I read an article recently about cancer and my interest was piqued.
No surprise there.
Thankfully, I haven’t known anyone who had a slash of cancer in their lives, weighing them down with either the pain of the disease or survivor’s guilt.
But I read things and I watch movies. And I find it so so hard to relate to a cancer patient.
When I saw The Fault In Our Stars last week, I was surrounded by whispers throughout the entire theatre of people muttering ‘I totally understand how she feels’ or ‘I totally understand what he is going through’.
Now, even if you do have people around who have been inked with this disease, how do you know how they feel..? How do you understand? How do you automatically assume life is sad for them? How do you pin down an assumption that they deserve your pity votes?
Originally, I was going to whip out a short fictional story about a cancer victim/survivor. But, as I opened a fresh word document, I was hit with the realization that I didn’t have the slightest idea what I was going to write.
I had no idea what their schedule was. I had no idea how it worked. I could Google it, sure. But then, it wouldn’t be mine. It’d be Google’s.
Cancer survivors are brave, they say. Cancer survivors are strong, they say. They’re bold, adventurous, audacious, courageous.. I can go on. I have the thesaurus open right here. Finding the right adjectives isn’t going to be difficult for me.
But, I say cancer survivors are scared. They’re hopeful. They’re careful. They’re genuine. They’re always looking behind their backs, waiting for the bug to strike again, or hoping it doesn’t.
Life isn’t a rose-tinted glass. It’s shades of grey. It’s cloudy with a 100% chance of storm.
Cancer victims though. They’re happy. They’re following the abused concept of YOLO. They know it’s time to be happy. They know it’s time to smile. To laugh. To eat. To burp. To laugh again. To make fun of friends. To let their friends paint them eyebrows so they don’t look sick. To go window-shopping and to put on ridiculous outfits. To let their mums paint patterns of henna on their heads so they’re all the more beautiful in the tearing eyes of their mums.
If you want to get inspired, get inspired by the victims. The survivors have made it through and are human again. The victims are the angels waiting to be recognized.