1. Nothing prepares you for that call. You question reality and whether a misdiagnosis has been made. Denial kicks in with such brutality, you suddenly become a PhD in oncology.
2. The conspiracy theory - does the world actually have a cure for cancer? And it’s just been hidden away in a box, along with Area 51, 9/11 and everything else that’s controversial. A cure would put big pharma out of business. You become obsessed with finding, and subsequently distributing a cure; from asking the Universe (as per ‘The Secret’) to experiment with quasi legal drugs.
3. Visitation: you look ok... you sound ok... so what’s wrong? If you’d never had those tests, we’d all still be living in subliminal ignorant bliss.
4. Acceptance. Reality starts to kick in, and then thoughts around funerals, wills and what will my mother/father/sister do? How will they cope? Thoughts about your own pain and mechanisms to handle this dissipate to make room for loved ones who will suffer on the front line.
5. The treatment. When I saw my father after his first two rounds of chemo, I crumbled. The strong resilient man who had raised me from birth, who had the answers to everything, had no hair and was weak and fragile. Denial still loiters in the shadows. But reality is a far stronger contender, and - through sobs and begs for a miracle - you unwillingly accept what is to come.
About Victoria Cope
Victoria is an Executive Assistant working in Pharmaceuticals, specifically in cancer T cell re-engineering. Her interest in Life. Death. Whatever. stemmed from questioning her own mortality. She loves animals - more so than people - and after a lifetime of turbulent relationships, is now engaged to her soul mate.