We’re living in a particular hell right now as we await the start of Scott’s chemotherapy. We know it’s imminent; his port is placed and now we wait to hear the date it will begin from the doctor tomorrow. This is yet another version of various hells we’ve experienced since his colon cancer diagnosis in October – just three and a half months ago – but that feels like an eternity ago in a way. Many of the hells are similar to this: interminable, seemingly senseless waiting: Waiting for appointments. Waiting for test results. Waiting for information. Waiting for healing. Waiting to begin treatment… Other hells are of the scared-out-of-our-minds variety that are borne of having a certain amount of information, yet not knowing what to do with it. Still other hells are made of uncertainty. Uncertainty about now. Uncertainty about tomorrow. Uncertainty about the farther ahead future. So, so many new permutations of hell we never imagined existed.
It’s been a particularly “thinky” time for me as I try to make sense – any sense – of any of this. Leave to me to try to think myself out of hell… All that thinking has led me to the conclusion that Cancer. Is. A. Bully.
Just like a bully, cancer:
- attacks you out of the blue
- is absolutely senseless
- attacks unprovoked
- picks on you just because it can
- takes what it will from you
- brings you to your knees
- leaves you feeling fearful, anxious, empty and weak
- gains power over you when it knows it’s getting to you
I believe bullies are the most vile of villains. Hateful. Hurtful. Selfish. Opportunistic. Devoid of empathy. To me, bullies and cancer are one in the same. The insult to physical and emotional wellbeing is intimidating. The overwhelming nature of it is inescapable – it colors every thought and mood. If cancer had a human form, I would want to do battle against it with my entire being. This is my Sweetie we’re talking about – and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to protect and defend him.
But how do you beat a bully? That’s the age-old question, isn’t it? Conventional wisdom says there’s no easy escape from the clutches of a bully. Like cancer, a bullying situation can seem daunting, unwinnable, totally devastating, impossible to overcome.
Recently, I saw this video that demonstrated a fresh perspective on dealing with a bully and, likewise on cancer. Please watch so you can witness for yourself the graceful power of this mindset and technique:
So what if we approached the bully named cancer like the guy in the video… Try not to take it personally. Don’t take it in. Deflect. I know it sounds simplistic and much more easily said than done. But what if this is a way to cope with an unconscionable situation without having the bully destroy us? This is happening to us but we don’t have to allow it to define our life. We still have other gifts to give, whether the bully is grabbing at us or not. We can make our life about what WE want, not about what the bully tries to dictate. Because it’s our life, dammit – not cancer’s.