Meet Emma. A Sheffield based blogger with a penchant for gin and craft beer, travelling, snowboarding, sailing and slowing doing up her house. She’s aggressively dog friendly, and also had a brush with Breast Cancer.
My fear about this cancer recurrence sneaks up on me, between my flippant Instagram posts and jokes with Drs about replacing my Sternum with Bluetooth speakers, it’s sitting there with a hefty weight attached to it. It hits me hard at the strangest moments.
When I’m making a 6th birthday cake for Flash. Will I see birthdays 7, 8, 9? Or when I get followed around the internet by snowboard boots ad. Will I be well enough to go next year? When friends are talking about us needing a wedding in the group, and what celebrations we’ve got booked in. When Jim hugs me during the slow songs at a gig and tears just appear out of nowhere. As I’m sitting on the cold, icy concrete having just fallen over, in pain, fully aware of how fragile my body now is.
I never felt that the last diagnosis was something to be feared. Small lump. Caught early. No lymph nodes involved.
But this time, as we’re waiting to see the extent of the cancer (they’re discussing me at the MDT this week) and as I read more about bone mets and the average survival rates so I’m prepared, if it is that – the fear sneaks up and engulfs me in an all-encompassing way and leaves me struggling to comprehend what our future might look like!
I know being positive is half the battle. And I shouldn’t think like this……but sometimes it’s so bloody hard to do!
I think maybe the problem is that there is no rhetoric where by falling apart is allowed. You’re diagnosed and told you’ll fight cancer, battle it, beat it. And then when you do, you’re expected to be grateful that you made it through even if you are essentially being held together with anti depressants and double IPA’s. And then when it comes back, those fighting phrases come back out. I know. I am guilty of it myself when I talk of kicking arse.
But nowhere in there is an allowance to be, well, shitting it. To be falling apart. To just need to sit in the corner and cry for a while. Nope. You’re expected to get on with life, get up, go to work, carry on as normal.
And when life is as far from normal as it could be, there is nothing harder to do!