I think I've just converted to membership in the Cult of Denial. A friend of mine, in a not-too-long ago email, referred to denial as her savior, or something along those lines. I wondered what she meant by that. Now I no longer wonder. I get it.
We're told to see denial as a negative, an avoidance of "the truth." As a chicken shit way out of dealing with the issues. Denial means all you've done is sweep the dirt under the rug. Run away from "reality."
Fuck that. There are about a million things well worth denying. Temporarily. . . or even forever.
For example, I can work like hell to deny the supposed implications of my currently skyrocketing tumor marker numbers and my annoying CT/Pet scan results (extensive diffuse bone mets, including a lesion at T4 spinal vertebrae), blah blah blah.
Will this denial be a bad thing? A cop out? A coward's choice? (BTW, I and my docs pretty much already knew the gist all of this, without having had all the tests. I just didn't know as many of the specific details, and details make it seem scarier. But nothing has actually CHANGED except that maybe it's growing faster again, no doubt because I've been off medications because of the rash and the prednisone etc. etc. -- the conundrum that has affected all my best laid treatment plans ever since last July.)
Oh dear Jane, friggin friggin bone mets CT Scan Pet Scan friggin friggin. I wonder what they will suggest you do next. But how do you FEEL?
I was reading today about Edward Said, one of my heroes -- a book by Tariq Ali called Conversations with Edward Said, and in the introduction he says, "Over the last 11 years one had become so used to his illness (he had leukemia)--the regular hospital stays, the willingness to undergo trials with the latest drugs, the refusal to accept defeat --that one began to think him indestructible. Last year, purely by chance, I met Said's doctor in New York. In response to my questions, he replied that there was no medical explanation for Edward's survival. It was his indomitable spirit as a fighter, his will to live, that had preserved him for so long..."
It's easier to stay in Denial if you don't have the tests, don't look at the reports, and clamp your hands over your ears and start singing loudly at the doctor's office when he gets to the parts about how to interpet the results.
But that's not always possible, so you have to make yourself strong enough to hold on to Denial -- even in the face of all those obstacles. Put it on a Pedestal. What the hell, spin around three times, do a quick tap dance routine, clap your hands, then bow down and worship it.