Finally, I can cry without needed to cut onions

14th October 2014: Sydney Australia

I am curious as to how I would approach defining how Cancer has effected me. My first thoughts immediately relate to the impact of others, particularly the worry and concern for those close to me. The look seen on their faces or the tears from their eyes. The construction of an actual definition though? Well a juxtaposition is sure to unfold in the ensuing attempt, however, I would say the experience has been both a strengthening and weakening process of self. I’m uncertain whether logic can be derived from the past statement. Therefore, I will endeavour to provide some filling to the very empty analogy just quoted.

Lets commence with the question of strengthening. It seems similar to one of those questions, only asked of course at an interview or review whereby your strengths need to be outlined. Although you have prepared, internally a whisper is heard about the difficultly in discussing your strengths. Whilst preparing, we all seem capable of conjuring a number of points about why you would be such an asset. In another context though? It is vastly different, unless you wish for comments to be directed against you such as being big headed, arrogant, overly confident, etc. The current distraction from actuially answering my own question may be a very reflection of this process in motion.

Ok, how have I strengthened? I definitely feel the experience of having Cancer has resulted in a clearer mind, greater focus and motivation, recognition of support, an expansion of my knowledge and a changed perspective on life. To be honest, I can’t really complain with these points. In addition, inclusion of a more healthier and balanced life suggest there is some truth in the Cancer experience strengthening me.

How about the weaknesses? A more selfish attitude towards my life has grown from what some may state was already a fairly strong foundation to build upon. A fear of dying? A rigidity within my life? A hardening towards loved ones. Evident physical deficiencies in regards to my capacity at performing tasks at a level with the strength and energy compared to the years prior to my detection. Finally, the weeping of my heart! Truly, there can be times whereby I am touched by an image, movie, interaction, moment or song and almost brought to tears. It feels like a whole space, previously void has opened and is ready to flow in an instant.

It is interesting to note, reference was made to implying crying is a weakness opposed to a strength. It seems exploration of the matter is required, and I think the general topic of crying is at the centre of my thinking due to recent events. Firstly, I almost came to tears thinking about the look of concern on my mums face last night when I was dragged into a stage of despair by an intense bout of nausea. Secondly, I teared up three times whilst watching the tv show Breaking Bad. The main star has Cancer but mention of it, or focus on the circumstances about his Cancer again almost brought me to tears!

Obviously, the whole experience has had a more profound impact than I like to admit, and it seems I now recognise cutting onions to make myself cry is a task no longer necessary (fact). When thinking about the points mentioned, are they really a weakness or just a stage of the journey necessary to unmask my true self, actually feel and connect with matters that actually have meaning in this world? To conclude, I am not so sure how effective I was at providing a definition about the strengthening and weakening process? Instead, the writing may have simply reflected the many continuing struggles experienced in making sense of the circumstances unfolding for me.