When reality becomes too real

Chemotherapy. It’s a strange word, isn’t it? When I was younger, chemo only meant one thing: losing your hair. It meant going bald and having to wear wigs. I used to be so scared of getting cancer because then I’d have to get chemo, and then my hair would fall out. Looking back, I honestly find it pathetic how the idea of losing my hair frightened me more than the idea of getting sick. And sadly, I think that to a lot of (healthy) girls, chemo is still all about losing your hair.

These past few days, chemotherapy has gotten a whole new meaning. What used to be just another word for “going bald”, now means something else. It means hope. It means emotional strength. It means fighting an invisible battle. It also means holding back tears. It means worrying. It means pretending I’m fine when I’m not. It means trying to look at the bright side when the darkness seems overwhelming. It means not talking about it because I’m scared that if I open my mouth and say the words out loud, reality becomes too real, and there’s no turning back.

I don’t have cancer, but it was recently confirmed that a close family member of mine does. She’s starting chemo today, and I know there’s a long and difficult road ahead of her. I don’t believe in prayers, but I do believe in positive thoughts and wishes. So please send some her way.

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