I'll be taking part in the 2014 Cancer Society Relay for Life at the University of Otago with Team Unipol - if you'd like to support my team's efforts and make a donation to the cancer society, please click this link- this is a cause near to my heart.
I feel like whenever you tell people about cancer, it's that same reaction. Their voice goes a little funny, and they're all coo-ing all of a sudden, like I'm so sorry, but really they don't feel anything, it's this strange distance. Like when you learn about cancer and cancer biology and you have this weird feeling that it will never happen to you or anyone you know, and when it does, cancer is suddenly this real huge fucking thing.
Like you want to know everything but you can't stand knowing more. It's like a little knowledge is dangerous to your mental health because you know the chemo sucks and it makes people sicker, and that she's going to die and nothing will stop it.
And a year later you're back doing your advanced cancer biology and you hear it all again and it's like it never happened again.
Seriously, I have the same feeling of it could never happen to me. Never happen to anyone I know.
But it did. I just wrote dead instead of did.
It's been almost a year.
I can’t tell if he’s afraid. He’s been looking at me with this expression that hints that my lips have been moving but nothing has reached his ears. That, or he isn’t phased.
“Alright, Elle. Do what ya gotta do,” Liam shrugs. He gets up off his tattered couch and opens the front door, pulling a cigarette out of his pocket as he leans against the frame. The only indication that he might be nervous is the slow drag he takes on the cigarette.
Liam doesn’t need to smoke. Something I’ve often envied. When I used to smoke, I’d throw my whole force into it. My whole being would focus on when I’d have another smoke. I’d have sex just to have the cigarette afterwards. I’ve watched the way Liam picks up and drops smoking as he pleases over the years and felt a pang. I know I can’t pick it up again.
“Alright,” I reply, confidence (if a little feigned) in my voice.
“I’ll catch ya round.”
I pick up my bags and my shoulder brushes against Liam’s chest as I walk out the door into the glaring sun.
I'm in one of the best places I've been in my life. I'm studying something I love; double degree in French and Physical education, I'm managing my stress, I have an absolute passion for bellydancing, I have wonderful friends and family whom I love very much, and the future is confusing but I don't mind.