Cancer and denial go hand in hand.
It’s a self preservation thing. You know when you had flu one year and felt really ill? or when you broke your arm or had a bad case of food poisoning? You recall it well right? That happened to you and you got better.
When you have cancer, you kind of know it’s happening and you’re scared shitless but when you look back at everything you went through it’s like it never happened to you and happened to someone else. It’s you looking on in at a movie of your life.
Even now saying I had aggressive cancer a year ago out loud sounds so weird. Did it really happen? Those pictures of me without my hair make me wince. Did I really look like that? So sick and unattractive?
Why the hell did I feel liberated walking down the street with a bald head when now I feel embarrassed and I guess ashamed?
Who was the girl who had chemotherapy who was so ill for months? I barely recall it now.
I’ve been searching within for answers. And all I could come up with is that I’m in fierce denial. At some point I must have subconsciously decided that I was going to pretend this never happened to me. I nurtured my fragile self like a child. I shielded myself from my own miserable unlucky reality.
I suppose the alternative was accepting this fate and admitting to myself I have this Cancer and I might die young. (Hey I can write that it’s just words). I’m still not ready to do that and I wonder if we ever feel like it happened to us – does it sink in eventually? I’m guessing it never does.
All this time I’ve managed to convince myself I’m in my own special remission and cancers gone. But I’m not in remission yet. Not for 4 years. There’s just no sign of cancer on a CT scan.
That doesn’t mean much really. But I’ve created this fake reality in my head in an attempt to move on with my life.
It was only today hearing a conversation where I realised I’m just in a window of uncertainty for 4 years. It cut like a knife. I don’t want to feel like that so I’m just going to keep living in my pretend world where I’m safe from anything that can hurt me. I like it there.