Switching off

by Hilla Duka

golfängarna lake sundbyberg

Sometimes I have to turn it off. I take a pil and a deep breath and I all let the emotions just fall away.


Like when Jacob hesitantly says “They say you can die from cancer, mum?” And Jonathan - cocky, sure of himself, safe in his knowledge, answers “Not from that type of cancer, maybe from like heart cancer, mum can't die from her cancer, right mum?”


And it's bedtime and I really can't start to tell them horrible truths now, and how would they deal with it anyway and so I mumble some half truth, about how lucky I am to be living in a country with good medicines and how well I'm responding to treatment and how I'm not planning on leaving, and I wait until they're asleep and then I stumble out and can barely see for all the turmoil inside of me, I feel my way until I find my pills, I take a double dose because I need to feel nothing now, nothing at all. Because I feel both like a traitor and like a protector, I feel both very mortal and as if the idea of me dying is ridiculous, I feel everything and everything and I need to feel nothing.

I hate cancer. I hate it so deeply, with a vengeance for how it's hurting the people I love.

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