What can I honestly tell anyone reading this that is new or comforting?
In beginning to sit down and compile all the material I can find from my time with cancer what stops me from posting is that I have nothing necessarily new to share with anyone. There are plenty of blogs and more reputable websites detailing how to prevent, live with, move on, or accept cancer for whatever position it has taken in your life.
In truth I found very little solace during treatment or thereafter from the Internet. The comforts I found were in other people…real people…who I could talk to. People like my parents, my grannie, my oncologist, my sister, my nurses, my friends all of whom have gone beyond the call of duty. If anything the Internet scared the grey, cotton, ‘Days of the Week’ pants off me.
If you have cancer, or you have a loved one with cancer, I can only hope that what I post will be a substitute for what I would rather do…which is sit down and talk with you…or rather, not talk with you, as words tend to fall short. More likely I would exchange a glance with you that says, “Yup, I just about get it”, and offer you one of the two-dozen Krispy Kremes my dad brought. I’d tell you about how green tea is the only thing that got rid of the vile taste of Etoposide, and about the time my hospital room overlooked Baron’s Court graveyard.
I know that I am lucky beyond belief. Firstly, I had great medical insurance and a dad and uncle who know their way around medicine. I’ve had a dedicated and meticulous oncologist and medical team, all with a great bedside manner. I’ve had my mum by side this entire time. I’ve had friends’ kind enough to engage in the blackest of humor and take multiple trains and time out from school to visit me. Most importantly in this, I am fortunate enough to have survived my bout with cancer and, subsequently, everything else. In sum, the highs and lows of my own experience pail in comparison to what some of you have gone through or will be going through, and therefore my stories may seem hollow or insignificant.
But that is the first lesson I learnt in living with cancer: Everything is relative.
If anything at all, I hope this blog serves to some as a friend, sitting opposite you, trying to make you understand that you’re not alone and that there are people who have lived through this and thus, there are ways to get through this. There are times when you will go into automatic pilot in order to “Keep Calm and Carry On”, there will be times when this may seem hilarious, and there will be times when it is just…enough.
I have some experience with all the above, and I hope that in reading these posts you come to feel, at the very least, a little less isolated, perhaps even entertained…