On Monday’s We Talk About Cancer: Why I don’t use the phrase “F**k Cancer”

This morning.

I’m sitting on my bed right now unattractively hunched over – because that is the most comfortable position sometimes when my back is in pain – trying to get through a long to-do list. So far today I have made phone calls, spent 20 minutes cleaning up the downstairs office (more later I hope), got something I posted to the local Buy Nothing board out of my house (this included a puppy and friend visit), scrubbed down my kitchen counters (seriously gross), made lunch for my girls, drank countless cups of tea, and done who knows what else (because I’ve already forgotten).

Can you tell I’ve had a break from chemo?

Chemo breaks are great but not as good as no chemo. It’s hard to be thankful for something that makes you feel awful even if it is also saving your life. Another three weeks of chemo starts this Friday and I know I will sick with nerves by Friday, worried about having another awful allergic reaction. But I am grateful. Beyond grateful to still be here and get another chance at keeping this disease at bay.

I know as someone with cancer I’m supposed to talk about how this disease changed my life and made me grateful for every little thing but I think I was pretty damn grateful before. I’m still annoyed at it for making every day an uphill climb. The whole point of chemo is to kill off all the cells – cancer and otherwise – with the hope that the non-cancer cells will have a fighting chance. It also kills off your brain cells and makes you stupid and forgetful and generally foggy. I’ve had to stop knitting because I keep messing up everything I try to do and it is frustrating and disheartening.

In spite of all this I avoid using the popular phrase: “F**k Cancer!” I mean, it isn’t as though I never think it but this disease is now as much a part of me as having curly hair. I’ve had to learn to live with and manage curly hair all my life and now I have to live with and manage a body riddled with cancer. Obviously my curly hair isn’t trying to kill me but it is always best not to fight against your nature, and unfortunately part of my nature is now cancer. It is better to work with it and keep it under control (much like curly hair) than to try to be something I am not. I guess in a way it seems like tempting fate by being so negative. I don’t want to piss off the cancer. If I have to live with it I want to live for as long as possible.

(I miss it.)

(Also I wrote this post really fast because I am working through Kerry Clare‘s Blog School course and am trying not to over think everything I do because I never get anything done that way. Hopefully it doesn’t sound too disjointed or crazy.)

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