The Question of Subject

If this is a cancer blog, and moreover, a breast cancer blog, then it should be about breast cancer, should it not? But if it is a blog that reflects what it's like to have (and have had) breast cancer, and when your treatment boils down to taking a pill every night, and when you're not thinking about breast cancer 100 percent of your waking and dreaming hours, then does your blog need to be 100 percent about breast cancer? (It's not, has never been.) Do people come to a breast cancer blog expecting to read about Life With Cancer, and grow disappointed learning about Life With a New/Old House? Or is that the message itself: That after breast cancer, there's room for everything else in your life?

But you never forget it entirely. There's that missing breast on the left, for one, and the hair that's shorter than it was two years ago, and there are people who ask, How are you? and then, How ARE you? with that emphasis, that heaviness, as if trying to pry out a secret.

In the news conference I went to for Stand Up 2 Cancer, Elizabeth Edwards said that she felt something in common with anyone who's had cancer. And that's true. I feel the same--that we've gone to that place that used to mean (and still might mean) Death. And we've gone through the same baffling, often impersonal procedures at hospitals. (By talking to one another, we're reasserting our individualities.) Before I had breast cancer, I felt that everyone who had it was going to die before her time. Though rationally, I knew that wasn't necessarily so. I remember hearing about someone who had breast cancer and then seeing her, healthy-seeming, and wondering why there was no sign. Thinking she was faking it--it being her health.


Gail said...

you nail so many thoughts I've had and do have here... thanks for articulating them. g

Anonymous said...

It is interesting (it's also interesting how I use the word interesting because I don't really know what it is) reading this blog now.

The blog has always been interesting at a certain literary, cultural level, but it just changed for me - I was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. Not the same as breast cancer I know, maybe the male equivilient. But still, sitting in a cold office listening to a doctor very flippantly say, "It's positive" when you know "positive" is the most negative thing he could have said, strains your brain.

So anyway, thanks for relaying the news of life after C. It is just as much a part f the process as the medical procedures I have to look forward to. And enjoy your new/old house along with the interesting political atmosphere of Chicago.


AWP panel said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. I hope everything is as easy as it can be.
--C. Bitch