On Thursday it will a year since my diagnosis 3rd May 2012 is etched in my mind forever.
I was walking towards the hospital today and a thought came to my mind, this time last year I was oblivious of the time bomb inside of me. I walked with my head held high and confident with no thought of the immediate future, how that changed. A year on, I found myself standing tall again today, and smiled to myself, I am getting stronger, this is behind me.
It’s been an unimaginable time, there was no contingency plan in place for this, no zombie evacuation plan even. Looking back I think I dealt extremely well with the life changing ‘it’s not good news….’ that was delivered to me that grey afternoon last May. I don’t remember too much of that first afternoon, except stopping halfway home in my car to cry and get it out of my system before I saw the kids. I wanted to be as composed and appear as strong as I could for them, so the message I gave them was clear, sure I have cancer, but it won’t defeat me. That look me 3/4 days to achieve that, avoiding questions, even faking sleep so I could pull myself together and my external self looked strong. Inside, well there was a nuclear fall out. My body was in shock, I remember waking everyday hoping it was a dream, that it would go away and they were wrong. Ha no such luck. The hardest time in my life was sharing my bad news with everyone I cared about, watching them fall to pieces and be strong for them.
People have come, there was a rush of what I referred to the ‘catch me while you cans’ that effectively I told to bugger off. If you haven’t seen me for years, why bother now ? There was the declarations of lust and secret crushes by some, these are my confessions….flattering, but now a year later, perhaps it has caused them maximum embarrassment revealing this secret to me, as a few that confessed their secret sure have disappeared. The best thing about cancer – the new friends that I’ve met along the way. Also the enhanced friendships from the people that truly stuck with me. I’ve got nothing but love for this group, that picked me up on grey days, and put up with my moans, tears and worries.
People have gone, like the Grand National I knew from the offset not everyone would stick with it. Geez some didn’t make the starting line. Cancer tests friendships amongst many things. The drop outs were like the autumn leaves and in a way ran parallel with how I lost my hair, maybe it was directly related. Maybe people struggled with my take on Golum I’m sure, or maybe I just think that as there is no other explanation. I think towards the end of chemotherapy and in the midst of deep winter this saddened me, however as time moves on and the buds on the trees have developed into beautiful blossom, so too is my confidence emerging. I have learnt to really appreciate what I have and not mourn what has gone.
I have changed, dramatically. Not just physically and really the physical part, does it even matter. I fell in love with myself, learnt what was missing from life and acted upon it, well actually I lie, that’s work in progress, still a great deal to do.