Do I Deserve It?

Zine from the CancerGram 10 of 18, considering ideas that were on my mind through the second half of 2016.

Is that when the pessimism started? As the cancer situation clarified, it started to make sense. I felt that it explained some things about my life for which I couldn’t otherwise account.

Did I do this to myself? Did some god do this to me? Was this a punishment? Did I deserve it? I could feel the cancer rearranging me, my thinking, shifting my ideas about my life. It wasn’t a totally sudden re-ordering, it was gradual, but pronounced. It was a spiritual experience.

I realized that I was changing in ways that might not be good for my personality. I could feel it making me harder, more cynical, more suspicious. I started to notice things about my body, some shapes and sensations that were new. Was this the cancer? Was it eating me from inside?

I came to understand cancer as a kind of life. The same genetic malleability that allows for human adaptation also allows cancer cells to adapt and thrive in a variety of environments. The thing that was killing me was doing so by living. Cancer is life. This idea gave me some peace and understanding.