Those were the exact words Kevin told me years ago. Having cancer and living with it is one thing. But there is one thing that all of us who are struggling will agree on this. Feeling alone all the time.
There are people that we love like our love ones, family and friends there to support us. But is it really enough? Once, I thought that it would be. But it isn't. Before Kevin told me this, I always thought I wasn't the support group kinda person. But he was right. The more I deny that, the more lonelier I get. But when is it exactly that you'll let yourself tell yourself that it is enough? No doubt our love ones, family and friends will be there for us, but that doesn't count. The people who understand the language you are speaking does make that difference.
The best of ways I can say is surround yourself with the people who can handle it. Because it is a lot to handle. Yes family and friends may be empathetic towards what you are going through. But sometimes, when they are helpless and when they kept silent, that is when the loneliness haunts you. Sometimes, one of the reasons why I don't write much about my cancer is because, it is so hard to put yourself out there.
Future is like a fantasy to us, because we cope and fight to live on everyday. Answering the question "How are you?" Is the hardest thing you could find the right answer for it. You live in a world where everything you do is at arms length. And that distance let you feel safe. But the longer this goes on, that loneliness will crawl into you and eventually, giving up seems to be a good option.
Sometime nearly 2 years back, I remembered it was tough. After chemotherapy, My body was in septic shock. Rashes, bruises, and i looked like I was burned. I was in pain, and no one around me could understood what state I was in and what was the thing I wanted best for myself. Obviously I turned a corner from that episode, but the one person who understood me was there with me all the way. I wouldn't have made it without him if I was honest. He didn't had cancer, but he is living in a way that he could relate and handle. To live with something everyday that you wished you never had to begin with.
For some reason, I needed that support and it helped me so much that I couldn't describe how thing would be if I hadn't have that source to hold on to. But I realize in Malaysia, there aren't much of a support system that people who are struggling to have this grip. Not just the people who have cancer, but also those who are living with terminal condition. It kept me thinking how things would be for them and how hard it is for them to wrap their heads around what's happening. Even I feel the effect that it could put on you. Most of the time, I just wanna be left alone. And in my case, lying in the bath tub was one of the ways to make me feel safe. But this doesn't make it right. There is so much I wanna do, but I know I just can't do it by myself. But where do I begin? Do I wanna just put on a blind eye and let it slip? I really don't know.. But with my condition right now, there sing much I could do either ways.
Don't feel ashame who you are telling when. You'll have to give yourself time to wrap your head around it. And never deny the support system. When a person who doesn't have cancer asked you "are you ok?", you know that it is different from a person who speaks your language. Finding myself to forgive my cancer, and trying to make sense of why is this happening to you is the hardest thing you'll ever do. When I wasn't ok, I just didn't wanna answer to a question like a friendly "how are you?" Cause you know it will be a lie to begin with.
In my American Cancer Society family, Shae, with breast cancer, Vincent with lymphoma, Gerald with Leukemia, it makes it easier. And when Kevin move on from his cancer, this was his legacy. In the end, it doesn't matter that Kevin couldn't save himself or the world. The legacy of his words was never about weather or not he could cure cancer. It was about the community he created with the people who are struggling. With his support, he helped a lot of people feel a little less... alone.