I'm Not Ready to Break Up With My 'Normal' for Cancer


People keep telling me, “Kelly, always remember that you are not your cancer!” and that’s honestly a crock load of shit. Because, how can I not be my cancer? I mean… I get it,  I’m not the literal term “cancer.” I’m not an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells or anything. I’m still me in some sense. But, I do think about cancer stuff now – all the damn time. Treatment options and possible side effects and survival rates and even the possibility of an early death.

Because that’s my life now. I am my cancer. It has control over my present and my future. It has control over my appearance, my emotions, my thoughts. It infiltrated.

What I can’t stand about all that is I’m slowly forgetting what my old normal was. Not “who” I was really (Although, that may happen. Who knows?) — I can almost remember walking down the street and not be thinking about anything in particular. Or worrying about mundane things like if I’m eating at Sheetz too much. (Side note: there is actually no such thing as too much Sheetz.) I miss that normalcy. And, do you know what sucks even more about it? At the time, it didn’t seem normal to me at all. It was so normal that I didn’t even try to think about what exactly that meant. I didn’t think I had to. Now, it’s all I think about.

A friend of mine told me I will never go back to that. It’s impossible. And yet, I can’t imagine just sitting back and accepting it’s gone, you know? I will surround myself with my old life until I burst. I will go to shows and to bars and on walks and to work, and I will suffer through these new anxieties every damn time if I have to just to feel that old normalcy again.

Because fuck this. This shit sucks. I don’t want to worry about the things I may miss out on soon. I don’t want to worry about medications or treatments or side effects or survival statistics. I really would rather not worry about death right now.

I feel like my old life and I, even though we were really close and we got along… I feel like we just grew apart suddenly. Our schedules got busy, and we could never seem to find a good time to get together. And I will not let the relationship fade away. I’m just too much of a stubborn ass to let that happen. I will call and text and reach out as many times as I possibly can because I’m not ready to accept the fact that we just grew apart from each other. At least, not just yet.

Follow this journey on The Kooker.

Photo via contributor.


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