As is the case for many people affected by breast cancer, this disease has claimed my trust.
I don’t entirely trust my body. It has betrayed me and can betray me again. I sometimes reside in hell, where aches and pains and the scary results of a bone scan assail me with fears of recurrence. Prior to cancer I believed if I ate healthy foods and exercised, I would prevent disease.
How wrong to lull myself into a false sense of complacency.
Luckily, I have found swimming. And that has restored some sense of trust in my own body.
I no longer delude myself that I’m a “survivor.” I don’t trust that word. Now I know better. I now know that cancer can metastasize at any time and in any number of years from now.
I don’t trust corporate sponsors raising money for breast cancer “research” and awareness campaigns. Yeah, right.
I’m skeptical of the media’s many claims of what causes cancer and what can help prevent it. I can’t believe sound bites.
I really hate admitting this, but I don’t always believe my doctors. I want to, and I do a lot of self-talk about their high level of expertise, but I’m aware they don’t know everything. One of my former doctors had told me that I had reason to hope I’d be cured, but how can I trust what he said?
There’s no cure for this disease.
I don’t trust myself in waiting rooms. Every time I’m in a waiting room, I think about dialing 911 to emergency-transport me out of the hospital. Other times, I just feel like running away, getting into my car, and slamming on the accelerator to get the fuck out of this place as fast as I can. But of course I don’t. I stay at the doctor’s like a good little lamb.
I don’t trust that I look good. I don’t believe the cliché that my scars are my “battle wounds” and that I should be proud of them. Instead, I loathe my body because it wasn’t the one I was born with. I am gradually learning to accept my body, but the scars are a daily reminder of how much I can’t trust. And in reality how cancer has ripped me literally to shreds and then I was put back together again.
Maybe I should re-read Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.
I feel information overload about all the information out there about cancer. I can no longer cope with hearing about all this material. Which sources can I rely on?
Cancer has thrust me into a world of unknowns; I can no longer believe that things happen for a reason. Instead, I believe that things happen randomly and by chance.
I can’t trust that a positive attitude and faith alone can keep one safe.
I no longer trust my dreams for the future because I realize, all too painfully, that I might not have a long one. My pre-cancer self felt optimistic; I had a bright future, but right now, in this moment, I can only live in the present because I’m not so sure the future is there for me.
But, then again, the future is uncertain for all of us. This is part of the human condition. I must embrace what lies ahead, rather than recoil from what lies ahead. And I do trust myself to try to enjoy each moment of what’s left of my life.
All I can do is try.
Have you had trust issues related to a medical condition?
Please feel free to share your personal stories of a time of trust or distrust.
Tags: breast cancer, breast cancer and trust, fear of the unknown