I find myself saying things like What a bad time to get cancer -or- Well, there are worse cancers I could have gotten. I need to stop saying these things because there is no “good time” for anyone to get cancer, ever. Never would actually be a good time. Cancer is bad; it doesn’t matter what kind. It’s here, and it’s here to take as much of your body as it can.
People die from cancer every single day. People die from breast cancer every day. Something I’ve heard more than once from people already is, Don’t worry, women don’t really die of breast cancer these days. This is from www.breastcancer.org: “Breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.” This isn’t the flu we’re talking about here. Minimizing cancer is wrong. I have minimized other peoples’ cancer and I was wrong. It’s Cancer with a capital C and it’s scary no matter what the type or stage. It levels all the playing fields, but hopefully we can learn to play to our advantage on our home field.
It’s not just me saying dumb things to myself. Several people have said to me, Well at least you got it early. Um, have you seen that I don’t have a left breast? My mastectomy was not optional. And cancer is my lymph nodes. This is not early. This is aggressive and fast moving. I am not out of the woods, and I don’t really want to think about how this could be worse.
I have to avoid generalizing as we get deeper into this because the lines between minimizing, over-reacting, and reality are really blurry. Now is the time to be calm, clear-headed, and aware. I’m trying not to freak out.