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I have always been a compassionate person, especially toward the elderly but when someone is ill my empathy gauge is turned onto full steam ahead.....No matter how I'm feeling, I will try to help them and offer support...
Cancer had changed my life way before it got to me. That bitch has taken many of my family and friends... I have seen the ups and downs....the pain,.... the turmoil....the destruction....but now I have FELT it for myself....
When I heard those words 'You have cancer' I thought I would burst into tears......tears did make their way to my eyes, but that's as far as they went.....I took a deep breath and said "OK, what now?"
From that day on a steely determination took up residence in my mind....everything else was pushed aside.....I remember the many appointments....the information, oh the bloody information! So much is thrown at you, your brain keeps what it can cope with and spits the rest out like a sour grape...I became Wonder Woman.
Offers of love, cooked meals, gifts, help and support came left, right and centre.....some didn't know what to say, some said silly, but well meaning things.....some (my own siblings and mother) wanted nothing to do with it or me....
I have been discussed in locked rooms at big tables by many medical professionals, poked, prodded, scanned, xrayed, drained of blood, injected with dye, blasted with liquid chemicals, cut open, had parts cut off, instructed to swallow this tablet and that tablet, lost all of my hair, had to put up with countless side effects, told they don't know if what we are doing has got rid of the cancer entirely..all while being told I'm doing really well. Really? I feel like the walking dead....have skin like a shedding snake, look like Uncle Fester and you still say I'm doing really well??
Some days have been an absolute train wreck....crying, depression, anger, "why me?", wanting to shrink away and not be noticed....some have been triumphant.....most are just mundane.
Mundane is a big part of recovery....you can't do much so you tend to do things in fits and starts and then you must just sit......or rest......or sleep.....or rest.....or sleep. I have slept so much I am wondering if I will sleep at all once I've fully recovered!
Although it gets on my nerves some days....I have become comfortable with mundane....it's my new normal for now....I have spent way too many days and nights beating myself up for not being stronger, for thinking I'm a wimp....why aren't I out jogging like some other women are saying they're doing......I have learnt that we are all different, cope differently and have entirely different treatments.....I thought it was one generic type for all......WRONG!
Who would think that such an insidious disease could teach us.....Cancer is like that horrible teacher you hated in school....She stands at the front of the class, barking her orders and delivering despair....With one swift flick of her hand, your day and mood can change.....but as much as you hated her, her actions and deliverance stick in your memory and shape you....
She has taught me many things when it happened to others.....But now it is MY classroom that she is in, her lesson has made an impact....
Cancer has taught me.....
~ family IS everything.
~ i really do have some amazing friends.
~ not to take things and life for granted.
~ perspective - seeing things and the world in a totally different light.
~ not to sweat the small stuff.
~ who is really important and who isn't.
~ shown me the true courage of not only myself, but others.
~ that the laundry, housework and such are not priority....unless you have no underwear left!
~ to be kind to myself.
~ to accept help (Finally!)
~ feel and face fear, but do it anyway.
~ value the good and the bad.
~ that I am stronger and more resillient than I ever imagined.
~ to cry......ALOT
~ that I AM worthy
~ patience......this is something that was and still is tested the most!
I am sure there are so many more things, but these are the ones that are most important to me...
I am grateful.... grateful for my husband, (his) "my" family, my children, my friends.....the strangers that I have become "friends' with through this experience, my doctors, nurses and those that work tirelessly behind the scenes researching, trailing and getting closer to finding a cure for this bitch of a disease.......
........and in an ironic way, the lesson that cancer has delivered..