I am a citizen of planet Cancer.
As Susan Sontag noted in her essay ‘Illness as a Metaphor’, “illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship.” I had not realised that illness affords me a passport to enter the kingdom of the sick, but here I am and it all looks very curious, very nasty and very scary around here. I hate it and want to return to the kingdom of the well but this I know is impossible.
In January 2017 I was diagnosed with stage 4, low grade, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Happy New Year! I just thought I had a stubborn virus that I couldn’t shift. I caught it in early October. I was in California in June, celebrating my birthday where I was fit and well. How could it come to this? I am an absolute coward with issues to do with my body and my health. I am more of an ostrich than a curious cat in facing this nightmare predicament.
I’m advised that it is incurable but treatable with chemotherapy. It all seems so barbaric, so frightening. Everyone talks about fighting it, being brave but that’s just not me. For how long can it be treated? How am I going to cope?
I have decided that I would like to write about this strange landscape that I have been violently dropped into. An inner and outer landscape; my feelings and my findings. I write because I do not know what else to do. I write because I get comfort from the words of others and if anyone else should chance upon this blog then maybe my words can offer comfort to someone else. A ridiculous idea I’m certain but Albert Einstein once said ” If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it”.