Monday, October 13, 2008

No, You Don't See Dead People

What is with people?

Why do they automatically assume that since someone has been diagnosed with cancer they are are already dead? Do they hear the news and then run to their address book and cross us out with the words "death pending?"

I have news for the unscathed. We aren't going anywhere. And unlike you, we know the state of our health. With our constant scanning and tests we know every renegade DNA in our bodies and we are employing any and all weapons of mass destruction to eradicate them.

If we are post treatment and back to living our lives, we are not making the best of it until the grim reaper taps gently on our front doors. We are getting stronger. We are recovering our original selves and are stronger and more beautiful than before we were sick. We fought a mighty beast and won. You can't find a more magnificent being.

If we are fighting a continuing battle as a metster, we are capable of living a full life. We just have to see a doctor more often and take meds on a continuing basis. But we define courage, strength and grace under fire.

So, for every woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, who has completed treatment and is now living as a survivor, and for those who are dealing with continuing disease, I would like to pass on this message:

Dear Potential Friend, Lover, Employer, Landlord, and other misguided soul:

We are not going anywhere. You won't find a better friend than us. We are more empathetic, understanding and loyal than anyone you have ever met before. For those lovers out there, you don't know what you are missing, because we live each moment to its fullest and make the best of lovers with hopeful, romantic souls that seek deeper connections. Employers don't worry about us. We need the money, the bills we have accumulated guarantee you awarding us Employee of the Month status every month. Landlords and mortgage holders, we value our spaces and bloom wherever we are planted. We don't like to move so you can rest assured we will stay put and keep the property in wonderful condition.

Don't cross us off your list. If you have never been where we are you cannot know who we are. But we know.

Warrior Angels aren't going anywhere. You would be lucky to have one in your life.


Peggy said...

I am so glad you wrote this. Why can't people see there are more of us surviving this than ever before? I am not going anywhere and you have shown us you aren't either!
Thanks for always knowing what to say.
Peggy S
(from Jeff's)

Martha P. said...

No one can accuse you of not being totally "there."
I want to be you when I grow up!
ps my boss thinks I am already dead. I have a big surprise for him! I am going to have his job before I am done!