It’s raining outside and the clouds are floating rapidly above my head, swirling and twisting into a different shape before they carry on and forget about me watching them. And I think: I feel so much like that cloud.
I’m pushed and pulled towards an unknown destination, constantly reshaping and changing and never staying the same. I’m angry and upset and alone. I’m a volcano, ready to erupt the moment someone steps on my toe and then I burst into tears and I yell uncharactistically and deflate. Empty and alone again. And then I think: why do I bother?
Why do I bother to care and give and tire myself out when no one truly cares about me? When there’s no one there, here, to listen? When there’s no one spreading their arms and wrap them around me? When there’s no one to hold me while I sob?
I love my mum, my family and my friends and it warms my heart there are so, so, so many people thinking of her, supporting her, sending her unexpected but so much appreciated flowers and cards; but at the same time, it hurts because no one thinks about the people who have to watch all this sadness from a very close position.
When I go outside, everyone is all about: how’s your mum? And I reply: she’s okay. Fine considering. While I think: if only you knew the pain she’s in but I don’t want to tell that because that would make the conversation awkward. What would you say to that? I hope she feels better soon? Well, yeah, me too. And then those people continue: it’s really sad how many people die of cancer before the age of sixty.
This is NOT why I got outside for!
I reply (rather coldly may I add): well, people have always died whether they’re young or old because of cancer or not. It just happens. And they keep talking and talking about cancer as if that’s the ONLY topic they can talk about with me. As if I don’t hear about cancer every day. In every conversation. With each person I come in contact with. At least twenty times a day.
That’s where I crack. People mean well by asking about my mum and I understand they have a need to say something about cancer but then they move on and leave me standing on my own: one huge emotional volcano waiting to burst as soon as I get home and spending my night curled in bed crying because I am hurt, scared and alone and wished someone would ask, after they asked about my mum and talked about their general cancer topic and have ripped my heart out and taken all my positive thoughts away: but how are you feeling? How are you coping?
The idea of losing my mum hurts so much that I can’t breathe. It makes me physically and emotionally sick. If I were to lose my mum today, the most important person in my life would never experience the mile steps in my life: she’d never meet my future husband, she’d never be at the wedding, she’d never see my house nor meet my children. She wouldn’t be there when I’d be needing her the most.
I don’t have a significant other half to pour my feelings on. I don’t want to burden my feelings upon my mum or dad either because they already have a lot to deal with. But where they find support from me, my brother, my family and all our acquaintances there’s no one out there giving me words of support during my worst moments in all of this. When I have a tough moment, I have to deal with my depressing thoughts on my own and it hurts to be alone during this.
I wish people would look beyond the obvious and think about this more broadly. When there’s cancer in a family, the children (whether adults or not) are affected too. Reach out to them, give them a supportive hug, hold them.
Because they need it too.