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Living with Cancer by Kelly DeLand

Kelly DeLand

“Living” with Cancer

What a laughable statement. Living with cancer is an oxymoron. You wake up everyday with your mortality staring you in the face. Hearing that time clock ticking away…tick tick tick. Never knowing how you are going to feel that day. Which personality are you going to start with. You take fist fulls of pills, poisons and potions just to partially function and get through your day. It’s supposed to kill the cancer but it’s a slow march to your death. Your inevitable fate. The treatment for cancer is worse than the cancer itself. You can’t plan anything because it’s a gamble if you are even going to feel like a person that day. Not to mention you are still expected to act like nothing’s wrong. Everything is fine and life is to resume as normal.

“Living” with cancer? Is it living when you can’t sleep for days or you sleep for days at a time? Is it living when one minute your teeth are chattering because you are freezing cold and the next minute you are burning up and dripping sweat and then back to the cold. You can’t get comfortable, toss and turn to find the slightest bit of comfort. You have disabling pain that makes you want to scream and cry. You can’t leave your house because you have exploding diarrhea or your so constipated you can’t move. You crave something to eat and you take one bite and it tastes nothing like you know it is supposed to. You have nausea so bad you can’t eat anything or your puking everything you put in your body. The neuropathy in your hands/feet make it impossible to walk right, hold things in your hands without dropping them. The constant worry and fear and anger and blaming yourself, the why’s and what if’s. You need blood transfusions and fluids and vitamins and supplements and constantly trying to fight to keep your body going. Hospital visits, multiple doctors appointments, scan after scan, biopsy after biopsy, you are poked and prodded. You feel like a science experiment. Is that living with cancer. Your brain is gone, checked out completely. You can’t remember things, mix up or can’t even find the words. You feel yourself slowly going crazy.

Cancer takes everything from you. It has taken my hair, my breasts, my ovaries, my uterus, my skin, my blood, my toenails fell off, my teeth, slowly they keep taking parts out of me, multiple surgeries and procedures, my sanity, my will, my fight, not to mention my friends. I’m sick of hearing they just can’t deal or they are so hurt so they bow out. People say they are there for you and they pray for you and they think of you often. Really? Really do ya? Where are you? Where is that support when I actually need it. I know people get busy and i don’t expect people to drop their lives for me but a text message takes seconds and goes a long way. Cancer has taken more than enough from me. I don’t even feel like a person anymore let alone a woman. It ruins marriages, relationships with your kids, and tests your faith to no end. Some people lose faith altogether. Your husband can’t even look at you naked anymore let alone touch you. It takes your intimacy, your trust, your self worth and value. Is this “living” with cancer.

People tell you they don’t understand what you must be going through. They wish they had the right words to say so they stay silent. Well guess what? There are no wrong words!!!!! Supporting someone in silence is not supporting them. Say something, anything is better than nothing. I guarantee you it will make their day. It may take them a few days or weeks to respond to you but on a good day they will reach out and i guarantee you your simple joke or emoji or kind thought or quote or bible verse or anything will help them through their day. Don’t get mad at them for not answering your call or text or going to your party.

Each and everyday is an incomprehensible struggle for someone living with cancer. They have never felt more alone in their lives. Strength, will, fight, hope…all come from support. If you want to know what someone with cancer is going through…what i said here, it’s just the tip of a titanic size iceberg.

~ Kelly DeLand


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