Now before you all get outraged, the title of this post has nothing to do with me. The only person in my vicinity who had cancer is my grandmother and she recently beat it! But I did write a short piece called Cancer is a bitch and so am I, which you can find at the bottom of this post. Enjoy.
Now, to explain my absence: my life sucks. Good thing I made no promises about updating because my life took a turn for the worse and I am not dealing with it all very well. So what happened? First off, I failed my bachelor thesis for the 5th time. Yeah, fifth time. Consequently, I have zero confidence. Really, I would drop out had I not already wasted 4 years and nearly €10K on this bachelors programme.
I am currently in search of a job to fill this spare time and pay some bills, but that’s not going well either. I had a job but had to quit it to focus on school. My lovely boss told me I could come back after I was done, so I called him and he told me to email him. So far I have heard nothing back. It’s been two weeks and I am stressed.
To add to all that, pretty much everyone in my life has been nagging at me, telling me I should do more, that my failures are all because I didn’t try hard enough, because I am too lazy, etc. Stress levels through the roof. Not to mention the health scares this stress has brought me. I am currently in denial that anything is wrong with my body and will hold onto that tiny sliver of hope with all my might until either my mind or body gives in. Let’s blame it all on my weight and hope my problems will disappear once I lose some. Hahahahahahahaha, yeah.
Then, the true nightmare: my dad had a stroke. He doesn’t live near me, so when the police came to my home I was shocked, to say the least. It was a highly unpleasant experience and for a full day we didn’t know about his condition or whether he would make it. I was literally in shock for most of those 24 hours and remember them as if they were a nightmare. He is now fine, mostly, though his left side is partially paralised (hopefully temporarily) but he’s still abroad and none of us have seen him yet. We talk daily though so we’re up to date with his progress. The thing is, he has no insurance. His life has been turbulent this past decade so aside from being poor ourselves we might be facing more financial difficulties.
Though no excuse, these are the reasons I haven’t written a thing in two or three months now. The story posted below, then, is also at least 6 months old. This is the first time I am truly discussing everything that’s been going on, aside from my conversations with my best friend. Maybe I needed this, maybe I didn’t. I wouldn’t have needed it were it not for my elbow injury (sustained during an intense taekwondo training) which isn’t healing the way it should be, and which is the reason I’m not allowed to do taekwondo for a while, on physio’s orders. This sucks because I need taekwondo to clear my mind, stay sane, and be happy.
I will do my best to get my life in order again but I still make no promises with regards to writing. Hopefully I’ll get some done but I expect nothing. I’m mentally in a really bad place right now, surrounded by negativity and criticism, which I readily face on my good days but which are crippling when already in a bad mindset. Sigh.
But I’ll be okay. No worries, I am fairly resilient and tend to bounce back. Which reminds me how much I miss my former friend, even though he was a jerk. I will focus on the things I can change and improve rather than what’s out of my sphere of influence. And since I cannot come up with more positive things, have the story now:
n.b. everything after this point is part of the story
Cancer is a bitch, and so am I
That morning Kristy found herself clutching the toilet seat, watching her blood splatter all over the pot. She had been in this position for 45 minutes now, afraid to get up. Each time she had tried, a coughing fit brought her back to her knees.
She knew her situation was bound to worsen; she just hadn’t expected it to happen so soon.
She had been diagnosed less than two months ago. Lung cancer. The doctors had used some fancy terminology but it didn’t make a difference; she was terminally ill.
It hadn’t been her fault. She had never smoked a day I her life, made sure to avoid smoke as much as she could, yet she still got cancer.
And people judged her for it. As if she wasn’t angry enough that she got ill while some smokers lived until 90, people automatically assumed it was her fault.
‘’It’s lung cancer, she must have secretly smoked,’’ they would say. Not even her own mother believed her.
Her family had been slightly kinder about it, suggesting that she may not have known she was harming herself. Did they think she was stupid? She knew very well what cigarettes did.
Did they not know her at all? She had done everything right in her life. She ought to have been healthier than most of her generation. Instead, she was here, all alone in her apartment, slowly and painfully dying.
Alone. All because she refused to be happy. They expected her to be ‘brave’, ‘keep hope’, and act like those pesky cancer patients she saw on TV and described in books, making bucket lists, living their last moments to the fullest, being kind to others because life was short. Phonies.
She resented them all. Those with cancer who managed to stay positive, those without cancer for being lucky. It wasn’t fair; she did not deserve this disease. And she wasn’t going to be a fucking ray of sunshine about it either.
Tears ran down her face. Why had they left her? She didn’t want to die alone. Wasn’t friendship through good times and the bad?
Why was it so frowned upon to feel horrible about impending death? She could not and would not see it as a trial of God. Surely He wouldn’t be so cruel.
The next morning someone came knocking on her door. She had missed her appointment at the hospital, she knew, because she hadn’t been able to get up the night before and had fallen into a feverish sleep on the bathroom floor.
Now it was even harder for her to move. The knocking changed to pounding, or maybe it was in her head.
She felt herself slipping into unconsciousness.
The next time she woke up she was in a hospital bed, all alone. She tried lifting her hand to call the nurse but lacked the energy. When rounds came, a nurse finally checked up on her. Noticing the patient awake, he told her the bad news.
‘’I’m afraid all we can do right now is make you as comfortable as possible.’’
She sucked in some air. ‘’Fuck… you,’’ she managed.
There was nothing comfortable about dying and they could all go to hell.
If only there was someone to hold her hand…
This piece has not been written to belittle anyone. Those who can still see the good in life even when suffering from cancer are admirable. But it is perfectly alright not to feel optimistic. Feelings aren’t rational and people can’t help but feel them. Telling people they shouldn’t feel a certain way is unhelpful and should be avoided. It is okay to feel however it is you feel, even if no one understands. It’s how you act upon them that is important. Still, it would do people good to try to empathise a little more now and then.
Kristy, too, deserved someone there for her on her deathbed. She made some rash decisions based on feelings, and now she regrets them. Unfortunately people don’t always get a happy ending. Sharing Kristy’s story with the world is my way of being there for all the Kristies of the world who have no one. They’re in our thoughts.