This is my third attempt at writing a first sentence. Even as I write it, I recognize that I could delete it a myriad of times, rewrite it innumerable more times, and still question whether or not it was the right way to begin this narrative. Interesting thought, “the right way to begin this narrative.” As though there is one. I think journal entries of one’s cancer journey (why do people call it that?) should probably not be written, scrutinized, re-written, and edited, as would a manuscript for submission to a publisher.
Writing a journal/blog is new to me; I usually write for young children. I seem to be able to parse meaning from life more effectively if I do it from the viewpoint of a six year-old. I think I need to keep that in mind as I move forward. I should also remember that in its broadest sense, what I am now going through is a part of the human experience; at its heart it is not unique at all. Although not as the result of any scientific methodologies or statistically-based studies, I can be certain that 100% of the significant aspects of my present situation have been or are being experienced by others at one time or another: ill health, fatigue, shock, fear, anger, disbelief, pain, emotional and spiritual wobbliness, and so forth and so on.
Enough procrastinating. It is time to type the words. Maybe reading them will make this rather surreal feeling I have dissipate and make it more real. (In retrospect, perhaps this should have been the opening sentence.) I have cancer. There it is. Wait. In all caps; it feels that big. Also, it deserves a line of its own. It has earned center page alignment; for the last week, it has become the center of each moment of each day.
I HAVE CANCER.
It is my hope that by beginning this journal, I can shrink it down to a manageable size, and get it to live alongside all the other parts of my life instead of being my life. Of course, what I really want is to delete it altogether, but I have no cancer-delete key. I have professionals working on it (a team of 3 oncologists), but whether they will be successful remains to be seen. Ah. There is part of the heart of the matter for this moment at least. "...but whether they will be successful remains to be seen.” Indeed, the "remains to be seen” part. The waiting. But that is another blog post. You will have to wait.
Note from Elizabeth
Although I am determinedly declaring that I will not allow being a cancer patient to define me, I recognize that in truth, for the next several months, it will in many ways do just that, This blog, Fighting with the Wind, is where my medical updates, philosophical musings, humorous anecdotes, heart-warming stories, spiritual contemplations, angry rantings, and joyous celebrations can be found.