Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Purgatory of Cancer

****** Being a survivor is a life sentence. There is no beginning, nor end, per se other than the inevitable we all face.

It is a matter of waiting...waiting...waiting. These are prophetic words articulated by so many of the blogs that I follow off the Being Cancer blog-os-phere network. What all these individuals dealing with caner seem to have in common is that they all opted in for the cut/slash/ and or burn protocol after being told those karma-changing words... "it's cancer.". Even my anti - pink fellow marauder, Anne, opened up her veins to the "juice." I am not making any judgment here. This is purely observation and the musings that arise therefrom.

I don't think of myself as a survivor. It seems that moniker more aptly belongs to those who have come through the horrific battleground of adjuvant treatment. Does this make me a coward? A deserter? Did I burn my draft card with my post-operative bra? Since I am not a survivor, then what I am? I experience the same immutable waiting game...waiting...waiting...for the what next. I have the same objective ... out live the odds. I crave to go back to "normalcy," i.e. pre-cancer existence where tomorrows had a boundless meaning; when day to day life did not feel internally controlled by the tolling of a time bomb; when I felt that I could outrun my own mortality by wearing my seat belt, avoiding semis on the interstate, and keeping the speedometer under 110 mph. Instead, I am neither survivor nor casualty. I am in cancer purgatory. Dante could not have conceived of a more stifling environ. Which would be fine, if I wasn't Jewish.


  1. I don't think of myself as a survivor either really. I don't much care for any of the cancer labels because I think they are too confining and restrictive. They seem to suggest there is a proper way to do cancer. There isn't. You are right about the life sentence and the waiting. Thanks for the post. I relate.

  2. Nancy - I love that: "They seem to suggest there is a PROPER way to DO cancer"! Brilliant! We need to compile the antithesis of the "Emily Post of Cancer." - TC