Have you read the highly popular comic/novel for young teens called, Diary of a Wimpy Kid? It’s about a middle-school kid who doesn’t quite fit the mold at school or in his family. The story outlines his antics (mostly unsuccessful ones) at attempting to fit in. Admittedly, I have not read this book, but the similarities between this story and mine (any maybe yours too) are there. Stick with me here.
Recently I re-read my memoir, Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn’t Make Me a Better Person: A memoir about cancer as I know it, and after finishing it, I thought wow, I could easily have titled it, Diary of a Wimpy Cancer Patient. That title would have been quite fitting.
I finished up my memoir late last year and it was published in December. When I was FINALLY done, I couldn’t stand to read it anymore. Heck, I could hardly stand the sight of it sometimes. Not really, but you know what I mean. I’ve read this is very common with other authors. Finishing a book is so time consuming and the final editing process is just plain tedious. When the end finally comes, you feel like chucking the darn thing out the window, or at least I did. Let’s just say, I needed a break from it, so I told myself I would not revisit/reread it for at least six months. As it turned out, I waited even longer.
Upon reading it again, I thought, wow, I was a wimpy cancer patient. I kid you not.
There’s the part when I found out I had cancer, and I sat on the sofa sobbing making weird snorting sounds as dear hubby tried to console me. Unsuccessfully.
Then there’s the part where I learned I needed chemo. Utter meltdown time. Pity party. Yep. Had one. And it was a doozy.
There was the day we scheduled chemo appointments. Or rather dear hubby did. I leaned by a wall literally allowing it to hold me up. I was frozen. Immobilized. Poor dear hubby was forced to handle things. I think he was forced to handle a lot of unpleasant things…
And there were the parts about me trying to cope with losing my hair. Literally not a pretty sight. Any of it.
And then there were all the dang surgeries removing my remaining woman parts. More lamenting. More tears. More, well, of me being a wimpy cancer patient.
And then there were the recoveries and the picking up of the pieces.
And on and on.
While doing my reread, among other things, I noticed I cried. A lot.
I was one big fat mess. For months. (Maybe I still am).
I do know for certain I was NOT strong. I was NOT brave. I was NOT courageous.
Quite the contrary.
I was a wimpy cancer patient.
I admit it. I was.
Maybe this is why hearing those platitudes like, you’re so strong, brave and courageous irritated the heck out of me then and still do.
Maybe I’ve always known I didn’t fit the mold. I was not a “good” breast cancer patient.
I was, and still am, sort of like that wimpy middle-school kid who try as he might, just couldn’t fit it.
I didn’t fit in well in Cancer Land.
Often I still don’t.
But guess what?
I don’t care anymore!
If I was a wimpy cancer patient, if I still am a wimpy cancer patient, if I always will be referred to as a wimpy cancer patient. (Btw, am I considered a cancer patient from here on out? Post for another day I guess).
So be it.
I get to do all parts of cancer chaos my way.
You do too.
Have you read, Diary of a Wimpy Kid?
Do/did you ever feel like a wimpy cancer patient? Or a wimpy patient in general?