This is a sequel to my favourite ever piece of writing about what it’s like to go through cancer diagnosis and treatment. It’s in the link above but I’ve also posted it before in the post called ‘Roar’. I didn’t write it but wish I had. I have lost count of the people I have told about it. Everyone who has experienced the cancer ride relates to it. You really need to read it.
So you’ve beaten the lion. But everyday you have to open the fridge. For a while you expect the lion to be there everyday. But it’s not. Eventually you can open the fridge with no fear. Some mornings you even forget about there was ever a lion in there. Some days you even forget about what the bear did to you.
Ten months after my lion I opened the fridge and found a mountain lion cub. No one was sure if this cub would turn into a mountain lion or not. It may just run away and grow up somewhere else, or if I kept it it may turn into the most ferocious mountain lion ever seen and kill me. But when you’ve had a run in with a lion you try your best to avoid another. The guys who know best about lions say they can take the kitten away, just to be safe. As it’s not a full grown mountain lion they don’t need a full grown bear to kick it’s arse. A bear cub will do. Even bear cubs scratch.
Three more times I’ve opened that fridge and found a mountain lion cub.
Once I did just ‘watch and wait’ to see if it was going to leave or get bigger. It did get bigger and that meant a bigger bear cub was needed to sort it out before it became an adult. That one tore a chunk off me.
But everyday you’ve got to open the fridge. Imagine that? How mentally exhausting to live in a state of perpetual uncertainty and fear. Because it’s such a horrible way to live most people who have had a brush with a mountain lion find that they do their very best to make the best of every day. That adds to the pressure. Many survivors find it a great help to lend a hand to others still running up the mountain.
This year I found another cub. Just sitting there one day. These Cubs clearly loved me. Another bear, not adult, but adolescent was found to dispatch this cub. The mountains the cubs live on aren’t as tall. But by the time you’ve spent 3 years running up mountains you are totally knackered.
Being a lion fighting, bear cub finding, mountain climbing person can be pretty dull for those around you. They’ve never found a lion in their fridge. The first time they are curious, they are pushing you along. By the 3rd or 4th time it’s only those who are absolutely closest to you that even turn up to watch let alone lend a hand.
Most recently I opened the fridge and whilst there was no lion, nor cub, there were a few footprints in the butter. Lion experts looked and couldn’t be sure if there was a lion around without the help of yet another bear. Yet another climb up the mountain. It wasn’t a lion. It was something the last bear had left behind. Even the Bears, the savage lion killers can cause problems you know.
I never wanted to climb the mountain. Not once. Not twice. Not thrice . Not forth. Not fifth.
Those who have never found a lion in their fridge won’t get that.
But those who have will.