“I don’t want to sit anywhere close to the tv because of the radiation coming from it” declares a scared older woman with cancer in the chemo waiting area… “the chair your sitting on is also radioactive Ma” gruffly replies her rather insensitive daughter.
Yes I agree it is a bit extreme to be worried about a tv when your sitting in a room full of fluorescent lights, computers, and free wifi; but the poor woman has just had her world turned upside down and she’s terrified… She like the rest of us, just can’t explain why this happened to her… Deep down she probably blames herself, she thinks maybe she sat too close to the tv, maybe she didn’t wash her fruit enough, maybe it’s because of her nonstick cookware. All the things your daily life that you push to the back of your mind thinking “that’s silly I’m not going to get cancer” suddenly become a distinct possibility.
You can’t help but think of all of the things you should or shouldn’t have done. In reality, there are lots of people in the world who have lived a similar life as you and don’t have cancer. How do you explain the people who only eat vegetarian, organic whole foods… who go to yoga ever day and run 50 miles a week and have cancer. The problem is, somewhere in the back of your mind is this tiny scared irrational voice that is constantly trying to find some reason for predicament. If you can find the source of what caused your cancer, then you have the power to stop it. The thing is, you’ll likely never know. Its just some random hiccup in your body. There is no reason for it, life isn’t teaching you some grand lesson. Shit happens.
I hope at some point the daughter who is also most likely scared, can find some way to let her mother know that it isn’t her fault. She doesn’t deserve this and sitting near a tv is not going to change her cancer status. I hope that at some point after telling myself numerous times that this is not my fault, I can silence the tiny voice in my head that blames me for all the pain and hurt that I am causing myself, my friends and my family.
In reality, I’m not all that different from the woman afraid to sit near a TV. I have thown out all my nonstick pans and I’ve changed my shampoo and face cream to something paraben free. Sitting in a cancer hospital waiting room overhearing a conversation between a mother and daughter that seems so extreme, insensitive and bizarre, waiting to be injected with toxic drugs to prolong and maybe save my life. The thing is, when you examine the conversation it exposes the fact that regardless of who we are and how our fears are manifested, we are all just human beings, frightened by something we can’t control and can’t change.