In a long life, I don’t thing I have ever cried so much as I have in the past few weeks – since I knew I have incurable cancer. It’s really quite strange: I can be going along quite normally, even talking lightly about my condition, and then a chance remark, a kind gesture or a stray thought in my head sets me off. The throat tightens, the lip quivers, the voice shrivels and the eyes overflow.
If I am alone, of course, I can let rip, have a good howl, and feel the better for it. But in company (because men don’t cry, do they?) one has to fight to regain control; stiffen the lip, clear the throat, try to regain the manly voice. But it’s not easy to switch it off.
And why am I crying? Who am I weeping for? Myself? Perhaps; but it is not self-pity. It is as though I am grieving – grieving in advance for all the things I am shortly to lose: love, friendship, the beauty of the world; seeing one’s grandchildren growing up; all the things that constitute ‘life’ and which we mostly take so much for granted.
Ah well – I start my first cycle of chemotherapy next week, and if I respond well people tell me I should feel much more positive. I hope to report soon that the ‘weepies’ are behind me.