Thursday, April 19, 2012

For that Badass, Becca Babcock.

Last month I was perusing the blogs that I follow, and I was sad to realize that our Becca is gone. I say "our Becca" because she was a vocal (and super-awesome) young adult cancer blogger, who shared her journey and followed along as we shared ours. She was part of our collective voice, and she will always be, thanks to her writing.  I am extremely touched that her mother continues to post her journal entries, so that we may benefit from Becca's private insight. I have years and years of journal entries just like Becca's, and I would hope that my mom would do the same. I think our shared goal is always: I want to be of benefit. I want my life to mean something to someone.  I think that by sharing our deepest fears and pains, we can accomplish this in an especially intimate way.

I met the fiercely intelligent Becca in 2008 through Planet Cancer. She commented occasionally on this blog and she always had good advice. I guess it was as if she'd done 5 successive tours of duty-- she'd been at war for awhile, and she knew the ropes. We all exchange battle stories, but in the end it seems we still feel hopelessly alone. We fight alone. Nevertheless, there are things that Becca wrote, privately, that make me feel not-so-alone:

"You know what one of the most awful parts of cancer is? Knowledge.Of course, that is an odd statement, because at first I would be inclined to say that is one of the gifts of cancer. When trying to appease myself somehow with the thought of cancer and all that it entails, I would find a very small amount of comfort in certain knowledge that comes with diagnosis.That knowledge includes things such as: I KNOW the true meaning of the phrase 'Life is Short'."

[I often feel that I "know too much" for my own mental health, due to what cancer has taught me.]

"I think often how I don't think I'll be alive very long. not like I think I may keel over, say, tomorrow. but unless a miracle happens very very soon, I feel inevitably, I'll be defeated :(  (incidentally, it's now tomorrow & I didn't keel over...). I sometimes wonder why i can't just get it easy & fall asleep one night & just not wake up? I wonder if people that has happened to, if they could ever appreciate how lucky they are to have that happen. they not only have no idea that's coming, they don't have to spend time agonizing over unfinished business... they don't have to worry about the pain and suffering associated with a sudden violent death. I really envy those people. Anywho, I'm kinda just weary on life today. I can't wrap my mind around my life at this time. I don't seem able to find motivation in order to "care" about things. & in general...I'm just tired of people. normal people. they bother me without even trying or attempting to. oh, that, and it's back to cold.  BAH."

[link to Becca's amazingly articulate, literally bad-ass blog here]

I want to dedicate my life, somehow, to young adults with cancer-- there is nothing else I feel passionate about anymore. I've spent the last few months in an incredibly deep depression. It has been difficult coming to terms with life in the afterglow of cancer. It has left an indelible mark of uncertainty and finality upon my life. It has left physical and mental pain that has yet to resolve, and at times is overwhelming. I am still searching for a life after cancer. Turns out it doesn't just come to you naturally, like breathing, as one would expect. You really have to fight for stability and your own ideal future. You have to come to terms with the knowledge you've been given-- that pain endures, and death is imminently unknown, and therefore life is precious and bullshit is insufferable. Right now, that's what I'm working on. If I can get past those things, and stay healthy, I'll be golden.

I am unsure what role I will play in cancer advocacy, but I'd like it to be an ongoing goal. For now, Jon and I are continuing with our Cancer Comic. If things go as planned, we should have the entire graphic novel finished by September, just in time for the MTV documentary to air. We are adding some of my personal writing to the final publication, and I've been thinking about opening up a submissions process to allow fellow cancer writers and artists to be published. Thoughts? Anyone interested in submitting an essay or illustration to Terminally Illin? I feel that it could have a monumental effect on the future cancer community if it became a communal, collective effort... but I'm unsure of how to facilitate this.

I am also planning on being much more active here on CIH, because I've realized that my writing continues to positively effect people's lives. I want to say that I appreciate immensely the feedback that my readers give-- there are many visitors largely unknown to me that have been following my story for years, probably out of morbid curiosity, but also out of compassion and a genuine appreciation for human expression. People like me, people like Becca. People like you. Let's keep sharing, no matter what.


Becca said...

thank you for your kind words. the world doesn't know the depth of bec's badass-ness! she was made out of steel in many ways.
I have no positive words for those young ones affected by cancer. I am currently defeated,depressed and in a hole I fear I may not come out of. there were certainly happy moments in our lives once cancer stole its way into it. but no matter how hard I look, I can find no meaning in it. her life was stolen from her! she did everything right and still...she lost the genetic lottery and paid a very high price. I don't know how long you have struggled with this demon, but in bec's case, the battle just wore her down. it changed her in so many fundemental ways that, at the end, I barely recognized her spirit. maybe she should have been on psych drugs to help keep her spirits up. she refused them but maybe I should have just crushed them up and put them in her juice. good luck. mary babcock

John's Brain said...

I wish I would've had a chance to meet her...I think I could've learned a lot from her.

Janice said...

What a beautiful celebration page you posted to share her story. Stupid cancer. I applaud you for sharing your own cancer story so that others may find strenght and/or help and for us that love someone with cancer understand a tiny bit of your mental and physical pain.

Becca got her badass-ness and steel from her mama Mary. That I know for sure.

Nothing about cancer makes sense. The more I know the more I see how isolated our world is from the reality of many cancers.

Thank you again for thinking of Becca while you have your own demon to worry about. Prayers for you. Janice

Laurie J. said...

Hi, Kaylin!
It's funny you would post today because I was just praying for you this morning, asking God to touch your body, your mind and your spirit with His grace and love.

What you have expressed so eloquently and what you conveyed about your friend Becca is so universal -- the hope that our lives will be meaningful in some way, will outlast us, will help others. I think just by sharing your life, by being an honest voice, you are impacting more people than you know.

This is not a fight you would have chosen, but you have fought well, you are continuing to face challenges and setbacks, pain and loss like a real human being. And the way you let people into your experience is both brave and vulnerable.

I think as you continue to bear witness to this journey, you will have more of an impact than you realize.

Brooke's mom :)

Unknown said...

Howdy dudes! Wonderful stuff protects it up.
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