So I find myself looking back – strangely at what has just happened to me.
It is like I am watching a film about ‘some girl’ I used to know. I am standing looking from the outside in, and it all feels very surreal.
The film is about a girl who used to smile like a Cheshire cat from ear to ear, and laughed and joked and messed around. She was loud and bubbly and never liked taking life too seriously. Always jumping in two feet first, and gladly taking on anything that was thrown her way.
Then, one day, everything changed. Something happened to her that meant things would never quite be the same again.
So, from outside I find myself asking the question;
Did that just happen to me?
Everything at that time (so it seems) happened in a blur. From the very moment that those words are spoken to you, the confirmation ‘you have cancer’ throws the world that you once knew to be true, upside down.
From that point onwards you only pick up on certain things, certain key words, because the rest of your mind has one million questions humming around in it – some of which are unanswerable. It almost feels like someone is tuning an old radio in and out trying to pin point the right channel.
Yet you deal with it, you crack on – because there is no other way. There really is no other way, especially when you have two little people who’s lives depend on you completely. You learn the terminology, you research the subject, you weigh up the options – and you try to accept the facts.
But then – almost as soon as it all began, it is over with. Just like that.
No more chemotherapy.
No more appointments
No more letters or research.
I have even seen my doctor for the very last time, and all of a sudden I feel completely alone.
Of course it is all ‘normal’. Normal to feel alone – like everything has stopped – but then just because something is normal, doesn’t mean that it feels nice.
Life goes on, time moves on, and people move on. Even if you are not quite ready to move on – life inevitably does. I suppose you would never really be ready for it to – but then things have a funny way of working themselves out ..
The number of questions about your illness that you had gradually disappear, and in their place, new ones appear.
So now what? What should I do now?
I had been told that it would all ‘hit’ me and that it would not be easy. I am amused at my own naivety, and the fact that I still have not had the thoughts ‘it won’t happen to me’ knocked out of me by now.
‘Just keep going’, ‘Be Strong’, ‘One Day at Time’, those words echo in my head, all sound advice from a good friend – but yet so hard to follow.
Surrounded by family and friends – surely it is impossible to be alone? But the feeling is there nonetheless.
It is time to put the letters away, and the file and even the books. Tomorrow is another day and it doesn’t matter if I am ready or not. Tomorrow is another day, and one to be cherished.
In the morning I will be woken by two, cheeky, beaming faces at the crack of dawn – and who could really ask for more?