Cancer is Crap: There Be Dragons
July 15, 2009 4:16 PM
In a recent e-mail my aunt referenced the old mapmakers who, when faced with uncharted territory, used to write “There be dragons.” That’s how it feels as we wait for results from my bone & CT scans. Scary, unknown, and forbidding. I just find myself hoping there aren’t very many dragons.
Then, just when I was about to post this, I read two comments that I had missed in response to my “The M-Word” post. This is an excerpt from one:
I never in a million years dreamed this would happen to me….never ever expected that the monster would be inside me. Cancer was so not in my plans-I’ve been fighting to have my life back since last October…I may win this battle, but my innocence and my fertility have been sacrificed to the dragon. I am deeply thankful for everyday and every kindness and I know what every wish will be from here on out and now that I’ve met fear for real-I know what not be afraid of…and what to be – so I’m training and arming myself for the next battle, whenever it may come…next time I will be waiting outside the gate, sword drawn. (Although let’s hope it’s more like laser blasters)—posted by Jules
(Thank-you for the comment in its entirety, Jules. My friend Eden asked, “Do you just cry your face off every time you read the comments on your blog??” I do. I cry my face off. Total waterworks. But in a good way.)
OK so, kind of a creepy coincidence that both Jules and I were doing the dragon associative imagery thing – but also very comforting and strengthening to picture myself standing at the gate, sword drawn.
Comforting, and then (because my imagination is about as sophisticated and easily contained as an untrained puppy) it descended into a nerded-out Dungeons-and-Dragons type fantasy, as I pictured all my friends and family and all the “sisters” in a Lord of the Rings-meets-Braveheart type scene: everyone armoured-up and ready for battle outside the gates of Mordor, wielding gigantic swords, faces painted, thumping at their chests à la Mel Gibson meeting the British army… I know I’ve cross-pollenated my genres but good god did I chuckle. Honestly, just the vision of my mom sporting chain-mail while trying to look menacing with a sword that’s way too heavy for her* — this alone is worth the drive to Middle Earth any day.
So thanks Jules for making me cry and laugh all at once – and for giving me some good positive spin on my “there be dragons” fear of the unknown. Let’s hope the dragons aren’t too numerous or too ravenous, and when it’s all over they’re just a heap of scales and claws and bad smells at our feet.
* Yes, mummy, I know: No sword is too heavy for a mother protecting her child. I love you too.