Friday, May 2, 2008

Who Farted?

The saddest thing about cancer is that nobody goes through it alone. It acts like a vortex that sucks people in and effects them in ways they never thought imaginable. In a way, being told you have cancer is a bit like farting in a lift. Not the 'leaning to the side for best effect' ones that would earn most husbands an audition with the Symphony Orchestra, but the accidental ones that jump out unannounced like those that happen when you are preganant and lost your fart valve.

At first, you try to cough over it and pretend it's not you, that it was someone else. You shuffle silently a little more toward the back and hope that nobody will notice. You pray for the lift to plummet 14 floors so that everyone is distracted form the fact that it was you and their attention will be diverted elsewhere. When it becomes apparent that it had to be you, you wish the world would swallow you whole. You will be forever known and defined by that one instant even though it wasn't your fault and you had no control over it.

Cancer is like the pain in the arse colleague who invites themselves to all of your BBQs and cuts in on all of your private phone conversations with your girlfriends - they are always there, hanging around waiting for a chance to get in there. Almost like the fart in the lift hanging around. You wake up every day knowing that you have to face it in some way, shape or form. It's always there in the shadows, at the back of your mind, just lurking, giving you the shits and putting you off your game.

Cancer leaves physical marks that will heal - scars will fade over time, hair will grow back, the nausea will subside and one days I'll stop looking at my blue dots that were tattooed onto my legs for radiology. But what to do with the mental scars. How to process all of this experience into something meaninful and find a way forward that is positive and strong, rather than life sapping and tiring.

I am trying to find an end point and I don't think it exists. If I complete a run will that mean that it's all over and I can move on again or will I always rely on scans and tests to tell me I'm OK? I think the answer will come to me somehow, I just need to stop looking for it.

No comments: