The Trauma of Cancer
I don't want to give cancer credit for anything good that's happened to me. I'm not someone who would say cancer is "a gift." Cancer is a big waste of time. It screwed me up in ways that I still have to work to overcome. At twenty I didn't need a lesson in how to live life to its fullest; I was already doing that. I lost a lot of years to being a cancer patient: hours logged in hospital parking garages and waiting rooms. I got way too much practice at learning to disappear from my body.
Colonoscopies hurt; cystoscopes hurt. Strangers were touching me, and the inside of my body was being shown on an ultrasound screen. In any other context besides a medical one, what they did to me in the hospital would be abuse. Don't get me wrong here: colonoscopies and cystoscopies probably saved my life. I'll be getting them until the day I die, I'm a compliant patient and a grateful one. But medical procedures are still traumatic. I spent a lot of years trying to regain my sexuality. I think going through natural childbirth and having two great kids helped heal me from the trauma of cancer.
--- Sandra Steingraber Interview
January 2010,
©The Sun Magazine
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