Reality – the downs & ups.
I had a rather tough night. I did a video. It’s a tough video so heads up there is crying. I wondered about sharing it. I wondered because you all know that 98% of the time I am pretty upbeat and positive and this video probably shows one of the few times I crumble a bit. But maybe that’s ok. Perhaps if I only show the positive I give the false impression that it’s easier than it is.
Which isn’t real.
The reality is there are times this is tough and it can knock even the most positive and badass of us on our arses.
The reality is I was diagnosed with not just breast cancer but also cancer in my lymph nodes. I don’t have a lump I have a spreaded mass which is big and may mean a proportion of my chest wall being removed along with my breast. The reality is that cancer had spread beyond my lymph nodes and started to spread around my body. I am lucky we caught it when we did. I am fortunate no actual other tumours were found that presented enough of an issue that there wasn’t a possible treatment solution. The reality is that treatment solution was and is aggressive. It’s a treatment Day of a combination of 5 different chemo drugs by IV which takes all in pretty much a full day in hospital to administer. Then another chemo drug to bring home. The reality of cancer is the battle for life. It’s no game. The only competition is the one to live and you do whatever it takes.
The reality is it hit me. I felt the fear. The fear that my kids would end up alone. The fear that I wouldn’t make it. The fear of cancer. Deep down I know I will make it and this will be part of my story. The reality is I didn’t expect it to be this brutal. I know they aid hard – but really ???? that feels like the massive understatement of the century. Brutal would have been a closer description. I have been so ill I haven’t had time to think, to do any normal at all. When these realities hit it is crippling.
Sometimes it’s tough to say those words. To actually say I have cancer and face the reality. I’m not sure the reality really sank in for quite a while. When I was diagnosed it felt like my world had caved in but I rallied really quickly. I found my badass. I found my positive. I lit the fire underneath myself and knew that if I couldn’t control cancer I could choose to how to travel the journey and that I would do it with as much fight as possible.
I might have cancer but cancer doesn’t have me !
Having that fight is good. Realising that it is life that matters is important. Realising that what doesn’t matter is how full or empty the glass is but that you have a glass at all is magical. But it is also important to realise that in finding that fight you have to be real and also experience the moments when keeping that fire going is really hard. When you feel beat and the tears flow.
I watched the video this week of that little girl who lost her fight and saw how ravaged her body was and cried for her. At the same time I heard the story of a friend who is a little older than me who survived breast cancer 8 years ago. She was fortunate it was a relatively small lump and short course of chemo which she didn’t find too hard. I also currently have a family member struggling through chemo and not doing too well. The point is no matter the diagnosis cancer in any form is a really tough diagnosis. It’s a battle for life. It’s emotionally as well as physically difficult no matter your age or type of cancer all cancers are dangerous. Everyone’s journey is different but all that matters is that we live each day as best as we possibly can.
I must admit I focussed on those stories where people breezed through and imagined myself into those scenarios. That’s probably a positive thing to do. It didn’t happen that way for me. Reality can be different. It doesn’t mean you should think negatively it’s just sometimes you have to be real in your moment.
So I should share my bucket list. I should share my overwhelming positivity and fight but I should also share at times when I’m feeling truthfully crap too. Keeping it real means acknowledging the small percentage when it’s overwhelming and harder than you expected along with the percentage where you’ve pulled it together and got back on track. So here’s to keeping it real. I will add the video below.
Tearful disclaimer. It is tough watching. I cry and I am fighting the fears. The reality hit me at last and I went through a tough time.
Trip to Ireland
Trip to Japan
Great Wall of China
Spa weekend with my chemo buddies
More afternoon tea’s with my people
An open air movie
A charity run
Harry Potter Train
(more to come)