Welcome to the c word

I rarely show the world what is going on inside it is just not my style. I hide pain and constantly worry about worrying other people and how they will feel about how I am feeling. I keep my problems to myself and sometimes even from my closest friends. Well not this time.

I have been on the c word roller-coaster (I'm calling it the c word to go easy on the faint hearted) for over three weeks now and have decided it is a good idea to write down what's happened, happening and going to happen then whoever wants to keep up to date can without being forced to hear about it through emails from me. Because you will all have days where you just can't or don't want to hear about this. I get that it’s ok.

I hope not but you also might meet people or know people who go through something similar and it might just help them in some way to know they are not alone and when they fall apart it is ok because who wouldn’t. When you read this please forgive grammar and spelling etc I have not slept for three days and sorry too if it is up and down that is pretty much how I am doing most days.

- Tuesday 23rd February 2010

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The full ugly picture

The nastiest cruellest thing about cancer is not that it's potential life threatening. That is what we all automatically associate cancer with isn't it? Death. That is a majorly worrying part of it no doubt about it, but actually not the part that kicks you in the teeth when you're down. It's all the commonly unknowns that make cancer a hard fight to fight, all the side effects, the torturous waiting, the tiredness and inability to function, the incurable infection 25-35 percent of breast cancer patients get, the fertility issues, the impact on your loved ones, operation recovery period where you can't do anything but think about your impending results whilst needing to be in a clinically clean infection free (therefore child free) environment, the adrenalin that steals your appetite replacing it with nausea and sends you into a state of anxiety you never knew you could reach as a relatively calm person previously. That is what sucks about cancer.

So the best thing hmmm you know me I like to try to find a happy balance but this is a serious challenge. There is nothing officially good about cancer but if pressed to find something we can convince ourselves is a benefit then well; this experience does show you how many people actually entirely love you and that feeling is totally amazing and well needed to muster strength. It gives you instant clarity of all the things that are vital to your existence and what you want from life and some people go a lifetime unsatisfied by not figuring this out. It makes your appreciation for every good moment or act of kindness in gifts, messages and visits totally genuine and finely observant and detailed. Of course what wins hands down I think you will agree is that you must eat cake. Holly brought me round an array of Easter style cakes and I sort of promised to share them with two small children, who were licking their lips as they glared over the rim of the box, and ate my way through the lot. oops. I did not even share with Phil although I did offer, perhaps he wanted no part of this crime. But I do have cancer so really if there is a time you can steal cakes off small children this has to be one of them.

I am conflicted in my head about the kids, we have not told them it is cancer. So far we have said that I am ill and will have an operation and will take quite a long time to get better but I will and they can help by being tidy, good luck with that you say. They have no real understanding of the severity of course not like when you tell an adult who no doubt has come across cancer before so physically trembles as the word falls from your lips. The kids look at me and see that I am fine and that is all that matters to them. My worry is that when I need them to be clean very clean will they be able to do it and what will happen if they can't. If they don't know how serious it is then how can they remember or realise how important it is to keep clean and not infect me in my operation recovery time and during treatment. I don't know I just don't.

This is the hard part too, I have two weeks to prepare for this operation and make all the necessary arrangements and decide where to be after and what I will need and think about how I will cope after Phil goes back to work after the first week as I am not allowed to lift or do housework etc and I have to be clean clean clean. This is when my family rule each of them have taken on a task and run with it, it is hard though leaving your fate in so many other people's hands. You see what I am supposed to be doing is eating well, resting and relaxing. Some hope huh. I also have a first draft of a 8000 word dissertation due in a week or so and I have written all of 2 pages. and of course not to mention the other two piece of work and exam preparation. Eek.

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