Cancer Survivor Manifesto
June 3, 2009 by donnatrussell
“I am not a concept.”
Famous last words from Clementine, aka the glorious Kate Winslet in the best love story you’ve never seen, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Like Clementine, I too am not a concept, but I am sometimes treated like one.
I am a cancer survivor, but I am not brave. I’m chicken. That can be a good thing, though. I can be a very squeaky wheel. When you have cancer, even the smallest advantage counts.
I am a cancer survivor, but I will not make a better friend to you than someone who is not. Most likely I’ll be worse. I have been traumatized. I can be mean. I can find fault with almost anything you say or do. And you can’t get me on it, because I’m always on home base.
I am a cancer survivor, but I am not more spiritual than you or anyone else. You think because I’ve been sick I’m closer to God? How do know what I’ve been saying to God? Could be things that are unprintable.
I am a cancer survivor, not the embodiment of loved ones who’ve abandoned you in your time of need. I know it can feel that way. Sometimes it seems like everyone — even a casual acquaintance — who walks away is deserting you. You want to grab a leg and plead: Take me with you to your world.
I am a cancer survivor, but I can not make up for the life that once stretched out before you. I realize I am a poor substitute. But so are you, for me.
I am a cancer survivor, but I am not civic minded. I do not want to bake cakes. I do not want to ask people for donations. I do not want to attend meetings in windowless rooms.
I don’t know how long I’ve got. I just want to be. More than the most zen monk or holiest priest you’ve ever met, I just want to be.
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Clementine tells her lover she is not a concept. She’s just a screwed-up girl looking for a little peace of mind.
Amen, Clementine. Who more than you deserves it? Who more than me?
Posted in Cancer, Film | Tagged cancer survivor, eternal sunshine, kate winslet | No Comments