Cancer and other stuff

Moving on

I think I’ve decided to step back from this cancer thing and it’s likely you’ll see far less blogs from me as a result – and they won’t be about cancer. It’s been over a year and it’s pretty much all I’ve thought and talked about. And I’m bored of it now. Really bored. It’s defined who I am for too long, and it’s time to move on. It had to be like that until now – it’s such a monumental upheaval and it’s taken me this long to get to grips with it. I’ve blogged about everything, shared my story and the contents of my head so publicly that I haven’t really got anything else to say on the matter I don’t think. It’s all anyone ever talks to me about. I’m still scared, not of dying, but of dying in pain and alone. I’m still frustrated – that I have little control over this situation. It’s still agony living with this constant uncertainty and I’m still desperately sad about what could have been and what will never be. But, you see, those things won’t ever change and in the meantime, making cancer my primary focus means I’m missing out on other things. In my head I’ve been a patient for so long that I seem to have forgotten about being a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, a friend, a team-mate, a colleague. I’ve given cancer too much headspace, it’s wrecked quite a few things in my life and even if a miracle happens and I get better, I’ll never get over it. BUT… that’s ok. It’s ok because it has to be. All the talking, crying, blogging, thinking and despairing is not going to make this go away. It is what it is (my favourite phrase) and I’ve accepted that. I’m sort of ready to put the cancer in a box and only deal with it when I have to. It’s only a tiny part of who I am. It’s just a long-term condition I have to manage. No more than that. I’ve adjusted my life enough to incorporate it, and I’m definitely ready to move on. I can’t get in a state every time I have a scan and the news isn’t good, I’d spend half my life on the edge then and that’s no good.

The fact is that everyone will die, and I’m no different from any of you in that respect. Except you don’t sit at home worrying about when you’re going to pop off do you? And nor do I any more as there are so many more interesting ways to fill my time. I won’t always be ZEN and no doubt there’ll still be nights when I wake up at 3am in blind panic. But that happens to everyone at some point anyway.

I’m fairly sure there will be some people who think I’m ‘not dealing with it’ but my question to you is: what exactly IS it I’m not dealing with? I
understand I have what is currently an incurable disease that is likely to kill me in the future. And…what else is there to say or ‘deal with’? If I sit and think and cry and go on and on and on about having cancer and how unfair it is, will that change anything? I’m boring myself now to be honest so I must be deathly dull to those around me and I really want to get back to being the daughter, the girlfriend, the friend.

So that’s it really. One last scan to get through next week then I’m off treatment for a good few months when I can work on starting to get my ‘normal’ life back on track again and stop defining myself as a cancer patient. No more blogs, no more newspaper articles, just me and my man spending a month in Thailand and Vietnam after Christmas (yep, had to get that one in). After that, who knows? But I’m excited about life again and ready to shed this cancer cardie I’ve wrapped myself in for ages.


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