I don't like this game too much, it's becoming a little old.
For starters I don't much like being Cancer Girl. It is too reductive a role to encompass all that is me. Unfortunately that's all some people see when you say cancer. You stop being you and become someone else. Generally that someone else is a preconceived idea built by the TV and print media. The narrow potrayal of "miracle" stories and running fundraising campaigns have something to gain by their portrayal of the martyr cancer patient. It's called money, and people eat it up.
The occasional person I know has rebuffed my, "things are tough", with ,"you should be glad to be alive!" They wonder where my pink runners and permagrin are. Stairs are my nemesis. And isn't, "glad to be alive", a bit redundant unless you are suicidal? Of course I'm glad to be alive, DUH. I rarely see people who have survived a horrific car accident jump around glowing at the gift of continued life? They are too busy healing from the damage. So am I.
These miracle martyr stories are feel good fodder. They seem to only damage the perception towards the average person who is dealing with the day to day of living with/through cancer.
Don't get me wrong. I love feel good stories too. They can be uplifting and inspirational, but also at times they can set the bar too high. Is there something wrong with me if I couldn't continue working through chemotherapy? Should I try to stuff down my emotions and become a Stepford cancer patient? I'm me no matter what, so bite me.
I also talk about it. I consider true strength, being able to cope, deal with and accept your circumstances. There's no other way to move forward, except through and beyond. It's hard but the only way to let people know the real deal with cancer is to talk about it. I'm not being real if I have to hide what's going on in my life. Yes, there is cancer stuff, but there is other stuff too. I can't ignore what I'm going through to sooth other peoples anxieties. There's not enough makeup or Spanx in the world to make me look like what they want to see.
Maybe I'm too nonchalant about death and the like. Dark humour can be a brilliant thing when you have to stare death down.
So, let's give up this pathetic new sport. I think my "friends" anger towards me is actually their heightened sense of mortality. I make them realize that this may happen to them too.