Savage Mask

“You are such a positive person. Everyone is drawn to your positive energy. You have already helped several patients that have wanted to talk to you. You would be a great help to others. You have handled the treatments and side effects so well.”

Dr. Cobos wants me to go to a cancer support group.

I should go. I have always tried to give back to others. Right now, I can’t be around negativity. I am barely holding on. I am using all the strength I have to keep this façade of strength in place. Dr. Cobos is amazed at my strength. I have never considered myself an actress but I am an award-winning actress.

Everyone is so proud and amazed at how I have remained positive and strong. Did I have another option? I don’t remember there being another option. Be strong or curl into the fetal position and cry. No choice in my mind. Negativity and self-pity kill. They eat all your reserves of hope for dinner.

I wore my strength like a badge of honor. This badge protected me. I was so strong that some people forgot I was going through chemo. It was easy for them to forget when I was running around with my Super Hero Wig pretending to have loads of energy. I was so strong that even some people in my family forgot.

I was so strong

so positive

…invincible.

Yeah, right.

I look back now at why I didn’t want to go to a cancer support group. They scared me. I asked if it was a place that people cried and felt sorry for themselves.

“Sometimes.”

I could have gone, just to see. See if there was a group that understood the fear I was hiding. I was afraid. Afraid they would see right through me. That would shatter this fragile mask I was wearing. This mask I had so savagely built. I threw up my wall and built my strength with anger. Why did I get cancer? It is not fair? I did everything right. Now I am a member of the Cancer Club – a club I never sought membership in. But I am a lifetime member.

Now they wanted me to go

…with my fear

…my anxiety

…my anger

to help someone else by giving them all the hope I had left.

I couldn’t.

I remember making that decision. I regret making that decision. I should have gone. Instead of taking my hope, I could have shared mine. If I had shared my hope, maybe more would have grown in my heart. I won’t ever know that now. I didn’t realize how much it hurt my soul when I didn’t try to help more people during that time of my life. The cancer patients that reached out to me were better prepared for what was to come because of my words – they told me that later.

If there is one person that reads my words and is affected positively, one person that I can help because of the experiences I have had. One person. Then it’s not too late.

That’s why I keep writing.

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