I went to the doctor to request a test for prostate cancer. My dad had it. My eldest brother had it. I was of an age to have it. Catch it early and they can treat it, I was told. Find out, my family urged. I need to know, my wife said. So here I was.
”Do you really want to be a victim to cancer?”
It wasn’t a question I had expected from a trained physician whose sole purpose was to keep me healthy. So we talked.
If a test comes back (indicative of a) positive, it does not mean cancer – further tests would be needed – and if those tests confirmed “something” … was I aware that postmortems indicate that approx 50% of males die without realising they have prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is that common – and that benign – in the male population.
The doctor’s question now made sense.
If the test showed “something” – if further tests indicated I had “something” – if I underwent treatment and monitoring … I might never have needed it. Yet we would all live expecting me to die. My family … my work and work colleagues … every medical form I filled-in … every facet of my life would be affected … every relationship … every decision … every day.
“Do you really want to be a victim to cancer?“
No – but nor did I want the assured frostiness that would follow if I didn’t take the test (it came back negative).
Being “a victim” is always in the same sentence as something “really bad”. Usually life- threatening. Never with the everyday, good intention, normal living stuff. But it can be …
Do you really want to be a victim to … ? Being a certain faith. Being a certain socio-economic group. Being a certain set of beliefs. Being a certain kind of person. Living a certain kind of life. Agreeing with certain people just so they accept you. Behaving a certain kind of way so you are accepted. Being a control freak (who just has to be a control freak).
I think the victim mentality is far more prevalent than we are taught. Because we are taught that we should be in control. But what is “being in control”? And when does “being in control” mean I become a victim of (my own need to be in) control … ?
My family … my work and work colleagues … every form I filled-in … every facet of my life would be affected … every relationship … every decision … every day.
Sitting in that doctor’s surgery that day gave me something I never expected: a clearer understanding of why love is always the answer.
To live in peace with what I have AND don’t have … to face challenges with an open mind … to NOT fear having someone change my mind … to NOT fear giving away control … to embrace change … to embrace others’ differences … to embrace my own … to embrace living rather than live fearing death (of my self-esteem as much as my breathing) … And the best bit … ?
All of that is my choice.