When I had my testicle removed, the doctors refused to let me keep it in a little jar. Which was probably pretty smart on their part. Because I swear to fucking Christ, the next person who tells me that a diet rich in leafy greens and condescending self-help would have prevented the whole thing would catch that severed testicle right in the face.
It would have been nice to know that I should have been putting “Eat, Pray, Love” into a VitaMix with a bunch of wheatgrass juice and drinking a big glass of it every day for a decade before I got sick. Instead, I ate right, exercised, and got sick anyway. I don’t think all the sunshine and yoga in the world is going to grow that sucker back.
I made this image about it last night. I’m not sure if it sends the message or not, but sharing it makes me feel better. This one’s for all the people who don’t want to turn their illness into a life-defining mission. It’s for everyone that just wants to get back to normal.
I don’t want to fight cancer — I just want cancer to fuck off.
I would like to clarify my position here a little bit, though. It’s not the actual acts of following a self-directed diet, exercise, meditation, whatever else program that bothers me at all. Pursuing a healthy lifestyle in the face of a life-threatening illness (either pre-emptively or after the fact) is probably a good idea.
Life is huge, weird and complex, too. We all have our own ways of coping. Feeling good is good for you, and most people would benefit from sleeping eight hours and eating less meat, more leafy greens. I’ve certainly cooled it with the booze, started eating better and cut out a lot of other unhealthy habits.
It’s really the presentation and attitudes that get me — the presumptuous belief that one size fits all and that if you get sick, it’s probably because you did something wrong. Everyone’s life and approach to their health is their own, and intensely personal. Blaming the victim is just appalling here, is all I’m trying to say.
That, and I hate inspirational cancer books.