Friday, August 19, 2011

Dear Cancer...

Throughout the past few months, I've had a number of friends express admiration for how positive I've been, particularly in this blog.

I have tried to be as positive as possible, but it's impossible to be positive 100% of the time. Some days, the first words I write are not the ones that appear in the final post. When I am having a tough day, those first words are filled with fear and anger.

The Delete key erases those thoughts, and forces my mind to replace those words with more positive ones. What I've posted hasn't been a lie. It's the outcome of positive self talk. By convincing family and friends that I'm in good spirits and everything is going to be okay, I convince myself.

Last week, I posted my raw emotions on the social networking site I Had Cancer. Its members know how hard it is to be positive 100% of the time. The site has a page where you can post a message starting with "Dear Cancer." Some people rant. Others brag that they're kicking the disease's *ss. Those that have really mastered positive self talk thank cancer for its silver lining. This is what I posted last week:

Dear cancer, how dare you take my baby from me. Her due date would have been this Sunday. You weren't content to just mess me up. Instead, you killed her inside me while she was sucking on her cute little baby toes. I hate you. I hate you for taking my daughter.

If I'd written the post a different day, it might have read:

Dear cancer, I'm terrified of you. Terrified you will strike me again.
I'm scared of sharks too, but I can avoid them by staying in the boat. It's not that easy with you. I can fight you with chemotherapy, but the drugs terrify me too. I don't want them tainting my body. I don't want to spend the rest of my life fearing you and the side effects of the drugs. I hate you for stealing my sense of security.

Both of the above posts do nothing to help me or make this any easier. The below does:

Dear Cancer, you are a blip in my family's life. I will not deign to give you more attention than you deserve. You are nothing to me. I am moving on. Pound sand.

As much as I'd love to have a positive mindset all the time, bad days happen. But the mind is a powerful tool. Though it may take a few iterations to get it right, usually I do. My third attempt above will get me through today (I have four doctor's appointments today). Hopefully tomorrow and the next will be easy days. If they're not, I'll rework my thoughts until they are.