Some of my readers may have noticed I’ve been a bit less rah rah rah positive positive positive lately.
It’s not because I am doing worse emotionally. I have bad days when I feel like I am (especially when I get a brutal cold on the heels of a rough chemo week), but I always have. I still have loads of good happy positive days and moments I promise!
I’ve just realized that in spite of how nice it is to be complimented on how positive I am, there are no positivity awards. Being the strongest most positive cancer patient ever will not guarantee me a cure and doesn’t make me a better person. It is nice to be positive because it makes life easier, but it’s okay to not be all the time, it doesn’t make me a worse cancer patient, and there is no reason to hide it.
As a matter of fact, hiding it has done me a disservice. I seem to find that (with some wonderful exceptions) for the most part only those they have gone through this (or been close to somebody who has) have really been there for me in the way I need…checking in, wanting to spend time with me, offering me help at home and to take the kids and preparing food that I will eat. Perhaps if I’d been a bit more open about the things that suck instead of always talking about how great I am doing, this would not be the case and I wouldn’t feel so alone so much.
Not only does it do me a disservice, it also does to other cancer patients. I would hate for somebody to read what I wrote and think “what’s wrong with me? She’s so happy and positive and having fun and working and looking great and all I can do is cry and the thought of working makes me want to vomit”. Rest assured, I have lots of bad and tearful moments…and although I am glad to be working as it distracts me and I have a job I love, it is hard too and I have quite a few limits on when I work and what I do. It is not business as usual and if it had to be I wouldn’t be able to be doing it. I’m lucky to work somewhere very supportive!
Sometimes life is good, sometimes it’s hard. It’s all real and all getting shared.