Friday, August 15, 2008

another incredbible piece of writing

Jenny, who writes at "At Least It's A Good Cancer," wrote this piece, on the change in identity that comes with being a cancer patient:

At first, I wanted so much to maintain my professional identity, to be the smart, strong person who just happens to be going through cancer treatment. I didn't want to be like those grey, wispy, shadowed people sitting in the waiting room in their headscarfs and their wheelchairs. When I had surgery and couldn't wash my own hair, it was hard to accept help because it just drove home my incapability. When I couldn't walk outside for a full half hour at a time, I felt the loss of my physicality more than I had ever felt its presence.

What the writer doesn't say, and what happened too slowly for me to watch, is that you really can go back to something like your old life, and leave that self-loss behind; but it's almost like a projection of your old life, one rendered in all the same colors and moving in the same patterns, but against a different screen, parallel to the old but never quite touching.
I cannot say how much this spoke to me, even though Jenny has completed treatment and mine is ongoing. I have been thinking a lot lately about how strongly I feel about wanting to be seen as strong, vibrant and above all well, that I have even become defensive when anyone implies otherwise.

You can read the rest of Jenny's post here.

5 comments:

Lovebabz said...

This passage spoke to me in another way. If I replace the word cancer with my own angst then this is how I am feeling. I mean no disrespect to you or Cancer patients in any way.

I am lamenting my life and I am feeling a bit like, yes this is my life and the colors are all ther and viid, but my movement in my life is slightly off center.

There is a universal vibe to this that I appreciate. But then I love coming here because what you talk about speaks to me. It speaks to me as a woman transitioning in her own life.

laurie said...

Yes. Exactly right, Babz.

Lene Andersen said...

Thanks for the link - it spoke to me, too. And when you said "it's almost like a projection of your old life, one rendered in all the same colors and moving in the same patterns, but against a different screen, parallel to the old but never quite touching."? Wow. So well put.

laurie said...

Lovely isn't it? And just to be absolutely clear - those are Jenny's words. She is a really good writer.

AlisonH said...

And the colors are so much more intense on the new screen, so much brighter...