(Written sometime last year.)
Laying in the dark, I was asked a few questions about my cancer. How life threatening is this recurrence? Why am I deciding to refuse chemo?
I swallowed the tears in my throat and willed my voice to work. Saying I don’t want to lose my hair is something tangible. Something easier said than simply, how terrified I am. I don’t want to be the sick girl. Because somehow if I lose my hair I am that much less of a woman, that much less beautiful, that much less desirable. I say this as I lay next to a man who has enjoyed my body and my sex. A man who has run his fingers through my hair while inside of me. A man I wish would never look at me any different than he does now.
The conversation makes me realize how lonely I have been. The topic of conversation was not something I spoke on with too many people. In fact, those closest to me didn’t know much. Some how, the less I talked about it, the less it seemed to be real. “Not talking about it doesn’t make it any less real, Rachel,” he said. I know. The tears run from my eyes in silence and I pray that he can’t see them in the dark. I blink them away and hope he’s asleep but my mind does not rest. I am 28 years old. Statistically, I have a 31percent chance of surviving over 5 years. Although I am not a statistic, I would be lying to you if I said I was not terrified. In fact, I lie every time I say I’m ok.
You know what though? That conversation made one less lonely girl…at least, for the night. And for that, I am so grateful.