Saturday, March 19, 2011

When not believing is more important than believing

There are times with cancer when the world of belief stands on its head - when it becomes more important for some people to not believe, than it is to believe.
Belief is such a powerful force, it can move mountains - and some say, destroy cancer.
So when you begin to suspect that the cancer is returning, when the breath comes harder and the pain is more noticeable, you desperately don't want to believe what you fear.
And those who love you, urge you to not believe it. For they fear that the more you believe the cancer has returned, the more likely it is to do so...
Belief is, after all, such a powerful thing.

'You don't have to believe it's the cancer, it could be a million and one other things'.
This I am told, and this I understand
What we disbelieve can form us just as much as what we believe can.

But belief is not a magic wand to deny truth with. The one thing that I find is necessary, to live with, rather than suffer all this - is truth.
My body needs me to be aware of it in order to care for it. I cannot 'not believe' in what it is telling me.

I'm finding the isolation that comes with this particular stage in cancer quite profound.
After such an obvious time of remission, it is impossible to speak without betraying the belief of someone I love, that the cancer is still stable, and so it is impossible to share the pain I am in, and find comfort unless I am prepared to cause pain first.

I need my life to be like that of everyone else - a matter of fact - not belief.
It should not matter what I believe about the cancer - it either is, or is not stable.
The scans will tell us.
Meanwhile, surely what does matter is whether I believe in life,  not death, in hope  not despair, in joy not sorrow?

I believe in me - a child of God - who happens to have cancer.
I don't believe the cancer part is the most important part about me!