Their reaction is always the same. They pause. Breathe in. Their voice drops and octave and they begin to say words as tears puddle in their eyes and they fight to hold them back. The words they say don't matter because you can't hear them anyway. All you can hear is the pain in their voice that you're causing and the fear screaming in your head, because you have cancer.
You want to push people away. You want to run. You want to hide. You want to be alone. But you can't, you need them and needing them hurts them more. It's a terrible cycle that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy but I forced it on the people I love the most.
I don't know if I can ever forgive cancer for making me hurt the people I love so much. Most of the time I bury those feelings and hold on tight to the good ones. The thankfulness that I'm so honored that I have that many people who loved me through it. The gratitude that I'm cancer free now. The excitement that each new day brings. I'm so thankful for so many blessings but occasionally I go back to those dark feelings.
So tonight, as I watch a convicted felon experience cancer and struggle with hurting people, not want to bother people with her problems, and be terrified, I relate a little too closely. Maybe she is a mobster, maybe she wasn't a great person, but we are the same at the core we are terrified people who don't want to hurt the people we love.
She lost her battle and I pray for the people who love her and for all the people who fight this battle and win and for their families when they lose and I thank God for the strength to persevere and the people who stand by fighters!