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An excerpt from my work-in-progress: Today cancer, tomorrow the world

July 7, 2012

“I couldn’t go through what you’re going through,” some people said to me as I endured chemotherapy. “You’re so positive.”

You’re thinking you couldn’t go through having catheters in your back, walking around with urine bags on your legs, going through, losing weight and your hair? And did you say I’m so positive? I’m not a battery in the neutral corner of pluses and minuses. My pulse is a charge. It doesn’t take sides. I remain close to how life has shaped me, and cling to my sculpted moments–they’re not set in stone, they are liquid, and I drink deep, for it is a powerful juice that’s my great protector, Keep your positive comments to yourself. Positive, nothing. I’m fighting for my life! There is nothing positive about fighting for your life. You say you couldn’t go through what I’m going through? Well, when the Big C is on top of you with its knees on your chest, and it has one of your shoulders down on the mat, and your other shoulder is just a quarter-inch a way from being pinned to your death. You will really know the answer within that quarter-inch if you can go through what I’ve been through. That’s when you’ll find out if you can rise to the challenge and fight for your life or not. Some people get knocked down, submit and let their shoulder drop that final quarter-inch, but it doesn’t have to be cancer that defeats them, it could be losing their job, their home, their whatever—they have a lot of whatevers. They couldn’t go through with it because they didn’t have a life to fight for. But in that tiny moment I’m filled with hate, driven by a full-on creature desire to lunge and destroy any force that put me in this position. I summon up everything I have to heave The Big C off me. I will viciously pulverize the Big C. I will slam The Big C down, pounce upon it and rake my nails through its soulless, shredding it. I will growl and howl with all my life has given me to survive. But there’s nothing positive about this fight to live. It’s a will that beyond it and something else entirely. And, trust me, you won’t know if you’re willing to go through what all cancer patients go through, until that very moment when the foul breath of The Big C is upon you. And I can guarantee that when you’re there, you won’t feel positive.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Laureen permalink
    July 7, 2012 6:42 pm

    True words Fred …..One of my favorite moments in ‘We Are Victors’ was one gal at the end who said she filled her mind with positive thoughts so the negative had no room to get in…..I could relate to that…when your only weapon is your essence of self,you find out just how strong you really are! But the truth is , you’ve got to get down and dirty to win this battle!!!!! Hats off to you!

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