Growing roses on the shit


When I last posted in June 2015, I had good intentions of posting everyday.  I wanted to play catch-up with my “Best of Breast” news posts (which has now 10 months’ worth of backlog!) and to finish telling what happened post-mastectomy and nerve damage.

But life for me this year was like sitting blindfold on a roller-coaster:  divorce … house-sale … recurrence … more cancer treatments … my cat dying of cancer … having to find somewhere to live … financial pressures … work pressures.

In the midst of all that, I made a decision that I was going to find something larger than the cancer, that would take me beyond cancer, so that in the morning, when I woke up, my first thought wouldn’t be: “oh shit, I’ve got cancer”, “what supplement should I take”, “what research should I be doing” etc. to heal the cancer.

For the past 4 years, healing the cancer has been my sole focus.  My identity had become caught up with being a cancer patient.  Now, I wanted to be the person who whether or not she had cancer, would be able to look beyond cancer.

I can’t say I’ve been 100% successful, but at least I’ve tried.

I stopped writing this blog because I lost heart.  And also, for me, baring my inner thoughts on a blog carries a lot of vulnerability.  I was afraid someone from my office would read the blog and then put two-and-two together.  I could not bear the thought of 1000 members of staff asking me how I felt, or their pity.

I was working until mid-way through my cancer treatments because work for me was something to get up for.  Then I got put on medical leave, and it was a relief that I didn’t have to juggle pretending I didn’t have cancer at work.

It’s taken me many months to finally pull my socks up.  There were mornings when I fought to get up.

For many years I’d shut myself off from friends, colleagues, family because I didn’t want their pity over the cancer or my failing marriage.

This year, I took the plunge and made new friends.  Friends who held my hand during cancer treatments.  It takes a brave soul to sit in a chemo suite surrounded by cancer patients.  I am so grateful to my friends who were there for me, and I’m also grateful that I took the brave step of letting them through my armour.  Trying to go it alone was tough.  It’s been infinitely easier with a few good friends.

Someone said I was an inspiration. I get that quite a lot.  It’s mostly from people who don’t have cancer.  I don’t think I’m an inspiration.  An inspiration is when you think: “gosh, I’d like to be like her”, or “I’d like her life”.  I think most people are probably thinking: “There but for the Grace of God … thank god I’m not her”.  I made that comment to someone and she said that being an inspiration meant going on, no matter what.

And I guess that’s what I’ve been doing this year.  Just going on.  Plod-plod, one foot in front of the other.  Ploughing through the shit.  And trying to grow some roses on the muck.


2 responses

  1. Hi, I am so glad to see that you are back.
    I have been wondering how you are and I expect that I am not the only one.
    Best wishes to you,

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