Thursday, 31 May 2012

My Announcement To The World

A little bit about myself: I'm a really private person. I don't know whether to say I'm a proud person or not, but definitely private. I mention the 'pride' word because I hate showing myself as vulnerable, or weak. I hate asking for help unless it's really something I can't do alone. This story is one where I feel: weak, vulnerable and embarrassed.

On 12 February 2012, I celebrated my 30th birthday. It's a big thing, having to tick a different tick box when completing surveys or filling in forms. I am starting the 4th decade of my life. The next day, I saw a doctor who had organised various tests in the previous weeks, and she and I shared the unfortunate and potential awkward circumstance, where she tells this patient some really bad news, and I get told I have cancer. At least, I think that's how it was for her.

"Mr Perez, we have received the results from the scans and we believe you have cancer."
"Oh...I take it, this is a bad thing?"

The doctor blinked several times, frowning with confusion.

"Yes, Mr is."

Another little bit about myself: comic relief relieves. Maybe it's a coping mechanism. Maybe that's really how I am. But when I was told I had cancer, I wasn't surprised. I wasn't shocked. I didn't even feel like crying. All I could think of at that moment, was "What can I say to lighten the mood?"

When I left the doctor's office, I went straight to work. It was another regular day. Did my job. Then I'd get home, jump on the computer, play a few games, catch up with a few Facebook friends, then into some light research. Biopsy, check. More "regular days". Follow-up appointments, check. This continued for a few more weeks, until my doctor says she wants to give me medication.

It's now at a point where I had to tell my manager what's up. She cries at the news. All I could say was "It's nothing major, it's just cancer." She gives a burst of chuckles at my comic relief, but she still walks away, knowing it's a big deal.

Like I said, I'm a really private person. Maybe prideful too. But I am feeling weak, vulnerable and embarrassed. I feel weak because I'm no longer able to do the things I used to do - be a productive worker, enjoy what I do in my spare time (I can't even go to the driving range anymore :(), I have lapses in concentration and memory. I feel vulnerable because I value my privacy, and now everyone is going to know that I'm struggling against something rather important. I'm scared that when I beat this, that I can't be who the same person on 12 February 2012. And I feel embarrassed, because I now am relying on others, more and more, every day. I am losing my capacity to be self-sufficient, because I am no longer able to lift a lot of things with my left arm.

So there's my announcement to the world. I have cancer, in my left arm and in my head. I have broken the dark tinted glass walls of my privacy and pride. Maybe I won't regret this later on, because maybe it will help my struggle. 

Another little bit about myself: am feeling weak, vulnerable, embarrassed.

EDIT: Correction made, as suggested by my friend, Bryan. Cheers mate :D :D :D