I have been living life as a cancer survivor for over six years now. I have learned more about cancer than I think I ever wanted to know. I was thrown into the “oh-you-have-cancer” group whether I wanted to be a part of it or not. During this time spent in the cancer survivorship world, I have experienced my share of heartache and I have seen many others face heartache of their own. Unfortunately, it just comes with the territory. I wish there was a way to avoid it, but at least for me personally, I don’t think there is. I am still practicing how to deal with it all and I’ll be honest, I am really not that great at it.
When I hear a story or see something on social media that has to do with recurrence or death from cancer, my heart sinks. Sometimes it is a friend or acquaintance, and sometimes it is just a random story. Regardless, it is a painful fact that has to be faced living in the world of cancer. Sometimes I force myself not to look at social media or I will not read a story about cancer. Sometimes I just can’t. However, there are those times where I can’t run and I can’t look away.
When it rains it pours.
These five words can be filled with so much meaning. These five words can be used to describe a lot of happenings in anyone’s life. Trying to avoid the cancer heartache works for a while, but when I lift back the curtain and look out the window at cancerland once again, I find the best words to describe what I often see is stated in those five words – when it rains it pours. This week in particular I seem to be stuck in a flat-out flood. The cancer heartache is flooding in full force and to be honest, it makes me want to put my tail between my legs, lift up a big rock and settle in nice and deep underneath it. It’s safe down there and I don’t have to face anything that scares me.
I feel like everywhere I have turned this week, I have stared straight into the eyes of the cancer beast. A person in one of my social media support groups that had a recurrence passed away this week. There were two stories of people going through the process of trying to figure out if the cancer came back again. There was another story of someone in the battle of their life. It goes on and on. It just felt overwhelming this week because it all seemed to be happening all around me all at the same time. Some could argue that I am turning into being all about me and that’s fine, but I look at these happenings as triggers. The stories, the concepts and the heartaches are all too real and trigger my own fears. Could this happen to me? Could this happen to a close friend? It’s not like watching it in a movie or TV show. It’s the real deal when you see it happening all around you and there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop it.
I was sharing my fears with a very close friend of mine who I have known my whole life. She was diagnosed a few years after me and is my go-to whenever my cancer anxiety decides to pay a visit. She described it best when she used those five words I keep repeating here – when it rains it pours. Unfortunately, it certainly does.