Friday, February 6, 2009

Who am I? More specifically, who am I now? by Sue Hendler

In today’s column in the Kingston Whig Standard, Sue Hendler writes about how cancer changes how we, and others, see ourselves. She interviews Susan Babbitt about what’s different for her since her diagnosis of sarcoma five years ago.

Sue’s article made me think about the changes in my own life since my own diagnosis. I’ve heard people say that they are "grateful for their cancer" because of all of the great people and opportunities it brought into their lives. I want to go on record as saying I am NOT grateful for the cancer (and I think Sue and Susan share that thought)!

However, I do think that I have taken a shitty situation and found a way to cope and even make my life better, as have so many other cancer patients. I’ve connected with good people and have worked hard to find meaning in the muck. The cancer hasn’t taught me anything or added to my life. But I have learned so much through the process.

My new identity is so much more than ‘cancer woman’. I hope that I’m a better person, not because of the cancer, but because of how I’ve faced the challenge. And I identify with Susan’s comment in the article, that she’s “in love with the day-by-day ordinariness of my temporary existence”.

If you would like to read other columns by Sue Hendler, click on her name below after "Labels".

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