Cancer Cow


Being ill does things to a person’s head.  The insides and the outsides do not match up.  On the whole this is a good thing.  The insides of my head are pretty messy.  I lose things in there.  But we all like to think we are generally ok.  As in nice.  Don’t we?

I cannot be alone in believing that when adversity came calling I would greet it like the heroine of a Victorian moral drama.  I would be a Dorothea Brooke or a Jane Eyre.  And when I fantasized about funerals and mortal illnesses, people would always admire the stoicism with which I conducted myself.  My general deportment would obviously have something of the oppressed about it, but my inner bearing would overwhelmingly convey fortitude.

I do not recall ever thinking I would turn into a cow.  That I would be reduced to snapping at my dearest friends; being a bitch to my husband; and generally turning into the Bridezilla of cancer to all around.  Cancer has robbed me of my ability to function beyond a hand to mouth existence.  In my need to focus on surviving, it is easy to forget common decency and manners.  And the very people I love above all others get caught in the cross fire.

Being ill does not excuse this.  It is acceptable to be exhausted.  It is acceptable to struggle to function outside my bubble.  It is acceptable to not cope.  But it is not acceptable to take out my anger and frustration on those around me.  The really horrible thing is, I would love to promise to be the Florence Dombey of chemotherapy but that is not going to happen.  I am not going to morph into some angelic being who bears all with grace and serenity.  I suspect I am going to be foul and loathsome.

Be nice to the Captain.  He is going to need it.



4 thoughts on “Cancer Cow

  1. Very good piece of writing. We’re all horrible sometimes, doesn’t make it feel nicer but try not to beast yourself up about it. As for Dorothea Brook – I’m just catching up with her, somewhat belatedly, but from what I’ve seen so far, you really don’t want to be anything like her xxx


  2. this behaviour is not new. I recall a whole new persona appearing when you used to do night shifts! However, you are excused. Night shifts are not normal nor nice; neither is cancer. Lots of love and prayers for the captain’s forebearance and your mental and emotional wellbeing! XXX


  3. There’s an amazing program i watch called Joan of Arcadia and there’s one series where she’s a risk cow to someone close to her. She talks to God about it and the conversation goes….
    Joan: The way i felt about her, it was so ugly. Why would you put those feelings in me?
    God: Everyone has a part of themselves that they don’t like Joan. You carry it around like a weight. The lucky ones realise that when it becomes too heavy you can choose to set it down. That’s when you can see things the way they truly are.


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