So yesterday I reposted a post I wrote year ago. It was a very hard post to write and to share with the everyone. However I decided a long time ago that if I was to share my cancer journey then I would share the good, the bad and all the stuff in between.
This post was called “Dear Cancer” and it was written by me when I fell apart. I fell apart as I wasn’t suppose to still be here, to still be alive. I felt that people were talking about me, that they were thinking that I was a fraud. I was meant to be dead and yet here I was strutting my stuff, not looking ill either.
Based on outside appearances, I was rocking life. There looked like there was “nothing wrong” with me. This is the thing we may look great on the outside but internally, my poor body was struggling to cope with side effects of treatments.
Emotionally, oh my goodness. I was all over the place. I was struggling, we had blown our savings on making memories and yet here I was, still breathing. I was still alive, this was not what I was told. I was told I would be dead by now. I wondered if my family and friends, although grateful that I was alive, also wondered why I was still breathing?
So where was I? Oh yes I reshared the post. I know that social media is a place of free expression and its where we can comment, both good and bad comments. Yesterday I got a shock. I received a comment that worried me and to be honest isn’t the first. Usually if you write anything heartfelt or emotional, someone, somewhere usually puts something about “positivity”.
So this is the comment…… ” what about your POSITIVITY AND HOPE, ANITA ITS CALLED REAL LIFE I’VE BEEN WALKING ROUND WITH IT FOR 59 YEARS AND STILL WALKING AND GOING TO CONTINUNE TIL I GO, HOLD ON IN MY PRAYERS.”
At first I was taken back. This person doesn’t know me. They doesn’t know how positive I am or not. What they have done is read a post and “judged” me on that post. They haven’t bothered to notice that I had written this post a year ago nor do they know about MY rare cancer! It’s not a normal NET!
Now its bad enough we get judged on a daily basis just for being us (with or without an illness) but please do not tell me how to live with MY illness. MY cancer. Just because you may have the “same type” on the surface does not give you the right to challenge ME on how I deal with things. To try and make me feel ashamed with the way I have dealt with things.
I don’t want to do “my cancer is worst than yours” rubbish as everything is relative. We all deal with situations differently because we are different people and we all have very different coping mechanisms.
My journey and my emotional and physical pain is no different to yours, its no better, its no worse. Things may seem totally insignificant to you but maybe for me they are challenges, they are emotional struggles and just because someone has sailed through their journey doesn’t make it any better or any less emotional or painful than my journey.
I am really getting fed up with being judged, with being told to stay positive and to have hope or faith. I am fed up of being shamed for how I feel at any given moment.
It seems that we are being judged and shamed by a small minority of others going through their own Cancer journey and others who have absolutely any idea of what we are going through. But just because you have cancer or not, does not give you the right to shame someone else into feeling bad about themselves, just because they aren’t dealing with things they way you would deal with it. Thats not ok. Really NOT ok.
I hate these words “be positive, be brave” they are the most patronising and condescending things to say to anyone who is having a hard time. How on earth do you think those words are going to help? What do you think they are going to make the person feel like? It is not a helpful thing to say to anyone EVER!
We already have enough on our plates, getting through the treatments and side effects, we already know that being positive gives our spirit a lift. we know that being positive is the ONLY choice we have. We do not need others telling us “how to be” when we are perfectly aware of how we feel.
Being positive all the time is not attainable. After all, in normal life you don’t walk around like “Mr flipping Happy” all the time do you? So let us deal with OUR emotions as and when we feel fit. Let US deal with our illness the way we want to and STOP trying to shame us when we feel low and depressed.
We need to go through these emotions, you cant have the sunshine without the rain, you can’t have happiness without sadness. To deny the “rubbish” feelings means that you arent dealing with ALL of the issues that terminal/Incurable cancers and other life limiting illnesses can bring.
And if you are one of the 359,360 people who are diagnosed with some type of cancer each year, please think about how you comment on posts on social media. Please think about how your words will effect the person you are speaking/writing too!
Love, compassion, empathy and understanding have such a wonderful place in our world, so lets use them. Lets build each other up, Lets support each other. Lets speak about the down side of cancer, lets tell each other when its a rubbish day. When its too hard to get off the sofa, when the tears are running down our faces. When we are sobbing uncontrollably because for this moment, right here, right now, we can’t take anymore.
Love & hugs always