Being hospitalized I get to know many people who have cancer
Well, mostly people who are a lot older than I am, but some look like they are in their 40s.
All of them told me that they had disclosed their cancer only to their families and not to their neighbors and friends. The lady who came by when I was having breakfast told her caller, probably her husband, “If you’re asked about me, tell them that I’m just lying down, feeling unwell.”
Everyone said that they didn’t tell because they didn’t want their acquaintances to be bothered by their illness.
In my case though, I thought that if I didn’t tell anybody, I would be caring too much for the people around me and not being able to concentrate on my treatments; so I disclosed it on the day I was told about my cancer. Of course, only to my close friends on Mixi (Japanese version of Facebook).
I had an event which I was the host and which many people had been involved, and nobody could replace me...canceling the event would cause problems for a lot of many people, so I had to tell them the reason.
There are people who tell me that disclosing my cancer meant that I was strong, but I don’t think so. I couldn’t stop crying every time I told someone about my cancer… my body and mind was all in tatters. From the outside, it might seem that I had a lot of courage to speak about my cancer, but after being informed of my cancer, I was so weak that I needed to tell someone. I couldn’t care that much about people around me…
And when I think about it now, I think the event was so shocking that I had to confess my illness because I really wanted someone to help me and support me. “Help somebody!” So many friends and family have supported me since then.
By disclosing my cancer, many people have visited me to Okayama and Fukuyama both far away places and I received many entertaining gifts. So I have not felt lonely. Many people have told me about cancer treatments and bouts with cancer.
And because of my cancer, 106 artists have gathered to organize this charity exhibition.
It’s been realized because I had disclosed my cancer, and many people had followed my wishes and supported me.
If I had only disclosed my cancer only to some people and it had become a rumor, everyone would have been overly sensitive to me and the charity event wouldn’t be held.
The charity started when one of my friends visited me in July and said “I want to do Potterin (Maro’s pottery work shop) in place Maro-chan”. I was so happy that I cried at that moment.
After that this followed: “Everyone wants to do something for Maro-chan but every one is feeling the dilemma that they can’t do anything. It takes time to do pottery…so artists could sell their art, mommy friends who aren’t artists can buy the art and the proceeds can go to the medical bills.”
I gladly accepted the offer. Though I didn’t think it would become so big then.
To disclose the cancer or not is a personal choice, but I’m glad I disclosed it at an early stage.
Now I can smile and say “I have cancer but I’m feelin’ gooood!”
The charity will start on the 18th this week. The exhibition is a collection of my dear friends at a place where I hold dear. I’m proud of everyone. I can’t go, but I imagine lots of people attending and being excited and being inspired by the art. It should be an exhibition that will exceed just a charity event. Please go and see.