Ever since I received this diagnosis, I have been feeling like a fraud. Cancer? Cancer means sickness and oozing, smelliness and hair falling out. That’s not me. I’m young and healthy (knock on wood). I feel like a fraud walking through the halls of the cancer clinic. I know I look good. I am not being vain; it’s the truth. I have all my hair. I’m thin. I’m attractive. I dress well. I just don’t look like a cancer patient should look, or feel like a cancer patient should feel. Yes, that’s my judgment, but it makes me feel like I don’t have the right to call myself cancer’s victim. My therapist asked if my feeling like a fraud is a way to feel safe. I told her it does not. And I wasn’t lying. I’m in therapy because of all the other shit I’ve been through, and being in a relationship that pushes my buttons to the brink. Cancer? Cancer is cakewalk. And who would ever dream someone could say those words?
Notes from my journal, January 15, 2007
I consider myself a fraudulent cancer patient…continue reading here.
More on my cancer experience can be found here.
My mother died of colon cancer in 1994. It’s really weird, but I now look at her death as something I need to benefit from. I am going to try and explain myself, but it’s really weird what kinds of thoughts I have about her cancer. I miss my mother like I can’t believe. Even today, I will think about her and cry out “I want my mommy!” But, when I reflect on her suffering, her slipping into the unknown, I can’t help but think that I would be doing my mother a disservice if I did not go through the available medical screening processes to “catch” cancer before it gets on that fast track to death. So, at 40, I had my first colonoscopy. Everything clean. Perfect. Great. No big deal. The doctor told me I could wait until I’m 50 for my next one. Well, last year at 45, I was struggling with insomnia. It wasn’t long before i added anxiety to that. I thought I was going crazy. So, I made an appointment with my doctor so I could get something to help me sleep. He decided to do a colonoscopy. You know, preparing for one is really no fun. But, I went through with it. This time, they removed two pre-cancerous pollyps. Now, I’m scheduled for colonoscpies at least every 3 years. I believe that taking the prescribed precautionary procedures means that my mother did not die in vain. Perhaps, what I am saying sounds strange, I don’t know. I just know that my mother would be on my butt to get screened and to follow the doctors’ orders. She wouldn’t want me to suffer and have my children suffer when all I have to do is get checked regularly. So, in a way, I am honoring her memory…and trying to be a good son.