What shape does your cancer make you feel?

OK what started out as a response to @CaroleCW flirting with her doctor, they wanted to rub noses and complimented her on her shape apparently :wink: Obviously a new NHS bed side manner training scheme.
So here is a daft question, what shape does your cancer make you feel?
A: Square
C: Circle
D: Dodecahedron
E: Rhombus
F : Ellipsoid
It is not as daft as it seems, given some recent conversations with people about my cancer, I noticed how the terms of descriptions kept using shapes as a metaphor.
How during the worst of my various symptoms and the effect it was having on my mental health and my relationship, I described at being inside a fluid bubble that took on shapes such as :

Stellated dodecahedra Harmonices Mundi.jpg
By Johannes Kepler - https://archive.org/stream/ioanniskepplerih00kepl#page/n79/mode/2up, Public Domain, Link

A great way to describe how the emotions pushed away those closest and at the same time, the retreating into a protective core shell.
So a bit of fun on a Bank Holiday, but with an idea of trying to find new ways to communicate to others about a cancer such as Polycythaemia vera (PV), which people can not see.


Well you certainly made me laugh with that vision of an Eskimo kiss! I picked option F, ellipsoid as my shape - as a sphere is a perfect round shape and I’m now a little bit imperfect with my lymphoma so a bit squashed.

I like your bubble analogy. When I was going through chemo, I bought myself a new pair of silver earrings and a ring which had a “bubble” design in them , basically cut out holes and shapes of various sizes. I wore them every time I went for my treatment and visualised my blood being cleaned and flowing freely through bubbles. Sounds crazy now but it gave me a lot of comfort at the time. Now when I wear that same jewellery, I feel happy that I came through the treatment well.


Personally I’m just me I don’t see any shape :smiley:

Work, healthcare settings etc I’m a square peg trying to fit in a round hole


Hi @clickinhistory personally I do not see myself as a shape but I do see myself bigger(weightier) than I actually am. That is just me with body image and dieting all my life.
However I did see myself in a see through bubble when I was first diagnosed with the world going on around me.
As @2DB says yes, I suppose a square peg in a round hole, I never felt good enough as I was underqualified compared with others in a similar role.
I am lucky enough to be of an age when I do not care about my flaws, I am a unique human being.
If I did worry about them I would never leave home!!!


I am a little like @Erica in that am definitely a bit weightier for a whole raft of reasons including my diagnosis but my cancer itself makes me feel a bit spiky with bits of me going off in all directions… not sure what you would call that
I suppose I just feel very different from what I used to … not always a bad thing


So @CaroleCW is a stress ball shape, @2DB and @Erica are squares trying to be pretending to be spheres (see how easy it is to use shapes as a description of how we feel :wink: ) and it sounds like @DottieB is a bit like mine, the castellated dodecahedron.
As you may have noticed, I love the power of language, the way it can change a perspective in a second, the power it has over the way we live our lives. Using such universal images such as shapes, I feel can be a way to help others understand our dance with cancer.
Take Polycythaemia vera (PV) with it’s hide and seek symptoms and it’s ability to play on our mental wellness.
If I could have explained to my ex that I was being enfolded by that sphere, the way it changed shape like above, being lost in a fluctuating maze of changing shapes, in other words, if I had the language to share that swirling spiral of conflict and speed, it might have made a difference to us both.
Polycythaemia vera (PV) took away that language and ability to communicate, which is why I feel that once we get a diagnosis and a stop to the flicking movie of all the things our symptoms could be (Polycythaemia vera (PV) suffers will understand totally), we need to be given a none medical dictionary of words to explain to the world what our cancer has done, is doing and will do to us and how it affects us daily.
That it should not just be a list of IKEA labels, abbreviations, ward names and (personal top hate) number fixation.
Cancer is a heavy word (I am a cancer according to the heavens just to rub it in further :slight_smile: ), so this idea of shapes, using the phrase, dancing with cancer, anything that humanises our journey and allows others to dance with us seems to be an idea worth exploring.
Right off to release a round peg from a cylinder or opening the bottle of red while trying not to laugh at @Erica and @2DB wiggling around to get comfortable in their round holes, just look what happened to a Mr Baggins :wink:


Well here is a new shape, pancake.
It ties in with this thread as well Ask the Nurses - Managing fatigue . I was trying to explain how the fatigue affects me and how it is not just a physical tiredness.
The best I could find is being like a cartoon character that has been flattened by the boulder and you are trying to both lift the weight of the boulder and blow yourself up at the same time, whilst having those heavy duty tension bands wrapped round you.
The vision is comedic and pathos of the conflict the shapes our cancer takes within our body and mind.
Our clumsiness is us being a triangle trying to be a circle, our square structure of protection rubbing against the sphere of life, or the new favourite one, the castellated dodecahedron, pushing life away and trying to find a centre and reaching out to others,
This is the part of our dance ( Strictly does @BloodCancerUK-SupportTeam special perhaps as a fund raiser :wink: ) with cancer that the NHS misses out whilst caught up in all the science and time restraints, a language that is not about a warfare, battles etc, but one that embraces life and our fluctuating shape of self, so we can better share our journey.


Hi @clickinhistory yes, I like the fatigue ‘pancake’, but I think sometimes I am still in my bubble that I felt in straight after I was diagnosed. There is part of me that just likes to be alone with my music and walking on my own. xx


@Erica so you are another very soft stress balls, those that when you drop them, form a pancake shape before bouncing back :wink:
That bubble sphere we fall back into is like an never ending changing viscus of fluidity, some days thin and other days molas like. Part of our minds always wondering when the tide will change between states.
And yet to most we look so “normal”.
Walking is an experience I prefer to be without music, love the sounds around me. Music is my editing place or mediation place.

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