As always, and what with the business getting to 30 people and the extension being finished, I have been slow at posting again. It’s not like I haven’t meant to. Just I haven’t um, got round to it.
Anyway, now works just as well as any other time. I’m in a soft play and Avery is in a bouncer. He seems happy and Grace is off with Jo, so I have a second or three.
My silence does not reflect a lack of consideration on my condition, however, and I’ve been meaning to blog for a while.
I had a little bit of a tough few days in the last month or so and just wanted to scribe them, as I feel it’s important for people who have a similar condition and follow this blog to see that everyone has their ups and downs.
Whilst I’ve largely got to grips with the red blood count, (see last post) other news and events can trigger a contemplative stage and easily send you into a spiral.
I was at a wedding a few weeks back and in a catch up conversation, with someone hadn’t seen for while, found out a woman who I tangentially knew had just had the first year anniversary of their death. Now I hadn’t actually heard they had died, so this as a real shock. It’s fair to say though that I hadn’t thought about them for some time, as you don’t if you are just aquantances. It was still a surprise, and even though we’d only shared a handful of words in the preceding five years, it still was a sobering moment ad made me consider things again over the next few days.
You see the lady had died of cancer and was a year younger than I was when she did. She had been diagnosed with cancer before me and when I was diagnosed I spoke to her on messenger about the feelings this deluges you with and how she had coped with them, her prognosis and her condition. It was very helpful at the time, as were many of those chats I had, but as someone who was suffering from the big C (albeit a completely different one) her experiences reassured me in a strange way and made me feel better, as part of my overall attempt at catharsis over the first six months.
We hadn’t spoken since really, and although we were friends on Facebook, we weren’t really friends, more friends of friends.
Even so when I found out she died I was more saddened than I expected. The next two or three days after were a contemplative time for me, and I reflected a lot on my condition, my inevitable demise, and how long that may be in the future.
I relate this to show how, even when you have had relatively plain sailing for three and a half years after the initial rollercoaster of the first year, something can still hit you out of the blue, even when it’s not a change in your condition.
To say it’s senseless as to who dies of Cancer and who doesn’t is blindingly obvious, but the abitrary nature of it is always sobering. It made me think about whether I would see my children grow up. If they would know me as an adult, or if I would die when they were young and they would only have vague memories of me and photos and stories to go on.
This was quite distressing, as I very much love my children and desperately want to be there for then throughout their life. To leave them before we can relate as adults, before the fun of their early twenties, or even before they become teenagers or go to school, was a very maudlin thought. I take it for granted that I will still have time, but unlike people who don’t have cancer I do have a timer running somewhere that could speed up or run out without notice (we all do in a purely lifespan sense, but this is a C timer).
It also made me think how lucky I am. I have two (mostly) great kids. A house we just extended, a good relationship a business my best friend and I have built from scratch. I’ve also achieved a number of my life time goals, visiting all the continents, publishing a book and going on a quiz show (recording available on my blog) to name a few (but still so many to go!)
Many people don’t do half as much, especially those who get Cancer younger than I did. (Which is why I try and be thankful I got it at 30)
It also reminded me I still have so much to do. I haven’t achieved much since we had kids, and I would like to set myself new goals. (Something I am thinking about). There’s always so much to do, and life is short, and I always feel I need to achieve new things to grow as a person.
Anyway the few days passed and the feelings subsided, (although not a sense of what’s next) and as with any loss or sadness or sobering moment of mortality it died down again. Still I was and am sad about the passing of someone whose sole impact on my life was to try and help me better understand what I was going through, and to help a mostly stranger just for the sake of being kind. It puts my own mortality, and their obviously now empty C timer into perspective, and gives me a period of time to reflect on the inevitable, as well as remember what it was like to be diagnosed.
As with all things you can’t be immune to feelings and just because you don’t consider some of them for long periods of time doesn’t mean something can’t creep up on you and trigger a reflective period.
So if any of my long time readers have a few years of clean running, I think it’s important to embrace these things when they happen, as it helps to reflect on where you are. Just remember, unlike your condition changing, it is fleeting, and you will go back to living normal life, even though at the time it may feel like you can’t or won’t and that everything is for naught.
Equally you may not, no one knows what lays ahead, so always make sure you make the most of what you are doing and when that reflective moment comes you don’t suddenly realise you have been unhappy for a long period and now you don’t have time to resolve it and make things better. Life’s tough, and Cancer is unfair, make the most of what you do have, and hope someone, a friend, family member or a random contact is there when you do need them, as I did, to help you get through that which feels unbearable. If you can lean on them, do. It will help and hopefully one day you can return the favour. I’m trying to do the same with this blog. I’ll try and post more.
Until next time though do me a favour. Spend five minutes reflecting on the good things in your life and the things you have achieved. It’s suprisingly rewarding and, for me, has staved off feelings of sadness at my condition.
Thanks for reading 🙂