I've spent the last few weeks so caught up in class-work that I haven't had enough brain power to spare for the little things. I haven't read a book for pleasure in ages and I haven't written a word.
My friend, Lisa, recently posted a piece about the crazy things people say to you when you have cancer. It made me start to think of many of the cliches we've all been subjected to when friends and strangers are trying to offer comfort. I don't fault most people. It's hard to know what to say and they often feel compelled to say something. Unfortunately, a multitude of people lack filters and so they say the first thing that comes to mind. I've heard some fairly shocking things and I've gotten some truly hysterical questions. One friend thought a bone marrow transplant involved having all of your blood removed and replaced with healthy blood. I did not laugh as I explained the procedure, but I howled when I was out of earshot.
The one cliche that bothers me most is, "Cancer can be a gift."
Really? If so, I'd like the receipt so that I may return it for something a little more me.
Cancer is a thief.
It siphons away your life and dominates your thoughts and time. Cancer steals your joy and robs your loved ones of their peace of mind. It may slowly creep into your life, or explode in your lap when you're having the best week of your life.
Friends who can't cope with your diagnosis slip and slink away, glad that it's you and not them.
Cancer separates you from your orderly little existence and forces you to fight for what matters. It is a constant companion, even when your body is free of the dirty little mutant cells. The word always finds a way to slither into your thoughts so that you waste precious time and energy on the "what ifs?"
Cancer robs your body. Treatments are toxic and leave a lasting impression on your organs, joints and muscles. You may have scars from surgeries or procedures.
Cancer is not a gift.