Every now and then, I am reminded about the magnitude of my cancer diagnosis. I mean really reminded. Despite the way breast cancer is too often (ad nauseum) portrayed, I understand the seriousness of this potentially deadly disease all too well. I’ve seen the horror of it up close. And sometimes, my cancer diagnosis still hits me like a ton of bricks.
I understand what my diagnosis means. I know I will never be in the clear. Not totally. But I go about living my life. I move forward each day. I live my life. I do stuff. I don’t do stuff. I’m changed. I’m not changed. I forget. But I never forget.
Just like you, I go about the business of living my life.
And then unexpectedly, it hits me like a ton of bricks.
It’s like cancer doesn’t want me to feel too relaxed for too long.
You might think since I blog about cancer, read numerous (I have no idea how many) cancer blogs, have written three books about cancer, read cancer books other people write, watch cancer movies and TV shows about cancer and deal with cancer treatment fallout every single day, I wouldn’t be surprised by the weight of this ton of bricks when it unexpectedly hits.
But sometimes, I’m still surprised by the sheer weight of it all.
I am surprised by the fact that I am still surprised, if this makes sense. And I’m not sure it does.
I’m still “surprised” every time I walk through my cancer center’s doors and sit in an oncologist’s exam room talking about cancer — my cancer. It’s still startling when I look at my reflection in the mirror. At times, I’m unrecognizable even to myself. I’m still surprised when I pop my little white pill each morning and whenever my toes feel numb and my joints ache so badly I don’t want to step out the door to take the walk I know I must. And on and on…
But there are times when it’s more than a surprise.
There are times when the realities of having had a cancer diagnosis along with a BRCA2+ revelation, hit me like a ton of bricks.
Like the time Dear Hubby and I were joking around about our health issues while contemplating retirement. In a cavalier manner I said,
“Well other than the cancer thing, I’ve always been pretty healthy.”
He didn’t find this statement amusing. At all. And he told me so.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
Then there was the time I settled in to watch the PBS Documentary, Cancer: the Emperor of all Maladies. In the opening segment when the announcer referred to cancer as one of mankind’s greatest scourges, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I thought to myself, shit, I have had an up close and personal relationship with the scourge. I am part of the damn scourge.
Again, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
And then there was the recent, innocent conversation when Dear Hubby and I were on vacation and I asked him,
“Do you still worry about me dying on you?”
He said, “Yes. I do.”
His facial expression and tone of voice said way more than his words.
Once again, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I felt badly to still be the cause of such deep worry, even all these years later.
Sure, I realize my metster friends literally (okay, almost literally), live under the weight of that ton of bricks every single day.
I am lucky.
After all, I am still NED. (no evidence of disease)
Most days, I walk around without allowing the weight of cancer to weigh me down too much.
But I know it will happen again and again and probably when I least expect it.
I will again feel that weight of cancer.
And it will hit me like a ton of bricks. Again.
Do you relate?
Whatever you are dealing with, does the reality of it sometimes hit you like a ton of bricks?
What do you do when this happens?
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