God damn it.
It’s supremely unfair of me to be so rageful toward anyone who is sharing that clickbait article right now. I thought to myself, You shouldn’t be angry. I mean, God knows that if I die of this cancer inside of me, I sure as hell would like George Takei to publish my last, tear-wrenching missive.
I’ve thought about writing it, you know.
Well, not it, technically. Not some open letter to the world.
When I was first diagnosed, I penned things in my head to my daughters and husband. I thought, I only have so much time left. This is the time I need to use writing all the things I want them to know.
I sat down that night I begged Kevin to come home from work and he ended up quitting and rescuing me from my panic. I wrote a letter to them. My first “if I die, here are some last words for you to discover after I’m gone” letter. So far, it’s been the only one. I looked at it when I started the blog and found it devoid of anything useful–it was just full of the heartfelt sentiment that
I DON’T WANT TO DIE.
Sometimes, stumbling upon things cancer-related still sends me into a panic attack. I’ve gotten good at managing them, yay for me, so mostly it’s fine.
But you know what?
Life isn’t fucking fair, so I can be angry that people are sharing this goddamned clickbait article like it’s 10 Best Beauty Hacks and I don’t have to be fair to this poor girl who died and I don’t need to feel guilty because I’m angry about it.
Honestly, she’d probably understand why I’m even a little bit angry at her.
I don’t even know what the thing says. I didn’t click on it. I won’t because I have cancer and I’m scared and I hate when I’m finally having a good day and then this comes along.
It’s not fair to me, it’s not fair to her, it’s not even fair to someone who innocently cried at whatever she wrote and it moved them enough to share with their friends. I mean, how many people know someone under the age of 60 who has cancer? It’s part of why I am being so open with this roller coaster. It’s why I am writing this blog and sharing on my Facebook. People… need to know? I don’t know exactly how to put it into words.
We are the internet generation, and most everyone who has had cancer is the older generation. So people need to know it happens–no, that’s not it. That sounds like I’m accusing people of turning a blind eye. I don’t think that’s it.
I want this situation to be part of the tapestry of social media. I want it to be part of the story of people’s lives. When everyone is posting their best, brightest selves, I want to show my hair falling out because this shit is happening and it’s real. Don’t be afraid to not be at your best because people will love you anyway. In fact, they might love you more for being your authentic self.
I suppose that whole damn thing is hypocritical because someone else who has cancer might be seeing me go through this on Instagram and be triggered every time I post a picture, or maybe I’m sharing these blog posts on Facebook and it’s awful for them. But they can mute me if they want, and–
It’s under three months since I’ve gotten my diagnosis, and I’m still struggling with it. I think that’s what I’m trying to say. Or maybe I’m just saying that I’m tired of running into things that send me into a spiral. I’m tired of having to manage my intake.
I also would very much appreciate it if people thought before they sent me stuff about cancer. I know it’s terribly fascinating to people who don’t have cancer that someone made a short video about how unicorn tears or leprechaun poop or every type of cheese made under the full moon is the next thing to replace chemotherapy, but it’s not to someone who is depending on chemotherapy to save her life. I really don’t know how to politely ask every person I’ve ever met to stop sending me these videos–
And that one with the black bars at the top and the bottom that says, “Doctor Debunks Chemo”? That one? I want to hunt down and punch in the face whoever made that video. No, I haven’t watched it. No, I won’t. Yes, I will punch a guy.
–but I wish people would stop.
And not in the “I stepped outside my house and a meteor hit me in the face” kind of abstract way that we all get to be reminded of once in a while when our brain wanders that direction. It’s the “after my CT scan in four and a half months, my doctor could walk in and say, ‘I’m very sorry but your cancer is still there,'” way.
The real fucking way.
So I’m trying to get through this as best as I can, and it’s not in any way objectively interesting to me dragon scales can be ground up and put in my coffee every morning to maybe cure my cancer.
That shit isn’t real, guys.
If you’re reading this, and you sent me something, you probably feel like absolute crap right now. Please don’t. Honestly–please! Don’t!
I know you care about me. You wouldn’t send me stuff if you didn’t. And you had no idea that it would make me feel terrified. Because you care about me!
I accept your apology. You don’t even have to send it.
I absolutely love that I have people who care that much about me–enough that I’ve actually lost track of the number of times someone has sent me something like that. I am not cataloging you. If you don’t mention it again, I won’t either.
Just please stop.
I love “thinking of you” and “you’re so brave” (even though I don’t feel like I am) and “I love your writing.” Those things are awesome. Do that instead.