Monday, June 25, 2012
I'm coming up on my three year cancer-versary and although I can happily say I'm cancer-free, I can't say that I'm healed. Sometimes I honestly look at my life now compared to my life before cancer and wonder if treating my cancer was worth it. The chemo and first surgery were cake-walks compared to what I still face. Then Rachel walks up to me with her chocolate drop eyes and sweet lispy voice to say, "I love you." Simon, not one to be out-done, comes over too with similar chocolate drop eyes and clear voice to say he loves me too. Andrew will glance over and give me a half smile -- a wordless way of letting me know he loves me too. They are the reason I am still fighting so hard. Without them I don't know what I'd be. All I know is that they give me the strength to continue fighting this seemingly endless battle.
I feel so vulnerable sharing here, knowing that there are some in my audience who pass judgement on me. There are those who think I exploit my cancer-while-pregnant-at-28 years old. There are those who think that I look basically like I did before my diagnosis, so what's the big deal? There are those that see how well I cope with the aftermath, but don't realize I'm coping. There are those that think I've become used to staying home, but don't really need the time I take. There are those who think I've taken advantage of them and short-changed my obligation to them. These people see the photos I post, the smiles I force, the fun stories I tell, and the much abbreviated explanations of my continuing issues. Instead of asking for clarification, they'd rather talk behind my back and conspire against me. Instead of giving me compassion and the benefit of the doubt, they ignore medical facts presented to them and label me unwilling. I should know by now that nothing I say, do, or write will ever change their opinion. Yet, I continue to struggle not only medically, but also with these people for my sanity, life, and family.
I'm so frightened of change. I wish I could just face my detractors to say, "Take your ignorance and keep it." Instead I lower my head to plod onward. I push myself until the pain is too great. I do my physical therapy as I continue through the day, just to prove my detractors wrong and to try to get a couple more useful hours out of the day. I force a smile when I feel like crying in frustration and pain. I've been told repeatedly to leave my troubles at home. I've also been told to be the best me I can be, detractors be ignored. I try, I really do, but deep down I am a soft-hearted, obstinate, honest, sincere, hard-working, try-my-best, people-pleasing kind of person. I can no more leave my troubles at home than I can leave my left arm (which would be awesome). So I'm left in a quandary... Who do I please, displease, or just ignore?
There are times like now that I wish I were a stronger person. I wish I could exert my will and say the heck with everyone else. I wish I could cry in front of those who doubt my sincerity when the pain is too great. I wish I could fully express the agony I go through on a daily basis. I wish I could take the easy route and not feel guilty for giving up. I wish I could turn back the clock and leave this part of my life out of the equation. As the old saying goes, "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride." I'm definitely not riding.