Friday, November 16, 2007

Feeling Special

I was talking to a friend today about where to send our kids to school. I said I’d like to go back to teaching and get a job in a school I want my kids to attend when they’re in high school. As soon as those words left my mouth, I found myself thinking, “That assumes I’ll be alive when the kids are in high school. Wow, what a dream that would be.”

This is how living with cancer is different from living in the real world. I know that we’ll all die someday, but I doubt any of my non-cancer friends think about their lives five, ten years from now and think they’re stretching it to believe they’ll still be alive.

I go about my daily life like a normal person, and then there are fleeting moments like this one that nudge me back to Cancer World. I don’t necessarily get sad about it or dwell on it, but I’m just reminded that I live in a different world from everyone else I know.

Being different can be special or it can be lonely. I feel special because I have cancer. I think I have a perspective on things that only comes with having life curtailed. I also feel lonely at times because facing death isn’t something you can share with anyone, not even other cancer patients. It has to be done alone.

But I have to say I don’t feel the loneliness very much at all. Mostly, I feel pretty special. I sometimes want to wear a T-shirt that says, “Be extra nice to me. I have cancer.” But I suppose that wouldn’t be fair to people who don’t have cancer.


Anonymous said...

Hi Shin, We all have different challenges to face, and we all are fighting some kind of battle in our lives. I believe it's important to share our hopes and fears with someone who is willing to listen. So, if you want to talk about facing death, I am all yours. Guess what's my dearm after my breast cancer? I want to be a grandma! Alex and I tallk about how we will be the BEST grandparents in the world all the time. Big and beautiful dream! Wendy

Shin said...

Grandma! Yikes! I never wanted to be a grandmother BEFORE cancer, but now I guess it wouldn't be so bad. If I just marry Josie off as soon as she hits puberty and tell her to get knocked up straight away, I might have a chance at the grandma thing.