A lot can happen in five years, people are born, they die, they live, laugh, lose and win. Time is a funny thing, it’s not really something we consider as a kid, then as we grow older we start wishing it away. Waiting for the school clock to strike three, hurry up and ask me to marry you, come on baby just come early, wishing time away so we can be on holidays, have kids done with school or just to get through a shitty movie.And then one day something makes us realise just how precious every single second really is.
Five years ago my life changed forever in a split second, well actually it was a succession of seconds that ticked over into minutes and hours but the second the nurse said “we just need to grab some more film of your left breast Mrs Eyles”…I knew shit was gonna go down.
I knew, what the mammogram would show, I knew what the ultrasound would show and as the doctor plunged three needles into my breast I knew what the biopsy results would say. And I was right, when I received the call at work a few days later informing me there was malignancy it didn’t come as a shock. When the next lot of biopsies said ‘invasive cancer’…well I’m not gonna lie, I wished it weren’t true. I wished I could go back in time and undo everything that led cancer to my body.
But of course I couldn’t. Instead I had to face it, I had to face it ALL. Cancer, fear, mortality, tears, tantrums, pain and love. You see, once you face it, accept it and own it you just get on with it, and what I know now is love trumps all.
At forty one I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, it was in my breast and my lymph nodes, that’s the kinda news that can bring a gal to her knees. There were a few times I felt like I was on my knees, like the time I was begging my specialist for more time with my children, or crying in pain after all ten surgeries, wiping silent tears before each surgery, watching my children be forever changed and hating the times that my husband became my carer. That shit sux.
Treatment for breast cancer was tough going, it was painful and brutal and felt like it would never end. Here we are five years down the track and I can still smell and taste the chemo, I remember the poker hot pain of all sixteen drains that were removed, the pain of hundreds of needle punctures and the desperation I felt that had me wanting to end it all.
I can’t afford to dwell too long on the surgeries, treatment and rehab because pain does shitty things to my headspace. Just know it was awful. Know too that I wasn’t brave, I had no choice. I just did what I had to. I wanted to live, was desperate for more time…time that I believed was promised but truth was, in an instant it can be snatched away. Sure, I put in some hard yards, did things I never imagined I would and wore my big girl panties over and over, and here I am…still standing. Heck, I’m thriving!
Cancer changed my body, my mind, my family…our lives. For a while there it was all a bit of a shit sandwich, but when things are tough to really win it’s all about the lessons learned and how you choose to move forward.
I’ve learned to live with the constant daily pain, to accept my new body today as it is and to surrender to the ongoing side effects.
I’ve embraced life, like never before! I live life harder, love deeper and give less fucks about shit that doesn’t really matter. And that right there is a gift, in fact cancer gave my many gifts and continues to do so.
I worry less, listen more, don’t leave words left unsaid and I feel gratitude in bucket loads. I’m forever fucking grateful to those who stood by my side through treatment and those who back me today.
So here we are today, I’m thousands of kilometres away from the huz and both my children, and at first that made my heart ache. But, I’m living…grabbing life by the pony tail and doing ALL the things which is a bloody great thing right! This is what we all fought for. More days, more years and to experience more.
Today this Mumma from the burbs who cried hot, desperate tears to a surgeon five years ago is getting her fancy face on. I’m at a photo shoot, working, giggling, breathing, doing, experiencing…I’m living life baby and life is loving me back. Am I the luckiest or what!
Thankyou to the doctors, nurses, surgeons, specialists and all the other medical staff who have brought me to where I am today.
Thankyou to friends new and old who have supported me.
Thankyou to my children who bore and saw too much but aren’t nearly as fucked up as they could be.
Thankyou to my darling huz, the man who loved me through the uncertainty, fear and pain. The man who lifts me, leads me and sets me free. Without you life would be unbearable, so let’s do what we set out to do 25 years ago and keep living this gloriously wonderful life together….no matter how many sunsets remain.
Here’s cheers to five years, let the next five and beyond be ridiculously awesome!