Saturday, July 3, 2010

"I Cant Remember"

Today I wanted to share a passage from the BRICKS for Young Adults Cancer Awareness and Resource Guide, that we put out in March of this year. The segment comes from the story of 28 year old Katlyn Basilone of Erie, PA, who was diagnosed with cancer while in high school.

There are still plenty of booklets available- people can request one by making a small donation via the paypal button below. Any amount is wonderful; we ask for donations only to off-set the cost of shipping, the booklets themselves are free.

"There are a few specks I remember when I first found out. A family doctor appointment soon followed my slight tumor-like finding. I sat on a table (or maybe it was a chair) when the nurse came in and spoke to me as though we were previously engaged in conversation, or that I had the slightest clue of what she was speaking. She cheerfully strung together words that sounded like, “You’ll lead a normal life someday,” and “I’ve been through it too.” Confusion washed into a piecing together of our crossed, unshared timelines. She later felt sheepish for the abrupt breaking of a young adult’s reality. I cried a lot of tears that day, and I remember those tears of confusion and change.

I remember everyone thinking I was so brave. I don’t think it was bravery to do what one must. I don’t remember cancer being much of my reality. Sure, I had lost my hair, and was called away for innumerable tests, surgeries, prescriptions, and runs to the little girls’ room. I know these things happened. I have a few pictures and scattered journal entries. Others validate me, or I may very well believe it all to have been a dream.

I don’t remember a lot, but what I do remember does not include a feeling of, “I can’t do this.” It was very much like an obligation I had to fulfill. Like the Sunday ritual of cleaning the family bar; no one wanted to do it. No one asked to do it. We all would loathe it if we were allowed. I am sure of this. No one ever got out of doing it. The more diligent you were at finishing a task Dad or Mum doled out, by finishing it well, the sooner you’d receive your ticket to freedom. Bitching wasn’t really an option. I guess that’s how my cancer felt, like it was not an option.

-Katlyn Basilone, January 2010

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