I Can Choose My Immediate Reality
Cancer: A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. (The National Library of Medicine)
I’ve discovered cancer doesn’t just invade your body—it invades your entire life. It invades your waking hours and what little sleep it permits. When it isn’t taking over all your thoughts, it hovers on the perimeter of your mind—like a fluttering distraction in your peripheral vision. Cancer becomes your constant companion.
It invades your time with friends and family, by either hogging the conversation or morphing into the elephant in the room. And this isn’t always the fault of other people inquiring as to how I’m doing. Sometimes I feel cancer is all I have or need to discuss. Other times, it’s the very last thing I want to talk about.
Cancer invades your “real life” by requiring appointments with doctors and specialists, where it destroys any remaining sense of dignity by demanding to be examined by foreign eyes and cold, strange hands. It’s easy to feel dehumanized during these exams.
Forever the scene-stealer, cancer draws attention like flies to a carcass. Encounters with family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers can take treacherous turns. Casual mentions of a friend or family member recently diagnosed, or suffering through treatment, or, my personal favorite, dead from cancer—can haunt my thoughts and dreams for days.