Everyone has bad days, with or without a diagnosis. It’s true. Unthinkably my therapist and others in general always seem concerned that I’m too up and they assume that I never have the bad days or am in denial (not again) or heading for a huge crash….I’m none of the above, I hope ! I just don’t scream from the roof tops about the days that are painful or I feel uncomfortable or that I’m too in my head. Can you be too in your head ? I believe so. Yet in contrast I also think it’s healthy,to air my introverted alter ego once in a blue moon. The side of me that needs time to process all the information and thoughts rattling around my brain and acknowledge the realness of this diagnosis and it’s implications to life.
Sometimes having Cancer is a weird thing, who am I kidding it’s always a weird thing!! But there is this crazy thought that if you think it, it might happen. So when the thoughts of recurrence appear you are scared that you are inviting it and push it away. I have never been so aware of my mortality ever and that comes with a double edged sword. The fear that you will waste time on people or pastimes that don’t seem relevant or important is a huge pressure, as the rest of the world is gunking itself up with daily crap and trying to drag you back there. Maybe you need to return to ‘normal’ and not be so fearful of wasting time. For sure right now I’m in betwix and in between.
I sometimes wonder if I have submerged too deeply into the comfort (?) of the cancer community and am fearful of returning to the real world. I don’t feel like the old me, I don’t look like the old me and in some respects I don’t know where I fit in any more. Yesterday with a room full of inspirational and positive women I felt safe, full of life and relaxed either with or without my wiggy disguise.
Stepping away from there I’m still wobbling in between, trying to feel confident with my crop but feeling more vulnerable, exposed and less feminine. That old chestnut ! The make up artist yesterday made a lot of sense, she said you need to own this new look, make it that you chose to look like this and it wasn’t forced on you. Good point. It’s a new me and I do need to embrace it as I can’t change it for now, well disguise it with wigs perhaps.A period of discovery for me.
I’ve identified in CBT that I am extremely hard on myself, probably common in highly motivated people, we are hard task masters of ourselves more than anyone else could ever be.I always fire at 100 % as much as I can, setting myself unbelievably high standards. If I drop below this to say 80% I see it as a failure and in my eyes the reading on the dial drops to 0%. My task at hand is to acknowledge no one can perform at 100% all the time and like sound vibrations we rise up and down. Gotta love working on yourself huh ? Just like the gym and the need for physical workouts, I’ve got to make time for some meditation and mindfulness.
Ok, so triggers for today’s slump in performance
1) Pain – thanks for that cancer treatment, I maybe 41 but have the abilities of an 81 year old today. Pffft
2) Speaking to my boss about returning to work – yikes !!!! In just over 3 weeks !!
3) Having to accept my body couldn’t do what I expected to in Yoga
4) Feeling tired – thanks radiotherapy
5) Reading an article that stated women in the UK with more advanced cancers survival rates are lower than in the rest of Europe
6) Cancelling joining friends for a birthday celebration as I’m too tired and feel I’ve nothing to contribute
So here’s myself help measures to stop the decline
1) I finished chemo 12 weeks ago and rads 3 weeks ago and a week into Tamoxifen – it’s totally expected to be tired and aching, plus it’s raining my body hates the rain
2) I’m returning to work with boundaries and able to work from home – it’s not all bad !
3) Ok. so I wasn’t so flexible and it was more painful but I still did 60 mins of vigorous yoga – say no more !!
4) Tired – ummmm see point 1
5) Ok, you can’t change your diagnosis, you can’t have detected it earlier and to a degree you do have to suck it up and expect this fucker to come back for you, but that is not now…LIVE, let those fears go
6) Pfft some friendships move on, some stay and some fizzle out – this happens anyway. Stop worrying about others
So, 5 great things about today
1) Cancer Research Press Officer will contact us for a story on Annabel’s Angels
2) That’s Life Magazine contacted me with a proposal for an article on Fia
3) I sat and applied to become a lay person member of the Cancer Board, Health Improvement Board in London
4) Breast Cancer Care collected 2 huge sacks of clothes for charity or recycling
5) We approached Cancerkin to develop a singing group/ choir for women with cancer
6) Oh and a Fashion show ….
Is that enough to rebalance ? That’s some kick ass good news, and most people would be happy with just achieving one of them. No more 100% missus …