As some of you already know from my recent “15 facts about me” post, I don’t own a smart phone. By choice. I still have a dumb phone. There’s a story connected with that.
In 2011, while I was waiting for that first test result to see if my breast lump was B9, one day I received a follow up call from my doctor. When I anxiously fumbled for my old flip phone to answer it, I dropped it and it broke. I had to rush out and buy a new phone. Under the circumstances, I didn’t bother to upgrade and I bought a similar basic model.
My dumb phone is sort of a reminder of all the nightmares I went through in 2011, the year I was diagnosed, but I’ve made the decision to keep it anyway. However, I haven’t turned on the audible ringer on this phone since I got “the phone call” about my cancer diagnosis. Any sound my cell phone makes bothers me, but especially the Verizon “Kingdom Dream” reggae melody that played that time my phone rang. That time I’ll never forget. Just recently my fiancé and I heard it on someone else’s phone, riding on the train, and we both froze. I’ve avoided hearing that melody since my diagnosis. The good news is I can still enjoy Bob Marley songs.
But now there is a new issue. Something odd.
During the last couple of years, when I receive texts through my cell phone and I click to view the message, a random text that I’d saved from 2011 sometimes shows up instead. Those old cancer-diagnosis era texts have been randomly showing up when I try viewing current texts. For instance, just recently I tried viewing a text from one of my friends, but instead, I saw a text from someone I no longer hear from, which read, “oh, ok. I have faith that is the only incident. Think positive.” Again, a text someone sent to me in 2011.
The issue is I can’t seem to bring myself to erase all the cancer-related texts I received back in 2011. I want to keep them all.
There were times before my diagnosis when I was able to look the other way and ignore anything cancer-related for the most part. Now, I can no longer look the other way. In this case, it is ultimately my choice whether or not I want to continue being reminded of those dark days. The truth is I can’t pretend. I am still in this cancer mess and I have not been able to pull myself out of it because…well…we are never done with cancer once diagnosed. I can’t ignore what has happened to me. And I don’t want to.
Every time I see those texts from 2011 pop up on my dumb phone, I feel anxious but I still read them. I want to remember. The reason I don’t want to delete these cancer-related texts from my phone, the reason I keep exposing myself to the dark world that is cancer, is because I want to be aware. I want to know what the fuck is going on. At all times. I want to force myself to accept and live with what has happened to me. It kind of feels like riding down a very tall rollercoaster, with something to prove to myself. Although I feel fearful of the fall, I keep my eyes wide open.
Maybe I’ll try listening to that Verizon “Kingdom Dream” reggae melody again.