The silence of cancer

The silence of cancer

Cancer silences and isolates,  this is why I have so much to say.

I am fortunate to have a wonderful support network of family and friends who all take their time to make sure that we are loved and supported.  I have people to laugh, cry and just be with.  Yet, cancer can silence.  At times, cancer is all-consuming, it affects every waking moment whether we like it or not, but I don’t really want to talk about it with friends and family.

In fact, when I am with family or friends it is the last thing I want to talk about.  Instead, I want to talk about life.  Life is wonderful, people are wonderful and that’s want I want to talk about.  I want to hear about everyone’s lives, their jobs, their school, their friends, their ups and their downs.  I want to laugh, joke and smile at the absurdity of life and everyday dilemmas.  It’s difficult though, as all I have churning in my head is blood counts, medication, the next treatment schedule and whilst I try really hard to engage in conversations I often feel myself fading into the bubble of cancer.

It is getting easier though because of writing.  I clearly need to talk about it but the conventional form is not for me at the moment.  Talking about it in a normal sense, would mean having to consider my feelings and emotions randomly.  There is no real way to predict which emotions may come to play during a conversation about my child’s cancer, this is the danger of conventional conversation.  It leaves me quite vulnerable and exposed  to feel something that I had no idea was coming.  When my nerves are already quite frayed and tensions abnormally high this is a calamity waiting to happen.

With writing it is different.  I can dictate where I go and what to explore at my own pace. The feelings and emotions that arise are almost predictable as I am in complete control of the conversational journey.  Every piece I write touches on a new raw emotion but it is for me to take it at the speed I want to.  I can tickle the subject matter to get a little taste of how I feel or delve right in; it is truly liberating.

It is like each piece I write, releases a tiny bit more space in my mind for life rather than cancer.  To realise this has been a relief.  The writing has clearly become an important aspect of accepting where we are, what has happened to this point and where we are going.  It means that I am at the stage where I am able to contemplate more than the diagnostics of cancer but also our life.  My mind is aching for a bigger picture beyond leukaemia.

The silence of cancer is slowly ebbing away.


  • flamesparrow
    Posted at 17:34h, 29 April Reply

    I’ve always found writing to be an incredible release. It doesn’t matter if no-one ever sees it, but that brain emptying clears so much. I suck at talking in real life, I stand in the playground and speak to no-one as I struggle at social interaction (incredibly awkward moment last week with “you need to meet X mum!”… I suspect “seemingly I need to meet you” wasn’t the right opener), but put a screen there, or a pen and paper, and the twisty corners of my mind just fall onto the page.

    It not only helps clear the space, but to put the thoughts in order so they can be dealt with in chunks.

  • Mo
    Posted at 23:46h, 29 April Reply

    Your beautiful eloquence Kerry is once again giving voice to so many people’s unspoken experiences.

    It’s wonderful that you have friends and family who you can laugh and cry with and so admirable that you still take an interest in other people’s lives but I can understand that even with all of these outward expressions there is always a shadow in the background, a feeling in the pit of your stomach that never goes away and waking with a feeling of fear that for a few seconds you can’t put a name to – yes, an isolation which holds you in “It’s” control.
    But through these wonderful blogs with a tickle (love that) or a full on delve into your feelings you are taking back that control and clearing a space in your head for opening yourself to a life alongside of cancer and not consumed by that shadow of cancer and showing so many others the way. Wishing you peace ? Xxx

  • Marie-Celine
    Posted at 08:48h, 01 May Reply

    Yes! You completely have it here! Nobody understands unless they’ve been there themselves. And childhood cancer is so different to adult cancer, so talking to a cancer patient is quite different to talking to a cancer parent xx

  • Pauline Walbrin
    Posted at 05:09h, 06 May Reply

    You are a very brave lady with a wonderful network of people around you and of course a very brave son I can only wish the very best outcome for your son you and your family lots of love to you all xxxxx

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