Why do I wince when someone says: ‘I’m sorry to hear about your illness?’ I can’t buy that. Some part of me revolts. I guess it is the deeply healthy part? I looked into the Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary and its pocket companion to explore the difference between ‘illness’ and ‘cancer’. It seems to me that an illness is a particular ‘state of being diseased’. Cancer is more an intrusion on your normal state of health. It has a discernable identitywith which you can have a relationship that is somehow separate from your healthy being. Sure it can take you over and cause disease, in which case you can be in a ‘state of being ill’. At this stage of my process however the cancer does not seem to be out of control. It does potentially exist as something that can spread, regroup and grow. Still this possibility puts me in a relationship with guerrilla cells rather than makes me an ‘ill’ person. Is it just the fighter in me that is keeping my being separate from my cancer? Am I simply in denial because I refuse to let go of my life? Why do I refuse to be ‘ill? I do refuse. Don’t be sorry for my illness – be happy for my healthy being.
Am I ill?