When you get diagnosed with cancer, everything in your life has to change. You don’t just get told you have cancer, do treatment, and then everything goes back to the way it was before.
It’s just not how it works, and anyone who thinks that, well clearly, they’ve never gone through it before.
For starters, the things I ate, the hours I worked, how much I slept, everything changed. I remember, and even now just feeling the loss of control over my life. For someone like me, who’s always kind of been on my own, done things for myself, the loss of control over my own life made me feel powerless.
I still have moments when I can feel my tumor taking over, and it’s kind of like feeling like a child all over again.
I think what was worse than having to change my entire life to accommodate my terminal illness was the looks that people were now giving me.
The people around me started to treat me differently, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I still don’t. They no longer saw me, the girl who was always smiling.
They didn’t see me anymore. I could see the pity in their eyes, and I hated that.
My cancer, my brain tumor, it didn’t define who I was, it had just been something I had to face. I was still me. They just refused to see that.
Later, though, as it started to progress, and everything seemed to become different for me, I remember feeling my body change. Especially after I had given up on treatment and made the decision to live my life.
It affected me in ways that no one seemed to grasp. That was a frustration in itself.
It was like people only saw what they wanted, not what I was really going through deep inside.
The thing is, I had never expected anyone to understand what I was going through. I mean, how could they if they hadn’t had this happen to them?
I have so many people in my life telling me that I need to be positive. That I need to wake up and have a better mindset. They would be right, but they would also be wrong in the way they say things, and approach it.
Living with cancer in itself could make anyone depressed. Truthfully, I never really dealt with the depression side of having cancer.
It’s frustrating when you’ve always been this positive, upbeat person to feel yourself turn into someone who becomes negative.
You let this affect you, but the thing is you can’t go through something like this and not be affected by this. The portion of my brain that my tumor is on affects so much.
The thought process I have, is completely different than someone who is healthy. I noticed after I got diagnosed, that things that wouldn’t bother me before, things I wouldn’t have even cared about before, started making me more upset than I actually care to admit.
I’ve always been a somewhat sensitive person, but it wasn’t ever like this. Things that I would brush off before I had cancer, I was panicking and going into full blown emotional breakdowns about. I hated that, I still do.
It made me feel a huge loss of control over my emotions. I was changing, and I can feel myself change every single day.
I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t choose this. It’s cancer, which unfortunately is a part of life. I can’t change the fact that people think this is something I can control.
I can’t change that people don’t understand that I can’t just wake up and change my outlook.
Even with all of this, though, I can’t ever say for one second that I regret having cancer. I mean I don’t wish for it, and I hope that I get to be one of the lucky ones who go into remission, but there are so many things that cancer brought to me that have turned out to be positive.
And there are people that I never would've met if I hadn’t gotten cancer.
So, a lot of times, I do try to take the good with the bad, I do.
I encourage anyone who faces this same battle to just know that you’re not alone, and know that you can get through this, even if no one understands.
But to anyone who loves someone going through this, I just want to say, don’t be so harsh, or judgmental, you only make it worse.
Try to understand, to respect, and to comfort the person who already feels so alone and lost, because if they are anything like me, that’s all they need.