Today is July 16th 2019. One year ago today we were celebrating. I was told I was all clear of this hideous disease. One year ago I thought now I can stop holding my breath and start living again.
Interestingly though, as we walked away from the Doctors office after getting the news, it wasn’t elation I was feeling, it was dread and guilt. Guilt for all those who haven’t survived or are still fighting this disease and fear of it ever coming back.
Over the previous 11 months, I had had something to concentrate on, something to fight. Something that my whole being was focussed on… the beating of the beast.
Every waking moment it was there, behind every smile or laugh it was there. The long hours in the middle of the night. The look in peoples eyes when they learn of the disease, the way some pulled away from me, the awe at those that closed ranks around me and held me up at times.
There are things I have lost over the last 2 years that hurt every day still. The tiredness of having to be positive, to look to the future and beyond with hope and the belief that I would/will be here for it.
I still want to scream at times at the world, I still wake some mornings and all I want to do is pull the sheets over my head and hide from the world.
This is sounding like am surrounding myself with self-pity. I’m not. It is my daily reality. They say once you have cancer you never really get over it. I thought that if I planned this amazing trip to spend time with loved ones, make more memories I could keep all the dark thoughts away.
On the whole, I am successful, and TOH and I are having so much fun. I love the memories we are making, seeing him so relaxed after so many years is great. Sending time with special friends and family in their stomping grounds has been a pleasure beyond words. Also spending time with the kids, seeing Grandbaby No 1 turn 2 and Grandbaby No 2 arrive, then an amazing week with my own baby, No2. Memories are the wealth I am wrapping myself with. And oh the places we have been and are planning to go. I am not thinking about the return to NZ and the horrors that I may be facing again if they decide chemo again is the next step, or if there is no point. I am not sure I can be so brave again.
Every twinge of pain I feel, makes me wonder if this is it again. If this is the start of the decline.
So one year since I was told to go and live… I am sitting here in Amelia, Virginia USA, outside Ellie-Mae our 5th wheel in 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celcius) heat and counting my blessings. And for now, I am concentrating on making memories.