Mythology and the Reality of Me
Posted by wendy on 2012/03/31
If I had a nickel for every instance in which someone said “You’re so brave” immediately after finding out I had cancer, I’d have all my medical bills paid for. Well, that’s not true. I’d need at least $500 for every instance of it in order to pay for all of them. (and, hey, if anyone wants to get on that, please–be my guest.) It’s a nice sentiment, but if you just met me…how would you know? I mean, really.
The truth is that I probably spend way more time being completely terrified of everything than the average person does. You get a blemish on your body? You just Clearasil that sucker and move on. I get a blemish? I google skin cancer and then spent about an hour hyperventilating into a bag. (Maybe one day, I’ll have M guest blog and he can tell you how many google-ledges from which he has talked me down.) Just the simple act of having cancer doesn’t make one brave–believe me, I wish it did.
It doesn’t make us automatically noble, either. I’ve done plenty of bad things in my life. I’ve done things I’m not proud of–and I’ve done them since my diagnosis. I’m human, I screw up. And, cancer is no respecter of morals or actions. It doesn’t only happen to good people. (if it did only happen to the good and noble, we’d all be kicking puppies and stealing candy from babies left and right, wouldn’t we?) mmm…candy. Wow. It may well be a good thing there are no babies around me right now, because I could TOTALLY go for a Snickers. 😉
So, cancer doesn’t make us angels on pedestals. We’re just…people. We are capable of amazing acts of bravery, and we can be shockingly selfish. The thing is, we’re doing all of this while being repeatedly hit with the shitstick, (see? THIS BLOG CONTAINS SWEARS!! But, if I called cancer the daisystick, it just wouldn’t sound quite right–nor would it be accurate, would it?), so I think those heroic acts are exacerbated and the selfish stuff gets a pass. (hey, as it should–cause..hellooo, when life is hitting you with a shitstick, it’s very difficult to get around.)
There are so many myths about cancer out there. I think that’s the double-edged sword that we have with the internet. There is so much information out there–so much of it is helpful and informative, and so much of that information comes in the form of..well, for lack of a better term..bullshit. How do you know if what you’re getting is real or fake? Well, if you are getting your science and health information from conservapedia (no links–if you really want to check out some delusional stuff, then feel free to google it.), then you are not nearly as informed as you think you are. Cancer.org is a good place to start looking, as is Breast Cancer Action. What other sites do you use for information? Feel free to leave a link. 🙂
Where was I going with this? Well…None of us are any more or less entitled to treatment than others based on our personalities, our religious beliefs, our political standing. Very few of us want your pity. Occasionally, we need your help (and a Cherry Limeade from Sonic wouldn’t hurt–I’M JUST SAYIN’). Always, we need respect, clear and correct information, and a place to let our voice be heard.