Monday, September 22, 2008

Nothing Equals Cancer

This is one of the hardest things about being a caregiver in CancerLand: Nothing equals cancer. I may have aches and pains, trouble at work, struggling with the loss of a friendship or just feel really bad. But nothing equals cancer. Others suggest or hint at this but I do this most to myself. I make this comparison. Am I going to complain that my hip STILL hurts; am I going to fuss about my job and have the “What will I do when I grow up?” conversation again; will I talk about my worries and how being a caregiver in CancerLand feels really hard?

But the voice in my head says, “Hey, you don’t have cancer. You’re not doing chemo. You don’t have to fear death”.

I know that not having cancer and being around someone who does is supposed to give me all kinds of positive and perky perspective. That old saw about the guy with no shoes meeting the guy with no feet. But you know what? That never made sense to me. I mean, the guy with no feet doesn’t need shoes so he’s not gonna understand a shoeless guys pain. Besides they are both in pain. And you never know: the guy with no shoes may be the one who hurts the most. It often turns out that way.

So no I don’t have cancer but I still have hard and scary things in my life. But it’s hard to take myself seriously and it’s even harder to ask others to take my pain seriously because:
Nothing equals cancer.

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