Buckle up; this is not going to be an easy ride.

A Lie I Kind of Hate

Submitted 8 months ago
Created by
Kerry Krieger Clifford

I’ve bragged about my friends to you before. They are the best of the best. Seriously. You think you have good friends, and I’m sure they’re great, but I just can’t imagine better people than mine. I’ve known this for a long time, but this experience has taught me that I have far more next-level friends than I would have ever guessed.

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When I first learned of my diagnosis, it took a few weeks for word to spread through town. I didn’t try to contain it. I didn’t ask anyone not to tell. I decided that, if they told each other, it would save me having to say it over and over again. “I have cancer.” “Hey, have you heard? I have cancer.” “Does Jacky have time to cut my hair on Tuesday? BTW I have cancer.”

As people found out, they came to me in different ways. Some over Facebook, some on the phone, and a LOT at Windsor sporting events. Football, for us, is family, and they proved it that season by showing up for us and surrounding us with their care.

But there’s a thing that many of them say that isn’t necessarily true. Is it a lie? I don’t know yet. What I do know is that they can’t be nearly as certain as they sound about it. And, even though it comes from a place of absolute love and a need to say something, it sucks to hear. 

“You’ll beat this.” 

Oh? Will I? Can I please get that in writing? I don’t mean to be argumentative, but I’d feel a whole lot better if it was my oncologist telling me. I start to wonder if I’ve explained it to people correctly.

Yes, I understand that positive thinking is a valuable tool. I’m thrilled that people are impressed with the shape of my bald head, and it's always nice to hear that I’m really pulling this look off. And I know that my social media posts make it look like I’m having a pretty good go most of the time (#canceredplans). This summer promises to be especially pleasant, as I’m being given a chemo hiatus for several months.

But, real talk, folks: Before my diagnosis, I had tumors in my liver and colon for God knows how long, and when they were discovered and taken out, more grew in their place. It seems like this is how it’s going to be – chasing down tumors and trying to destroy them – until we don’t have any more ammunition left in our arsenal. And then, it’s out of anyone’s control. I’m certainly not giving up, but I also don’t want anyone to be blindsided by what is, in the opinion of the experts, the most likely outcome. And I hate the idea of repeatedly breaking that news to so many dear people who look at me with that devastating mix of hope, sorrow, and fear in their eyes. Buckle up; this is not going to be an easy ride.

Technically, though, I did beat this... today. We'll talk about tomorrow in the morning. 

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