A-Z of Blogging: E is for Expectation #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

E is for Expectation

A diagnosis of cancer is a profound disruption in our lives.

The structures of everyday life and the forms of knowledge which underpin them are disrupted.

The expectations and plans that we hold for the future are turned upside down.

Of course, we all know that we are going to die someday, but our expectation that this day is far away in our future is shattered forever with a diagnosis of cancer.  Death now stalks our lives and the lives of those we love and care about.

Expectations of how a marriage or relationship should be have come crashing down for some of us. The phrase “for better or worse” is tested to its limits. Having cancer reveals to us what kind of partner we have in our lives and sometimes that isn’t the person we thought it was.

There is no doubt that cancer puts a huge strain on relationships and not all relationships survive the emotional impact. As my beautiful, much-missed friend Catherine Brunelle once wrote:

Cancer is a huge burden on relationships, and even though mine survived – it was the most stressful year ever and we’re still licking our wounds.

My marriage survived a cancer diagnosis and the treatment that followed, but ultimately it didn’t survive in the aftermath of infertility and depression that lingered long after the last cancer treatment ended.  My dream that I could still be a mother despite cancer was an expectation too far and our marriage crumbled in the face of it.

How about you? Did cancer shatter any expectations of how the story of your life was “meant to be”?