By this, I mean this.
On one hand, I really admire her attitude. It's similar to the attitude John and I had: you just have to keep on living.
On the other hand, I'm listening to her interview with Ann Curry on Today, and I just can't quite get beyond this "cancer sucks, but my life is better because of it!" "I called myself a survivor from day one!" "I created a posse of 'Cancer Gals." "You can't let it define you." "I married my editor . . . it's a cancer love story."
A fucking cancer love story?
I suppose I'm just jealous that four years after getting a Stage IV, incurable, non-treatable diagnosis, she's still gorgeous and vibrant and married. That's a big part of it.
But there's something that runs deeper for me. There she is with Ann Curry, talking about how once she got her diagnosis, she started eating healthier food, being more present in the day-to-day, and not taking life for granted. I don't think that attitude is so out of the norm. She's waving her burdock root around talking about how healthy food and good friends and family are keeping her going, helping her manage her disease. Look, kids! You can get a Stage IV cancer diagnosis and hardly feel a thing! Just eat some good food and embrace life and everything will be great!
It's not that simple. John ate healthy food (although he didn't always keep it down). We could not have had a better support system. And if working every day, traveling all over the place, buying a house, having twins, and sharing a love I never thought I could feel is not embracing life, then I don't know what is. But I do know all too well that sometimes THAT'S NOT ENOUGH.
Yes, I think she has the right attitude. I also feel, though, that the reality for most people who get a similar diagnosis is not so pretty. There's an air of false hope and saccharine sentimentality to it all that I find grating. I mean, the book is touted as a "girlfriend's guide to kicking cancer tail." Come on! It's not that I want her "cancer adventure story" to have an unhappy ending. I'll just be curious to see what happens when the going gets really tough. Keeping that attitude is one thing when you're still feeling pretty good. When you feel like utter ass and your body is giving out on you, it gets a lot harder.
There's also something to her tone that implies that you are at fault if you die. You didn't do enough. You didn't take charge. Again, I know all too well that you can do everything and still come out the loser. Any implication to the contrary calls up a primal anger in me that I find hard to tame.
I suppose I'm being uncharitable. It's not nice to pick on a girl who has been told that she's going to die. And I don't feel like I've quite pinpointed what it is about all this that bugs me, other than the jealousy I feel that she's still here and John isn't.
If nothing else, Kris and I can agree on one thing: Fuck Cancer.
See lots of interesting comments on this subject over here, on I Blame the Patriarchy. (Thanks, YT, for the tip to go visit Twisty!)