It is a year since you came into my life and it’s about time I told you what I really think.
You were uninvited. And unwanted. And unexpected. You have changed my life beyond belief and it really will never be the same again.
I had no choice about your unwelcome arrival, you didn’t give me any chance to opt in our out. You were just there.
The first time I realised you might be there I remember a terrible fear. It was late September and I remember thinking that I would not see that Christmas. The thought of you kept me awake at night, my mind veering between hope that there was another medical reason for your symptoms, and sheer terror that indeed you were the cause. I admit I had never really thought that you would try and invade my life, after all you have not troubled our family before and I naively thought that you preferred certain genetic and family traits. So when I was told that you were there I was shocked and surprised. And terrified.
You are such a destructive force and that meant I had to endure destructive treatments. For my survival I was trapped in an overwhelming battle between massively destructive powers. I had to lose parts of myself to cut you out of my body. My body hosted a long and violent battle between you and the toxic chemotherapy and the rays of radiotherapy as they sought out any trace you might have hidden as a seed for the future. I know that I was left sick, exhausted and very weak but that was worth every ounce of suffering to know I tried everything in the hands of the powerful team I have to banish you.
While this has taken me through a horrible journey, when I have had numerous side effects, lost my hair, caught pneumonia, lost much of the use of my left arm and generally felt very ill, it has brought me some special things too. The relationships with those near and dear have grown and strengthened and we have cherished time which we might otherwise have squandered. While it was my body which you invaded, you touched the lives of many beside me with your heavy dark hand. I have had to face up to some horrible and unpleasant procedures and been able to find a strength and resilience that I had no idea I possessed. I have connected with many other women all around the world whose lives you have also invaded and we have shared the most private of details from the terrifying through to the hilarious. We have laughed at your expense, even though we acknowledge that you have had possibly the bigger laugh. Time will tell if you have the last one. While I value and treasure these factors which I found through you, don’t get any ideas that this might endear me to you. No, I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO LIKE YOU! I get your point and I will continue to do everything possible to keep you as far from me as possible.
I am still frightened of you because you are such a destructive and determined force. You are also horribly sneaky and I know how powerful you are. I know that I have always to be vigilant because I don’t know when or where or how you might try another attack on me.
I resent you because I am no longer able to think of the future without worrying about you coming back. I resent you because I now live my life through what I call the “cancer lens”. Even if I don’t need to take you into account in what I do, you have changed the way I see everything. You could say that instead of seeing life through rose tinted spectacles, I see through pink breast cancer spectacles. I might not particularly like it, but I recognise, accept and live with it.
So I will be keeping a very keen eye open for any attempts you make to sneak back into my life. And trust me, if you do try any comeback, you will be treated to exactly the same welcome.
One Feisty Blue Gecko