A friend of mine read my tarot in January and foresaw, amongst other things, ‘cataclysm’. I thought it was going to be something Trump did! And then, on the first of February, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I’ve been debating with myself: do I write about this thing or not?
I have an aversion to confessional journalism. Inevitably the writer becomes the story, and I’m uncomfortable with that. How can a writer put herself at the centre of every story? Because, y’know, unless you’re Zaphod Beeblebrox, you’re not the centre of the universe*. But this isn’t journalism, it’s just a collection of downloads from my brain, and there’s no doubt this thing is going to be on my mind, it’s already hijacked my life. I’m determined that’s only going to be temporary though.
Does the world need another breast cancer blog?
The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of tests – I’ve already lost count of the number of people who’ve cared for me – and, of course, telling people. The people that need to know, the people I know will want to know. I’m already kind of over talking about it, to be honest, and I don’t really want to read about it (why worry twice?), so why would I want to blog about it?
I hate the idea of being defined by a condition. I used to rage when people called me ‘an epileptic’: It was something I had, not something that defined me. I feel the same about this. It’s just a thing I have to take care of, not who I am. And it’s not like I’m particularly special: the day I got diagnosed about 67 other women in Australia were also diagnosed, and my circumstances are pretty routine. There are tried and tested medical protocols.
And I don’t want people to see me as sick, or weak, and it irritates me that I may have no choice because I may get sick and weak as a result of my treatment.
But that’s ultimately why I decided I have to at least mention it: this is now part of my life, whether I like it or not. Words, writing are how I express who I am, how I interpret the world. That rarely means talking about my day to day life and the people I share it with, but it often means sharing my perspectives on the world. Already this experience has opened up whole new worlds to me. I need to write to figure out what that means for me, and inevitably some of that will end up here.
So, that’s my news. What’s new with you?
* If you get that reference, I love you 😍