‘It’s easier to bear a thing if you write it down.”
~From “Ghost Train to the Eastern Star” by Paul Theroux
|A Moody Danish Sky…|
I received the news from home today that the mother of one of my friends passed away. She had been fighting cancer since the beginning of this year. The last I had heard before I left home was that there was hope of getting ten years out of her, that they could still enjoy some time together. I guess the latest development had been that they knew for a short while and had kept it private that she took a turn for the worse.
I was immediately filled with anger and felt the tragic loss of my friend. Then, I was filled with gratitude that my own experience with cancer this year did not end like that, that the worst thing that happened to me was a trip being cancelled. While Paul Theroux might advocate that I write about my story, I still don’t think I am able to; actually, many of my friends still don’t know it happened at all. I kept the knowledge within a small circle of close friends and pretty much lived in denial.
Looking back on those months, it is hard to believe it happened at all. But the truth is that we all have cancer in us: I did study immunology this winter. When your body’s quality control employees go on strike, that’s when all hell breaks loose and those cancer cells run your factory into the ground. The truth is we all have cancer. The truth is the cancer could get out of hand any day. The truth is we all know someone who has had cancer, has died from it or is currently fighting the damned disease.
This year just seems to be The Year Of Cancer. First, my story. Then a couple of people I worked with. Then my friend’s mum. Then a friend from uni was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. The shit is everywhere.
If all this cancer bullshit has taught me anything, it’s that it’s okay to say “cancer”. It’s okay to get angry about it, and it’s okay to deal with it however you feel necessary. It’s taught me to give more hugs and share more laughs and enjoy the precious moments we have together. It’s taught me to not take people for granted because life is short… and there is a lot of time for being dead.