1) You are sick. You have an incurable disease. You are in the fight of your life. All the happy images of cancer you’ve seen on TV? Forget them.
2) You will be tired. You will be sad. You will be irritable. You will feel guilty for being a bad parent/friend/coworker.
3) You will feel lazy and unfocused. You will find that your old interests now seem like chores.
4) You will hear lots and lots of advice on how to beat cancer. Unless that advice is coming from an oncologist, ignore it.
5) You will make people nervous. You will lose some friends. You will miss them.
6) You will miss yourself. You will miss the life you had before cancer.
7) You will make new friends. You may not love them the way you loved your old friends. You may not even like them. But you will find comfort in the way they look you in the eyes.
8) You will wonder why “support” doesn’t feel very supportive.
9) You will be afraid — really afraid — perhaps for the first time in your life. You will feel like you’re sleepwalking in a nightmare.
11) You will dig in your heels. You will entertain the notion that you can stand your ground against cancer. But after you’ve seen a few friends die, you will begin to understand what our ancestors knew too well: We have little control over the forces of nature.
12) You might get lucky. I did. But no matter what happens, you will find peace. Not acceptance, because nothing about cancer is acceptable. Peace, because you still have life, and where there’s life, there’s love.