Knowing cancer. I mean knowing. Feeling. Witnessing. Hearing. Imagining.
Trying to find others who know in this embodied way, too, and when you collide with each other in the world, knowing, yet needing to run away, run to the end of the earth, run to escape the sheer terror, the horror, the sadness, the fear, the loneliness that only these people share, reflect back, know. We know by knowing. We hurt for knowing. The world is cruel. That is how it feels, to know these stories. The world keeps spinning, people keep rushing to work. I am blindsided that something doesn’t stop, doesn’t slam in the face of this cancerous force, doesn’t grind the earth to a halt, won’t make the litany of pain at the edges of every community subside. I would do anything to make young cancer subside. Anything, and we are left with sheer powerlessness and a deep need for connection. Knowing is both the desperate need to know, to witness, to share a space with others who know and being unable to turn away from the edges or knowing together, unable to unknow, no matter how cold the air, no matter how fast the run, no matter how hard you squeeze your eyes shut. Young adult cancer is marching on.