Sometimes I get the feeling that non cancer folk or the people with primary cancer pity me and think my life must be awful. Would it surprise you to know that my life is much happier and more meaningful than when I had primary breast cancer? Ok sure- maybe I’ll die young and maybe I’ll have to have a lot of treatment which is shitty, but it doesn’t mean that my life is not wonderful, nor does mean I’m not pretty happy and content most of the time!
Ah but she doth protest too much!
I’m really not protesting, merely telling you how it really is. I have down days and I cry sometimes; usually it gets me when I’m doing something monotonous like washing clothes or making my bed-the tears come with no warning, but it’s a rarity now. Perhaps I’m an oddball as shouldn’t I be less happy now than back when there was a chance I was cured? Maybe, but this isn’t how I thought it would be, it’s just the way things panned out.
You see, after first being diagnosed with cancer, I was depressed for ages-years even. I was convinced the cancer would come back and any fun I tried to have was ruined-overshadowed by the big black cloud of fear hanging over my head. I’d like to say it went away but it never really did. I was angry a lot of the time with a lot of people, except for the ones who were sympathetic and kind even when I wasn’t a very nice person sometimes. Like the thousands of others with cancer-I always said that I’d appreciate and value life more but secretly it never really happened because I wasn’t dying and there was always tomorrow to change. So I wasted much of my life being miserable and angry living in limbo.
When I was diagnosed the second time, it was a terrible shock and I wish it wasn’t so. I’m never going to say it was a good thing this happened because I’d be lying, but I am weirdly happier now. I don’t really worry anymore. I do about dying sometimes but it’s bizarrely easier than worrying about cancer coming back when I was told I was cancer free.
I might be on drugs for the rest of my life, I might even lose my hair another 2 or 3 times, but my life is more meaningful these days and I’m having more fun than I ever thought I would. I lead a relatively normal life. I’m lucky that I don’t have to work and we can afford nice holidays and a comfortable life-it all helps when you’re busy and doing nice things. I really do appreciate every day these days because I’m aware of my fate. There isn’t an infinite amount of tomorrows left to be happy now.
So don’t pity me or feel sorry for me. I’m enjoying my life, maybe even more than you enjoy yours. (Taking nothing for granted does have that effect on a person)…X