Is there anything to ‘like’ about cancer?
I have been reading a Huffington Post UK blog by a 30 year old who is having treatment for primary breast cancer. The title is ’10 Things I Like About Cancer’ by Laura Price http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/laura-price/ten-things-i-like-about-cancer_b_2131388.html
1. Daring to cut her hair short
2. Having smooth, soft, just-been-waxed legs
3. Having a great wig collection so she can have a different style each day
4. She got to take a career break
5. Lazing in bed, staying in her PJs till mid afternoon and being back in them at 7pm – think school summer holidays
6. Being told she can eat whatever she likes
7. It brought out the positive in her, and in others
8. Having a cat that cares
9. Being told her writing is good, though no one did that when she was a financial journo
10. Being alive
I would agree with number 7. I am a far more positive person than I was before I was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Partly because number 10 comes into play and you just develop an appreciation of being alive and able to still do things. Maybe not all the things you would like to do, but some things; because you realise there were certain things that you were never going to do anyway so get over it! You really go start to understand that it is more blessed to give than receive because, basically, who need things anyway?
Number 2 was also a good one; I remember the joy of instant hair washes and shaking your head and it is dried and styled all in one. I would have to say that I never had number 3 because I couldn’t afford a collection of wigs as it is a waste of money for the short time that I needed it. I have to admit here that I had a preference for slumming around the house in an Andean style hat which came down over my ears (it was winter after all) and I really only bothered about the wig because others get a bit flustered, and because it was warm outside. Didn’t really bother inside … and once the hair started to grown back it kept slipping off anyways so it was soon abandoned and its place taken by pretty hair bands with flowers or sparkles. My hair had been getting progressively shorter anyway, but I didn’t bother about the short cut. Just got my niece to shave it off when it started to cascade on to the pillow, the bath drain and anywhere and everywhere else.
As for the career break to laze in bed watching bad TV and abandoning the PJs for a few hours, that is something I didn’t really enjoy. It made me feel lonely and forgotten about, though I was able to find plenty to fill my days, and I would have to disagree with abandoning the PJs for a few hours … why abandon them at all. If you are going to do this at all do it properly. Save energy, stay in the PJs! I now rarely ever watch TV at all because day-time TV makes you realise just how bad it has become these days. Gone are the days of trying to decide which good programme to watch … now it is a challenge to find any good TV to watch. A cat for a nurse? Give me a Teddy Bear any time – Tedz Rockz!
Eating whatever she likes. Well sadly that is what a lot of doctors do say to their patients, although Ms Price was being a bit tongue in cheek about this. This is one thing that I could really get on my High Horse about. Science and medics will blame the fact that you have cancer on obesity and bad diet, but then give no diet as to what you should be doing to help reverse the situation. After all, if doing what I was doing helped to cause cancer then couldn’t changing what I was doing help to at least get it under control? Or is that too wild a concept for science to cope with?
Writing for me has been quite cathartic because I have been able to put on to keyboard and monitor some of my thoughts to enable me to understand what I am thinking and feeling. It also enables me to give some sort of order to what can be a very jumbled mess at times and giving it expression can help to take the anger out of it and allow you to accept what is happening to you. By giving the anger form, even if just in the written word, it has allowed me to be able to move past it and move on. It is still there, in writing, but I have moved on to a different part of my story now. This part is the part where I am glad to be alive. Glad to be able to do something to help others and hopefully make the world a fractionally better place each day.
Cancer has taught me to appreciate each day at a time, even if that day is very ordinary it has been my day; all mine.