Vampires, Werewolves, Cancer Survivors…Oh My!
About three years ago I stumbled across a book in Barnes and Noble that I completely fell in love with after just skimming a few pages. Little did I know that opening this book would begin a month of marathon reading, and become the next big phenomenon to hit pop culture. The “Twighlight Saga” not only captured my undivided attention for hours upon hours, but an additional handful or so females became obsessed with the human and vampire love story as well.
My attachment to this saga started off as a simple love for vampires and similar folklore stories, which originally sparked in 1992 when I saw Luke Perry alongside Kristen Swanson staking vampires in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” the movie.
The love between Bella and Edward in “Twighlight” completely enthralled me. The fact that he could literally kill her in an instant, easily by accident, and she doesn’t even care just fascinates me. She loves him so much, that whatever pain and obstacle come with their love she is willing to face them, because to have him, and his love is worth all the pain in the world to her. I read all of the books and the love story simply captured me.
Last November I went to see “New Moon” in the theatre. The basis of this book/movie is that Edward feels Bella’s involvement in his life is just too much of a risk for her. It caused her too much physical and emotional pain, and it puts her in danger. In one of the first scenes of the movie I saw this story in an entirely new light. I related to Edward. I (post ovarian cancer diagnosis) related to these vampires more than imaginable.
The most painful and upsetting part about cancer, to me, is watching its affect on my loved ones. It kills me every single day to know my family, significant other, and friends are experiencing confusion, fear, anxiety, depression, sadness and worst of all pain because of me. And there isn’t a damn thing I can do to change it or even make it better. It literally tears my heart to pieces to watch the people I care so deeply about, experience all of these negative emotions simply because I am in their lives.
I have a handful of people who do choose to run the other way, as if I have my fangs out and up against their pulsing veins lying beneath their skin just about to suck them dry. And you know what; part of me doesn’t blame them. If I could run from cancer, I probably would. I think we all have a natural tendency to back away from something that could possibly eat us alive.
The thought of pushing everyone away and making the decision for them, to not deal with cancer crosses my mind on several occasions. I’m too selfish to ever make that choice. Because I need my loved ones in my life, so I can deal with the pain and suffering I experience myself. But man there have been two times now where I just so badly wanted to unselfishly look someone I care so deeply about in the eye and say “Run. Save yourself. I don’t want you to have to go through this too.”
I know now, that in one instance I should have gone with my gut and spoken those words, and meant them, because that person ended up running in the end anyways. And here I find myself again repeating those statements through my mind, but you know what, again I’m too selfish to push anyone I want by my side away. I’ve come to the conclusion that he knows what this battle entails, and it is his decision to face it with me. Although history often repeats itself, I have faith that with a different person it just might not. I can’t run from the fear of someone running from my fangs.
There are people like Bella out there. That will love me no matter the fear and pain that comes along with it. The happiness and joy that I bring to someone will be worth the many pains in the ass cancer brings to their life.
So I can choose to hide from those that care, or I can choose to conquer my fear of them running away. And I choose to conquer my fear. My cancer is a scary, unpredictable, and fearful obstacle, just as Edward’s thirst for blood, but there are people out there who find the fear worth it.
So to my fellow survivors, I know there are times where you feel like an absolute monster. And you just hope and pray and wish that all of the pain and suffering caused by your illness would just disappear, because it is heart wrenching to know you are affecting your loved ones in such a way. But the bottom line is THEY LOVE YOU! And if they are willing to stand by your side, and battle your cancer with you, you let them. If you push them away, you just might create an even more painful situation. And if someone runs, you are better off without them anyway.
*Many believe the theory that the creation of vampire came from the Porphyria diseases, which are a group of disorders, one being where the skin is ultra-sensitive to the sun, and is often treated with blood transfusions. I find no surprise in the fact that suck folklore characters might have been originated from diseases. Because I now find myself relating to immortal characters in books and films much more than human characters.