Cancer- 'I'm going to die! Holy Shit!'
O.K, so I thought I would share with you all the crazy thoughts that suddenly awaken me at the dreaded 3am time slot nearly every day since being diagnosed with bowel cancer about 5 weeks ago!
Yep, the awesome, heart gripping wake up call titled "I'm going to die!".
Can I just state that until being told I had cancer, I never had the serious thought that I was facing death as a real possibility, but it now lurks in the corners of my subconscious...the joys!! Now, this is only one of the many emotions that take a hold of me in the wee hours and today I'm going to express some of the top of the list emotions that are running on replay in my brain.
(Disclaimer: these are in no particular order and some days I feel all of these and other days I'm on top of the world, nothing can get to me!)
1 - The feeling of GUILT- Yuk!! Lots of shitty answers in response to the number one question that pops into my head:
'Why oh why has this happened to me?' This 'poke the bear' question is like a V8 engine, once it takes off, very very hard to stop.... here are some of the things that then begin to race around in my head....
'I must've really screwed up in my life somewhere along the way to deserve this!';
'Yeh, it was only a matter of time, look what you've put your body through! (like i chose to have crohn's disease??)
'Bad things happen to bad people!'
Not nice is it? I can tell you that it's a horrible feeling that grips your entire body, I literally have to start a conversation in my head, a shouting match actually between myself and, well, myself!
This is life and it's unpredictability it's just part of the bigger picture, I know this in the light of day but darkness has a way of shadowing the positivity sometimes.
2 - The feeling of ANGER- Woah! This is a little therapeutic, not going to lie. It's like 'Really??, Have I not been through enough FFS!!' This can so quickly escalate to full blown rage but one of the things I do is to acknowledge how I am feeling in that moment, I breathe....tell myself to re focus and I force myself to choose things that I am grateful for. Cheesy you may say but I swear to you it is the golden ticket to diffuse the ambers of that fire that is spinning around inside your head. Choose gratitude as much as possible, it shifts the dark cloud quickly.
3 - The feeling of FEAR- this is all consuming and I've promised to be as transparent as possible. The very real possibility that I may die from this is really, truly scary. You never imagine that you will face your own mortality and as much as I am a very positive person, the fear is a constant that like to hang around and not just at 3am! This unwelcome guest likes to poke it's head and check in with me unexpectedly throughout the day (not every day, but too often for my liking!)
The thing is the word 'Cancer' invokes fear and that instant shock of 'people die from this' is all too real. Now, there a few things that have helped me in coping with this emotion. The first is, don't carry the burden of this feeling by yourself. I am so very grateful (see, grateful is the magic formula) for my hubby because we can chat about everything. I've told him how scared I am of possibly dying from this and we've cried together, but we haven't set up camp and made a residence in this feeling. We absolutely divert the focus to the many things I/we are looking to accomplish this coming year. A great holiday later in the year, our home which will start being built in the next month or two, lots of stuff that we are excited about. Let me tell you this is the most effective way of snubbing out the flames of fear for a good while!
The next practical, but 'this sucks' step that we did was to have all the legal stuff sorted. By that I mean organising Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney with a solicitor. Google is your friend, if you don't have a solicitor that you know of, just search for a firm that is convenient for you to visit. This is highly personal but honestly it is so important.
That's all on that. Phew!! Heavy I know...I'll lighten things up a little now I promise!
4 - The funny side- HUMOUR- 'Shit, life really is unpredictable!!' O.K, I smile at this, maybe I'm a little cray cray, but i can giggle about this situation too. It sounds ridiculous and perhaps irresponsible but the drama and the urgency of tackling and destroying 'the cancer' makes me feel like I'm the lead in an action packed Hollywood movie! I'm sorry but I kind of stop, and laugh. Like, 'Holy Shit, this is so surreal!'
I get this isn't funny, I'm just sharing the craziness of all the highs and lows of what im going through daily.
So there you have it, plenty of fun times happening here! I think it's important to share these raw and honest thoughts, it just highlights that we all go through times in our lives where we are struggling with something and that we all experience a range of emotional highs and lows.
I will share my top five actions on what keeps me positive and strong of mind in my next blog as well as fill you in on the upcoming surgery with all the gory details...
Thanks for reading, until next time......