I wouldn't wish cancer on anyone. Anyone. It's horrible and frightening and absolutely life-changing. I can't pretend to know what it feels like to have to go through treatment after treatment in order to fight cancer: I was lucky. Every doctor I saw and continue to see has said that if someone has to have cancer, thyroid cancer is the "best" kind to have because it's easily treatable. After two surgeries, my cancer is gone...for now. It could recur, but the chances of that happening are pretty slim. There's that luck again.
Although I haven't had to have chemo or radiation treatments, I'm still affected by it all. Days go by without a thought of what happened, but other days, I wonder why I got so lucky when others I know have had a terrible time dealing with illness. I think about the fact that I lived with cancer invading my body, and I didn't even know it. I think about the fact that it could have been so much worse, and for some reason, it simply wasn't. Lucky.
But the thing is, it's never really over. The cancer could return, and that's something I have to live with. When I get a little tickle in my throat, I wonder if it's back. When I am feeling particularly run-down, I wonder if it's back. When I cough, I wonder if it's back. The worry lives in me like a tiny fly, buzzing around my brain, my heart, my stomach. I know it's there, and I don't know how to get rid of it so I can go back to the way things were before. Of course, I can't. I'll spend the rest of my life with the nagging thought that something could be slowly growing inside me, taking over my body without my knowledge and without my permission.
These people who have pretended to be sick should have to go and talk to parents who have lost their children to cancer. They should have to talk to people who have watched their loved ones slowly waste away because of the cancer monster. They should volunteer at a hospice center or a children's hospital, deliver meals to survivors, or drive patients to treatment. They should talk to survivors who have to go back year after year, always hoping they hear that their cancer hasn't returned. But the one thing they shouldn't do is have to deal with their own cancer diagnoses because no one ever should. I did, and I was lucky. But not everyone is.