I’ve been looking forward to compiling this list for a few days, and now I feel ready to do so. A week on from my new diagnosis I already know words and sayings I dislike- ones that do nothing for my positivity and the ones I prefer. I can write it down because as I said they’re only words. Saying it aloud is different. Scary. So I’m trying to avoid conversations at the moment where these words won’t be used.
These are my rules I’ve made for myself, my family and friends and anybody who I talk to regularly online, whether they are stage 3 or 4 or don’t have cancer at all, please respect my wishes and way of thinking wherever possible.
1. I will not be referred to as terminal, palliative or dying. I have stage 4 cancer. Yes it can’t be cured, but I do not see myself as the above. Even better, my cancer has metastasised to other areas from the breast. I have metastic breast cancer.
2. Fighting battles/winning and losing. Obviously I’m strong and obviously I’m going to be in fight mode the whole bloody way, but I am not a loser. I will never be a loser. Whatever happens to me I never lost anything. I put up a fight and did my best-always.
3. Pity parties. I like it that people care, but if you could understand how shit it feels when 20 people a day are telling me it’s fucking shit and unfair and they can’t believe it, and they are so sorry for me. Would you not feel like that was writing you off? At school and in the workplace a good teacher and manager should be constructive. Give positive comments with a negative. But these comments above above do not help me. In fact they make me angry. The balance is all wrong. You feel sorry, you feel sad, you’re in shock. Notice the common denominator? YOU. Ok that’s fine you are entitled to feel how you want to, but how about how I feel?
4. Positive inspiring comments. Some people are just naturals and say really uplifting things. “You’re going to beat this!” Maybe a little hopeful but that’s the reality I want to live in. What is the point in thinking any differently? Tough love. It’s the way for me, I’ve decided. Of course I’m going to have bad days. Just let me. Believe me I’ve not had the chance to vent in the the last ten days and there is some pent up agreession in there which I’m sure can be dealt with by smashing some plates! It’s therapeutic you know! I am Sicilian not Greek as far as I know, but plate smashing is just wonderful and I recommend to all.