When I first wrote about having cancer it was a few years after my diagnosis when I knew I was going to survive. It took a long time before I was able to share my illness with people.
My reasons for writing were not to look attractive – there are easier ways to look attractive – nor to inspire any of you, nor to ask for support or donations; it was to kill my insecurities before they killed me.
A few days ago, after a blog post on surviving cancer, one of you who calls himself/herself a friend wrote the following:
“Social media has become an easy platform for people to live their own lies. And an easier platform for more people to believe those lies”
In his/her opinion “ugly people wear masks to look more attractive. Sick!”
It didn’t stop there, This same person decided to play the role of God on earth and save humanity from my lies which will destroy you all. So he/she sent an “anonymous” message to a certain magazine which had asked me if they could publish my story to inspire others, saying that he/she knows me personally and I never had cancer and he/she is sure of that.
So I was asked to provide names of doctors and medical reports to be published in the articles. I provided the name of doctors but refused to provide my medical reports for publication. I felt it was an unbelievable intrusion into my private sphere to have my medical records shown to everyone.
I know that person has no life and I don’t need to prove anything to any vindictive person.
What many of you don’t know about me is that I didn’t approach any media institute to write my story though I know many and I work as a journalist. I didn’t use my sickness to get anything. At this moment I have no job, I live somewhere else, I’m depressed and my family decided to abandon me for choosing a certain path in my life. So basically I have no one.
I really appreciated all the nice comments and private messages I got, but none of those messages helped me either financially or emotionally in real life. I never give medical advice but rather pointed people towards good doctors, organizations or even my personal trainer.
So I do not need to act like I am famous or that I know it all to be attractive. I am attractive to the people who matter to me without having to pretend to be anyone other than who I am. Except of course to that person who enjoys causing me harm, who pretends that he/she knows me well.
A person with cancer isn’t a person who must be helped. This kind of stigma can play a toxic role among people. That’s why no one says they have cancer. We do not want to be pitied. Cancer comes in many shapes and it is so many different diseases. Often we don’t know exactly what causes it, and this can lead to different interpretations of what brings it on and a lot of misconceptions. People with cancer don’t look or behave in certain way, and if they do not look emaciated and sick, that doesn’t mean they are lying.
To any of you, how do you know me personally? You and many people here know what I want to share, not less or more than this.
You made me feel shit trying to find logical questions (as my boyfriend said) for non logical attitudes. Is publishing pictures of me sick on Instagram or giving public updates about my therapy or asking for donations the only way to be respected? Is the only acceptable way for a cancer sufferer to act the one that makes them a victim? Is it unacceptable for a cancer sufferer to look and act just like you? Or do we have to be role models inspiring you? We are not defined by our illness and we do not need to conform to anyone’s idea of idea of how we should act or look other than our own. That is stigmatization.
But thanks for the lesson, next time you don’t need to be anonymous, because you are known to me. And I really hope that you feeling good about yourself right now.