Or, What Sort of Psychotic Oversharer Instagrams Her Arse Cancer?
Sure, cancer is never part of anyone’s plan. But mine was particularly poorly timed: my diagnosis was confirmed four days before beginning a brand-new, shiny job. I’d taken six months off to see my only child out of kinder and into the heady heights of school, and I was getting ready to jump back into Work World. Woo! Exciting! Full time woo …. errrrrk-shit.
Yup. Not only was this crap news, it also meant that I had to contend with unemployed tedium as well as the crushing fear of imminent death. Like I said … terribly timed.
I’m pretty sure this boredom was one of the reasons I decided to Instagram my cancer.
Yes, I know: an introvert’s nightmare! I announced my cancer on Insta like some declare themselves engaged, or pregnant. More than a few people actually queried whether I was legit, suggesting maybe this was a really edgy viral marketing campaign for cancer awareness. (Note to self: working in advertising can do terrible things to your cynic-meter…)
But no, this was serious, and I was ready to bare all. Via my Insta account I made it clear I was looking for Opt-Ins who’d be up for conversation (as I said at the time, “this is a shitshow, not a sideshow”) and then I kicked my overshare switch into hyperdrive. What I wasn’t expecting was how much of a two-way street that channel would end up being.
Some may shake their head at my decision to bare my (figurative?) arse to the world. But I hold my head high about publicising my cancer. Talking gave me the opportunity to write, to meet new friends, and to shamelessly take well-filtered selfies.
Opening up was a genuinely powerful tool that helped me get through a truly terrible time. And for that, I’ll be ever-grateful.