Sometimes writing about how I am feeling and what is going on in my life is really easy. Other times it can be more difficult. Recently, it has been hard. Not that there isn’t plenty to write about, but some of the words I’d need to say aren’t necessarily the easiest to write, type or say.. For example, “I have brain cancer and I have completed one week of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.” *insert a few tears here*
A few nights ago I had a really strong desire to watch a movie about someone with cancer. I don’t know why, maybe it was one of those things like when you are feeling sad so you listen to sad music to allow yourself to feel the sadness on a deeper level or something. But I just really wanted to watch a movie about someone going through what I’m going through.
In hind sight, this probably was not the best thing for someone who has cancer to do… There were many emotions when the movie ended. Partially because I have yet to see a movie where a character that is battling cancer actually survives. Why does the cancer patient always die? Not everyone in real life who has cancer dies, so why do all the movies about it have to end with death? Why can’t we have a movie about someone who actually defeats cancer in the end and gets to ring the bell three times (this is what you get to do when you have finished the last of your radiation treatments, only 6 more weeks until I get to ring that bell!) Why can’t we have a movie that shows all the things the cancer patient accomplished while they had cancer or before they knew they had cancer aka while their tumor or whatever was growing?
My neuro-oncologist told me that I most likely had my brain tumor for about 3-5 years before it was discovered. That’s a long time! It got me thinking about all of the things I have accomplished over the past 3-5 years while having a brain tumor.
In the past few years, while having a brain tumor, I have…
- completed student teaching and earned my teaching license
- graduated with honors from college
- moved to China for my first teaching job
- started learning Chinese!
- taught for 3 years
- got married to the most amazing man
- made so many incredible friends from all over the world!
- earned my P1 certification in Krav Maga (Israeli martial arts) - also while having a hurt wrist, which made this very challenging…
- traveled to Thailand, Laos, South Korea, and to many cities in China
- completed 3 courses towards my Masters degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
- Started learning Danish (cause why not?)
- survived teaching Home-Based Learning to my students while literally being scattered across the world (I was in America while my students were in China, South Korea, South Africa, and Canada… Scheduling zoom meeting times was fun..)
Since discovering my brain tumor, I have survived brain surgery and have completed 4 radiation treatments. My husband and I have also celebrated our first wedding anniversary. It may not be quite as exciting or dramatic to share a story about a cancer patient who survives, but I think it would be really nice for a change. Imagine a story about someone who beats cancer and manages to still accomplish a lot, maybe not all the accomplishments are done WHILE they are going through treatment, but why do cancer movies always have to be so sad and depressing?
Especially for someone going through this, it doesn’t instill a lot of hope in me watching movies about cancer patients when all of them always end up dead… It’d be nice to watch a movie where they get to ring the bell in the end, declaring that they have beaten cancer! What an ending that would be.