A lot can happen in three years. Your life can be in the balance, perspective can change. Friends lost and new ones gained. Three years…it’s my ‘new lifetime’, today marks three years since the mammogram that changed my life and the life of my family, forever. The 20th of September is the day I knew I had cancer inside me. The day I discovered my bloody boobs were trying to kill me!
Time is a funny thing, it’s not until there’s a possibility of it being snatched away that we truly value it.
I sat before my specialist as he delivered the news to my husband and I that my magic survival number was ‘36%’… Fuck off! All I could think was ‘not even 50/50?
Fuck, I’m screwed!’ It was like someone had plunged their fist inside my chest and snatched half of my rapidly beating heart and in that moment I was desperate.
Desperately trying to catch my breath, desperately sad for my husband and boys, desperately trying to slow down the racing footage in my mind…and desperate for more time.
I did what I had to, I allowed doctors to carve parts from my body, Infuse bloody awful drugs into my body and sear my skin until it was raw. I freakin did ALL that!
I bargained with the universe, cried silent tears, felt disappointment and aching sadness. Cancer brought me to my knees.
I don’t think I could ever explain fully the ugliness of cancer, of receiving a diagnosis at 41 and planning a funeral in your mind on a weekly basis. For the record, it’s cremation, scattered into my beloved ocean, loads of beautiful flowers and some funky tunes as you guys get to sit through every freakin selfie I ever took!
Guess what? Three years and I’m still here. I’ve watched plenty of people die in that three years, I’ve received hundreds of emails from people who newly diagnosed or terminal, families informing me of the deaths of their loved ones….and I’m. Still. Here!
That racing heart that felt like it was having the life squeezed out of it three years ago is now bursting with gratitude and love.
I don’t know why ‘three’ years has resonated so much with me. Maybe it’s because a surgeon said to me (after he took my breast) that my highest danger period was in the first two years, I feel like I gave that the stiff middle finger salute.
This ‘cancerversary’ has shaken me a little, like actually rattled me. I don’t know for sure how many years I have, wether cancer will raise its ugly head again. Cancer was in my nodes, I’m not gonna lie, that shit bothers me but it can’t rule me. At times I feel like I’m living on borrowed time and then I remember that nothing in this life is certain, nothing is guaranteed…especially life.
I’ve felt ALL the feelings throughout this cancer jig, I’ve written about them too LOL. So what have I learnt from having cancer? Man, what haven’t I learnt?
I’ve learnt that life really is all the cliches you’ve ever heard, I don’t sweat the small stuff, I’ve stopped being a people pleaser and now please myself more (mind outa the gutter). When I’m happy then everyone around me is happier, so I look after myself more.
I’m more conscious of every little thought my body hears, every little move my body makes…I’m in sync with my body. I feel and show gratitude and that is THE BEST FEELING EVER and the greatest healer…try it!
I truly understand that days are numbered…for all of us, so make each day count. It doesn’t need to be profound but each day needs to have joy, love, empathy, compassion and fun embedded into it.
I’ve cut people loose who can’t feel my joy and show me unconditional love…cut that weight loose! I’ve welcomed people into my life, people who once may have intimidated me, people who have less than or more than me. People who are good hearted and fun and wise and just bloody make me feel good.
I’ve stopped doing what’s ‘seen’ to be right, what I think I ‘should’ be doing and started doing whatever the hell I like. I don’t give a fuck what others think of me. Well that’s not true, I don’t care about the negative stuff. Say or think nasty poisonous thoughts, I’m like Teflon. I do care about the lovely sunshine and lollipop thoughts and words though, because that good stuff feeds my grateful heart every day.
I’m busier than I’ve ever been but happier too. I answer to no one. I’m accountable just to me, and I bloody like that! I love harder, feel deeper and laugh more. I smile more, do more and am more.
Cancer took from me, sure that’s true, but cancer was a gift. It was the gift that opened my eyes and my heart to what is truly important.
It’s taught my children lessons too, I wish they hadn’t seen some of the ugly shit they did but then these two sons of mine wouldn’t be the beautiful young men they are today. They now live life differently, they don’t sweat the small stuff and that’s a freakin gift don’t you think? Sure master seventeen needs to do more homework and not be so chillaxed in that department but he’s living his life these days with more ‘feeling’ and that’s far more important to me than a high school grading.
Cancer can tear marriages apart, statistically the odds aren’t great but my mister and I still share the same bed and his heart beats in mine. We had a strong marriage before but now…well we’re fuckin unbreakable. Any man who can do what he does, see what he saw and love a woman right through that…well, he deserves all the good that life has to offer and more!
You know he came to every single medical appointment, right? Well the first two hundred. He’s skipped a few lately (because I can totes do them on my own) and we’re now well over 300 appointments! He’s also sat through eight surgeries, one epic surgery lasted 12 freakin hours! The man is a saint!
When I was diagnosed I said to my husband “I don’t want to be bitter and twisted, and I don’t want to be dead”. Three years on and I’m neither. Life is good!
Til next time,