I’m going to Die, and that’s Ok.

The Black Butterfly has wound itself around my liver. Its wings beat softly on the

tissue it’s yet to destroy.

They warn me I will go through stages, they are knocking, beating against my

carefully constructed defenses, but I wont let them in. They sit peripherally on my

Conscience, as I try to keep going, as I always have. As I always will.

I personify the cancer as a black butterfly because that’s how it comes to me in my

dreams. He is not ragged, he his beautiful! Big, glossy with white treble clefs

reversed on his wings.

Maybe I see him this way because unlike most, who feel the stereo type of

‘Cancer’ as ‘Death sentence’, I know that for him even to appear is a genetic

wonder in a toxic society .

Knowing that cancer forms from the oxygen which gives me life and energy.

Bouncing repeatedly against the telomeres (hairs on the edge of a DNA strand, which

stop it copying itself) And breaking them off so that the cells go wild reproducing

themselves attacking other cells in their new life, and in my case, forming themselves

into a black butterfly with white, reversed treble clef wings.

Sure, I am seeing it all, I’m trying. Bouncing between emotions and answers, that

Simple intrinsic intuition to survive.

I feel the first question threaten every day Why me? Why me?

Then brush it away like lint from my favourite jumper, but how long can this hold out


It wants to sooth itself in flashes of anger upon those I love, who cannot know. To

Those I don’t, who may have deserved this more than me. At least I see this now, this

unique dance for happiness that everyone pursues. It eluded me in my own illusion,

Until now, so caught up in my own dance. But they are all butterflies, coloured,

courting, dancing butterflies. Doing the best they can with limited resources.

But I let the anger hang round the edges of my psyche because it will do no good

elsewhere, better to store it up, save my strength, save myself.

There are other questions too, What did I do to deserve this? I don’t smoke or drink,

no vices, so to speak. I’m not the healthiest person, preferring to read and write than

exercise. But there is nothing bad I do, so WHY?

Why has my body withered so?

The chemotherapy takes my youth, they are goblins eating my cake. They have

feasted from the inside out! When I look in the mirror, she’s not me. Not the me I

remember, or what I feel I look like when I’m alone.

Friends and Family, ooooh they are the hard ones. They no longer share a ‘normal’ life

with me, the bickers and gossips and problems, because they see their problems as

small compared to mine. They don’t want to ‘tax’ me. This distancing makes me feel

as if I am already dead. The sympathy, the sadness in their eyes. Like it’s made whole

each time they see me, that it may be the last time. This truly, is more poisonous than

the cancer. Believe in me I want to scream, I’ll pull through! I am just as interested in

your lives, as I always was.

The exception- my Daughter- that strong willed little bitch. She doesn’t want to

understand, or share my pain or give sympathy. Her anger at my ‘giving in’ and

accepting a doctor’s time constraints and doses for life is palpable. She believes while

alive, you should just be living it. She has been chronically ill for most of her life,

danced with death and has known pain every day for 23 years.

She is the closest to me, it is the ones you love most, you hurt most. It is to her I made

the mistake of screaming

˜You don’t know what I’m going through, You don’t know what it’s like to be in


She had only smiled and turned away. I didn’t see her for weeks after that. Because

she had known pain all her life, but she had never, ever put it onto others the way

I put it on to her, She had never known sympathy or anything except for the yearning

of a ‘normal life’ a glowing strength within her to not quit, to never quit.

It was the turning point.

The point I choose to ‘live through this’ I am not existing, or waiting to die, my

bucket list expands and within that, the will to push on and through.

Finding it difficult to believe a Doctors concepts of my time bomb life span. I will

make plans for a future that may not be. Grasp them closely as an alternative source

of food for my black butterfly. Feed on my new dreams, creature, not my life force.

The learning curve of your wings are this: No one can know what I am going through

and I have no right to expect them too. This is a personal journey, a personal

experience and how I feel about myself is most important- there are moments of

weakness as the wings enfold me, but I will remain strong, I will not wither. I can not

surround myself with other cancer patients who will understand, because I feel that is

feeding the problem and at times like this, ignorance is bliss. I want to know what I

am capable of, not surrounded by the stages of what might be, of the degradation of

My health, mind and body.

Maybe, this reversed treble clef, black winged butterfly is exactly that, natures

beautiful anomaly, with a very, very limited life span.

Soon my butterfly will have to die.

Leaving me here, with my new dreams, new experiences, new confidence and new


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