Saturday, April 10, 2010

This Is Not My Mother's Cancer

Today is the 2 year anniversary of the death of my mother. She died of Melanoma, for those who didn't know. And now I sit here at 1am EST, diagnosed with cancer on my mother's birthday---what would have been her 74th-- thinking about how I am going to handle the day ahead. I am sick with a cold so I may sleep through most of it, but then I have classes tonight & must put on the mask of the diligent actor.

I wonder, will I be sad tonight or will I put it in the back of my mind and forget about it? Should I be thinking of her or of myself? I'm still alive and she is not. I spent last Wednesday (?) night screaming at her in my bathroom mirror. I can't deny I'm pissed she's gone, I'm pissed she didn't ask for more treatment or fight harder to live. I'm pissed she didn't provide me with the phone number to this "heaven" she was so thrilled to be going to. I feel like maybe she gave up. But why? Was it because she believed so strongly that "God" would take care of her? Then I thought about how I try not to cry in front of anyone but I cry a lot lately. And maybe that's how she handled this. Perhaps she cried in private & when I visited she watched tennis as usual and talked about her grand kids. Did she yell at her god or ask to live at all? Why wasn't she visible angry about her certain death?

When the doctor tells you that you have cancer you feel almost as if struck by lightening or something. It's hard to wrap your mind around. I'm still wrapping my mind around it. But when I found this lump on Dec. 7th I immediately said out loud to no one but myself "take my boob! I want to live!" As time goes on I get more scared about the surgery, but I'm educating myself and eating healthy. I'm trying to maintain focus on my school & keep up the hope that my distant family will forget that our mom died of cancer & try being positive that I will survive it.

My friends are a comfort at this time, although I wish they were at my house late at night so I could get hugs at 3am when I get sad or scared. My oldest brother is positive and supportive and my sister randomly sent me some great gifts & even told me she loves me, which my family seems to have difficulty doing. I get that this is hard on them because of our mom, but hope that for the two members of my family who have seemed to have written me off, they will stop looking at cancer as the definition of death & start looking at my cancer and that I am still alive & have no intention of leaving anytime soon!

So for my brother, Bill: I love you despite our differences & please stop thinking cancer is a death sentence. I will fight this & kick it's ass so I can stick around & argue with you about gun control & politics & everything else we disagree on for years and years and years. Hell, you are 10 years older than me & I plan to out live you! So I expect emails & phone calls & do not understand at all why I hear from your wife more than you...I haven't heard a damn thing from you at all actually. If you are thinking about me then call me! I shouldn't have to ask & if I do ask you now & you never call I may never ask again.

And for my dad, who I never got along with until after my mother's death: stop pretending like this is nothing & fucking call me! I deserved a better response than what I got from you when I told you & I have every right to be utterly pissed & annoyed with you right now. I know you have no compassion or emotion but offer me something. I mean, send me a card or a gift or something! Call me to see if I'm OK or something. It's been almost 2 weeks since I left San Diego & I haven't heard a word from either of them. Should I not be hurt by this?

So, on the anniversary of my mother's death I do not know how I will feel later on. Hopefully not congested like I do now! I will cross that bridge when I come to it. I am learning more and more to live in the moment because there is nowhere else to go when you have so few answers. So, today I choose to fight cancer, I choose to stand strong & work hard, and I choose to get out my own head & enjoy the little joys in life that most people miss because they are thinking about what's next.

I have cancer. I know that. I'm dealing with it. Like I've said to my friends, no matter how scared they are about it I am 1,000 times more terrified but I am going to fight & live. I need everyone to believe that. I can feel the negative energy emitted from east county San Diego and it needs to turn off & be replaced by positive energy. This is not my mother's cancer. She was terminal & I am not. This is curable & manageable & I am strong willed & determined. I will & have pushed for answers and for appointments and for the proper tests, and will continue to do so. I have researched & read and dug up & asked & I will keep doing that as I go on this journey. It's not the end of my life! It's a speed bump, or maybe a hurdle, or a giant hill, who knows until I get there, but I finally have a reason to live & I'm not going to give up without a fight!

I love my friends both near & far, & I appreciate all the thoughts & wishes & positivity you are all sending me. Keep it up, keep harassing Ellen, keep sending gifts & keep me in your thoughts (and prayers if you are so inclined).

And visit me in NYC if you feel like it! I might need some serious assistance soon! :)

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