It is said that knowledge is power, and I used to believe that whole-heartedly. Then, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That knowledge terrifies me. Just when I felt like I had made a tentative truce with that fact, the fear came raging back, as I began to educate myself about the disease and treatment options. Knowledge is a power that has paralyzed me.
As I waded through the information that the surgeon handed me in a rather nondescript folder, I soon found myself faced with vivid descriptions of what I now know and what awaits me in the near future. The words and images it contained ignited a firestorm of fear within me, and a torrent of tears and sobs consumed me. Logically, I understand that I need to educate myself, but honestly, I don’t want to be a student of this disease. Ignorance is truly bliss.
Right now, my body and mind feel like they are in an emotional vise. I am both angry and immensely sad that my daughters now worry that I am going to die and that my family and friends, who have seen me through infertility, divorce, and depression and anxiety, now have to contend with this latest challenge of mine. I don’t want to be a burden or a source of worry for anyone, as they have been through too much with me already.
Selfishly, I don’t want to face yet another challenge, as I don’t want to be strong or courageous for myself or anyone else for that matter. I’m just an ordinary girl from Kentucky, and I crave a quiet, simple life that doesn’t include breast cancer, drugs I cannot pronounce, procedures that sound barbaric, and dreadful sounding side effects, especially since there are no guarantees that it will eradicate the cancer and/or prevent it from making a reappearance in the future. I am more than ready to revoke my membership in this club, as it really sucks so far.
I don’t want this disease to define me or change me in a negative way, but I fear that it is already. I wonder if I will recover physically and emotionally, and I wonder if my daughters and other loved ones will get through this in one piece. I wonder who will stick around and who will leave, and I wonder if any guy will ever be able to see past the newest layer of physical and emotional scars to love the person underneath them. I wonder if I will be able to keep my home, my job, and some semblance of my current life through the physical, emotional, and financial demands of fighting for my life, and I wonder if the dreams of my childhood will ever become the realities of my adulthood. I wonder what life after cancer will look like, and I hope and pray that I get to find out for myself very soon.
That’s another story. . .
Categories: That's Another Story