Writer, researcher, music lover, cancer survivor with CMMRD ("double" Lynch syndrome)

Tag: bowel cancer

A message from a friend

I received an amazing message today. It might not sound quite so amazing to other people, but it has made me feel so happy and empowered and excited. I was talking to my friend about all the things I want to do – travelling, different and unusual things, spontaneous things – and this was his reply:

“You beat fucking cancer there is fuck all on this planet you can’t do!“

I hadn’t even mentioned cancer to him but he straight away tapped into why I want to do all this stuff, without me even having to say anything. He got me, and he said exactly what I needed to hear. And now I feel so empowered, and strong, and happy and excited. That’s the reason he’s my bestie. I’ve written it down and taken a screenshot so I can look at it and remember, and I hope his words never lose their effect. Just amazing. And what’s more is he believes it, and he’s made me believe it too. What a great day.

A Rap

I found a rap I wrote two years ago! The only rap I’ve ever written, in fact. So I thought I’d edit it and post it here – edit it because it was a bit rough, and post it because even though it was written two years ago I still feel more or less the same. Talk about lack of progress!

The rap is about something that I write about quite a lot – more for my own sanity than for anything else. The extremely short summary is that in 2010 I had my bowel removed due to bowel cancer, and since then I’ve found out that there is something in my family called Lynch syndrome, which is a hereditary condition that makes it more likely that a person will get certain types of cancer at some point in their lives. Cue plenty of screening. On the face of it, reading this potted summary, maybe it sounds like it should be no big deal – I had the offending organ whipped out, everything has been okay since, and the whole genetics situation is being monitored. It’s not that simple. Sometimes – not all the time – it’s really hard to deal with, and I struggle with fear, anxiety, flashbacks, and on top of all that, judging myself for it. I’m trying to work on that last one. So, I write.

I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve been wrestling with whether to shut up and try to forget about it and avoid thinking or talking about it, or to accept that it’s now a part of me and the way I define myself as a person, and be okay with that. I’m trying to do the latter, because it’s going to stay with me whether I like it or not, so better to control it and own it than to make myself feel bad about the way I feel. Yes, I feel like this. Yes, this is me now, and yes, this is how I express it. So here’s the rap:

I’m a little bit more Santa’s grotto than ghetto,
‘Til you see the thoughts in my head I find so hard to let go,
So many feelings I can’t control in my mind’s shadow,
The darkest crevices are reserved for those dark demons
That raise their heads, race out, take over, there’s no freedom
For anything else to enter when everything else is devoured,
All peace of mind eaten even after all this time,
Maybe I exaggerate, maybe I just want people to know,
Maybe if other people think about it too – maybe then I’ll let go. 

It’s taken all this time just to open up and own it,
I’ve had all the encouragement in the world to clam up and not show it,
I don’t know what people think, maybe I should have outgrown it,
But I gotta talk about it cuz I don’t know what else to do with it,
Where I do put this thing, put it in a box, hide it out the way?
I’d just get up and open it, stare at it every day,
Well what would you expect, if you went through what I did?
Would you just pick yourself up, say ok, never mind, or would you hide?
Would you try so desperately to get rid of all these thoughts,
Wear your body out, I don’t know, take up sports?
I don’t punish my body enough for what it did to me,
Get up on the treadmill and sometimes just feel like screaming,
“You did this to me”, these scars, although I learn to love them,
I really wish they were gone, wish they had never come to be,
Wish you had never visited me,
I wasn’t expecting this, one in three but never happening to me,
First you take my brother, if you think you’re gonna take me too you’re wrong,
Rid me of a sibling I’d never even known, never will know, will never understand
All the pain of my family like I’m just an outsider,
Do you remember when – no
He always used to say – no
Shut up, I can’t hear this, all the things they know, I can’t listen to,
So come on and tell me what I’m supposed to do when you try coming for me too,
I just punish myself, punish my body for failing me,
Even though I dig these scars eventually, they make me me,
On second thought, I don’t always mind this, gotta say I’m getting used to it,
Found my cross to bear, sure makes me angry but I’ll take the hit,
Don’t know what I’d do if it happened again, the same I did the first time round,
People say I’ve been so strong and brave, I didn’t let it drive me underground,
But what else do you do? I didn’t do a thing you wouldn’t,
I don’t see what other options there were, I couldn’t
Imagine it going down any other way
I don’t have super human powers, it just ended up this way,
Just by luck, by chance, there’s no fate or destiny,
No miracles or oh, this was all just meant to be,
I’ll take my pride and walk away, take this as a part of me,
Show everyone what I’ve been through and I don’t care who sees,
Maybe it’s attention seeking, maybe I need an outlet,
But since it’s sticking with me I won’t let anyone else forget.

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