As the days turn to weeks and the diagnosis of cancer has come to settle a little in my life, I’ve been given the opportunity to observe the responses of others as they learn of my news.

The people in my life have been nothing short of wonderful in reaching out to me. This includes people I’ve never even met but with the cyber friendships formed these days, I still consider these people part of my circle as a few of us connect in messages from time to time. It’s actually kinda cool – even on the internet you’re able to gravitate toward people very similar to yourself! Seems obvious, I know,  but I’m still mindblown by the whole idea! #amithatold ??

A N Y W A Y …

As I observe how people are speaking to me, I’ve noticed there is a strong urge to tell me that:

‘you’ll be fine – they’ve caught it early.’ {even though my diagnostics aren’t in and we do not yet know the extent of this cancer.}

‘my sister’s friend had the same thing and she beat it. It’s just a bump in the road.’

‘you have nothing to worry about. It’s very treatable.’

It’s very interesting to me and I am fully aware that people MEAN well when they offer these insights. But at the end of the day NO ONE actually knows the journey ahead for me. No one has been me.

I find these reassurances a little unsettling, to be honest, as I can understand offering a ‘positive’ outlook but… to me.. it feels dismissive of my own perspective – of worry, some fear, hope, anger and curiosity. It suggests that none of these feelings of mine are necessary and that I can simply rest assured because I’ll be fine.

The TRUTH is:

YOU DON’T KNOW THAT. I don’t know that. And the doctors sure as shit aren’t saying it. {to be clear, they aren’t scaring me either.}

Does that mean I won’t be fine? Or that I have a bad attitude/outlook? Or that I’m not open minded or willing to hear these positive {if somewhat dismissive} thoughts..? No. It doesn’t mean that at all. I welcome dialogue. But dialogue needs to be truthful. And the truth is we know nothing. We can hope, we can look at all the statistics {and they’re pretty darn good!}, we can compare stories… but with reference to my cancer… no one has lived it before. So we do not know the outcome and with all due respect, if you feel the need to reassure someone because it makes you feel better then it might be best to reassure yourself.

I am open to sharing my fears, my hopes, my concerns and frustrations and my optimism and being heard and supported.

I am sure there are all sorts of ways people learn, understand and cope with their illnesses. The important thing is it’s their illness and they are able to deal with it in whatever way works best for them.

I cannot speak for everyone else.

As for me.. I’m curious. I’m god damn curious.

I’ve never been here before. I’ve never felt like ‘this’ – which is many things.

While I’ve ALWAYS been a head in the clouds woman, I can feel my feet more firmly planted on the ground every day. I am DETERMINED to learn myself more so that I can help myself. I am determined to make space and time. I don’t know what any of this looks like going forward.

No one does.

.. and that’s okay.


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