If breast cancer is the big boat, stage 4 is the rubber dinghy lost at sea.

I am completely relaxed right now under a big fluffy soft duvet in our second home. I’ve been awake for ages but my body just wants to stay here for a little while longer. It’s so quiet here. You can’t help but sleep for hours blissfully undisturbed. Sometimes I think I could sleep for 3 months solid, I’m so tired, but oddly at the same time I feel well, energetic, with this lust for life and adventure. After 18 weeks of treatment and a spinal fusion, I’m done in, but I push myself to go out and do things because I refuse to be a victim of ongoing treatment. My willfullness has been my comrade and has kept me going.  

I’m aware that my scan is fast approaching, which is everything I’ve been working so hard for for the last 4 months. Be too hopeful and you can end up with egg on your face. Be too pessimistic and you can waste time being miserable preempting results. So, I find the best way to be is to just be. Don’t think about it too much. 

Lately I’ve found myself wondering if I sometimes give too much time or support to people who give little back? Normally I would say you shouldn’t give to receive and I don’t, but it’s so much easier supporting others when you aren’t dealing with a terminal illness believe me. When I was at the curable cancer stage it wasn’t so draining helping others in the same situation, particularly as there were a lot more people in the boat, it was a huge boat! Now I’m in the stage 4 rubber dinghy, (small, doesn’t hold many and unstable), it can be upsetting and mentally exhausting. Sometimes I just want to blow my whistle in my little dinghy lost at sea, wave my arms ferociously and shout:

“Hey, I’m here, we are here. Will someone rescue me from this nightmare? I need support too.”

I kind of hate the fact that I’ve used this analogy because I’ve become that person I moan about. The person who makes stage 2-3 cancer sound like its nothing. Of course I don’t think that and I know full well how bloody tough it is. How you wonder constantly if it will come back, that alone is torture, but I had to compare because I’ve been in both the big boat and the rubber dinghy. There’s  not enough being done for us- the incurable, and I want things to change.  

Sometimes I imagine that people probably view me as an expert and think oh she’s used to the treatment by now, after all it’s not new anymore. But dealing with the fact you’re going to die of cancer is always new, you never get used to it. Perhaps I give the impression that I’m fine with it, or I’m strong, but of course I’m not. Inside, I imagine people like me are all the same. Scared, harbouring feelings of anger and unfairness, and certainly not ready to die. With this being said I have taken a back seat in being there for people, and I don’t feel guilty. I’ve done my bit over 3 years writing media pieces, magazine interviews, writing my blog, promoting what breast cancer is really like on social media. I’m tired of it now. That doesn’t mean I would shun anyone who wanted help in the future, I’m just not making myself as available…

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