I was inspired to write this post today because it felt like the right time. This isn’t just about me though, it’s about the thousands of others who are going through this and the thousands that will go through it in the future. But it doesn’t have to be like this. It’s never too late for change. But change takes time and commitment but it must start with willingness.
This is in no way a blame game. If you chose to read my blog that’s your choice. These are my thoughts and feelings and this is the place I choose to offload. Some of these things my friends have told me they have experienced too and some of this may be unique to me.
1. Patience. (Its a virtue)!
I don’t have much patience if I’m truthful but I do have empathy, and when I’m empathetic I am more patient. The two do kind of go together. Anyway, I get confused. I am slow to respond sometimes. I forget dates, times and information. Sometimes the wrong words come out my mouth. My immediate short term memory is completely gone. This is why I like to write because I have time to think. I never used to be like this. I don’t know if I have PTSD (post traumatic stress) or the chemo drugs do this to your brain but my brain is technically damaged. Please don’t patronise me about it. Please don’t snap at me because I’ve missed out bits of information. Please don’t mock me for getting things wrong. I hate being like this. I’ve failed interviews because I cannot recall information in the same way you can. But I will remember something you told me ages ago-the tiniest of details.
2. How I feel physically. (Let’s get physical physical) 🙂
I’ve had 2 years of drugs and 2 major operations in a short space of time. I feel tired sometimes. Not tired like you’ve had a late night, I mean pretty fucked aka fatigue. The tamoxifen tablets I take give me hot flushes. My face gets burning hot. If you’ve never had a hot flush then you’re lucky. It’s uncomfortable. I need to stay cool. Please don’t roll your eyes at me if I am too hot. If I ask for help with something the same applies. It’s because I cannot do whatever it is physically. Sometimes I feel like I’m being a burden. It sucks.
3. Emotions. (We all have them some are just better at hiding theirs)
This is the hardest one of all to convey and for anyone to comprehend. I do feel like Im always having to justify myself and it’s tiring. Perhaps that’s partly my fault and there’s an element of defensiveness on my part.
I can take a joke like you. I have a very childish sense of humour. Sometimes I don’t find things funny or I’m not in the mood to laugh. Yes I’m a bit sensitive now. it’s a gradual process feeling truly confident again. It’s all about confidence you see being a survivor.
I realise not everyone is going to get on with everyone and sometimes there are people I can just about tolerate and those that just tolerate me. But singling someone out or treating them differently from others is shitty for anyone. Sometimes just talking about the problem in the beginning saves a lot of misunderstandings. Petty squabbles are just unnecessary stress.
I don’t expect others to grasp what it’s like to be a young mum of two children who constantly worries about dying in her 30’s leaving her kids. The worry about cancer coming back and being in pain and dying a painful death? Having a friend die of breast cancer every other month . It’s constant. I forget about it temporarily by being busy and enjoying life but the fear is always there.
I’m not in remission. They don’t know if cancer has gone. I have nightmares that cancer is everywhere in my body. I have headaches and dizzy spells and convince myself it’s in my brain.
I’m not saying be nice to me if I’m not nice to you, it works both ways. And if I behave badly (and I do sometimes) I do try to make things better and rectify my behaviour. But being unnecessarily mean or insensitive just adds to my troubles and I don’t want troubles anymore.