On these dark days, when I wake up all ready to start my day, laying there in bed coming up with the list of things I’d love to do, I get excited and happy and then, well, then I make the mistake of trying to move. As in, roll over so that I can get out of bed. At which point I begin cursing, vehemently: “Holy f&*# that hurts, what happened?” And yes, it all comes flooding back: I had cancer, I don’t have a boob, and on top of that I had radiation treatments and my skin is burned to shit. And why is my head so damn cold? Because it’s winter, and that’s right, I lost most of my hair and it’s back but only an inch long. So it’s cold. Well, it’s that kind of day. And on that kind of day, what cheers me up? This. Laughed ’til I cried. Warnings for those who don’t appreciate the obscenities that come with dark humor.
All in all, for those who promote positive thinking*, well that’s all well and good, and I’m sure it helps some people. But on days like this, you know what helps me the most? People who tell it like it is. Give me that any day, that authentic voice. Love it.
NB: * not to knock B. Seigel or hypnotherapy or Belle Ruth Naparsek, spelling apologies all around, any positive visualization guides actually do help relax me, which is a lovely feeling, but I truly resent the reverse implication that since we can heal ourselves with our minds (lovely thought, that) that the reverse is true: that we caused our cancers. That we harmed ourselves because we weren’t thinking positively enough. And I know some people separate the two logics, saying that there is no blame, just forward movement, and while I agree that laughter promotes healing – I can feel it in my cells when it happens – but the logic, the logic gets me in the quick: I for one just resent the whole damn concept that I caused my own cancer. Or that any of us did. Or that the cancers come back in terrible ways because we don’t think positively enough. I think we get sick and die and don’t get the treatment we need when our voices are quieted into not speaking our truth, not enacting the change that needs to happen to have the care and the services and the support we need. That’s a political problem with mind body medicine, or psychoneuroimmunology, even though there may be/is more than likely/ scientific truth to it, it’s a red herring in terms of sharing our stories and telling it like it is if we’re putting a pollyanna positive face on everything. Ok, yep, I’m cranky. And I may eat my words later, but for now, I just had to get that out. Maybe I need a tag that says “breast cancer, GRUMPY.”