“Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living or get busy dying”.
That’s the most inspirational quote I’ve read recently. It’s been a while since my last post and a lot has happened. I was thinking of writing sooner but I needed a right moment to be able to summarise everything.
Things are different. I got to the stage late August when I had to switch off something as I felt really pulled in all directions. I needed to rest and re-charge batteries and think what’s important. What’s worth concentrating on. What actually caused me to react like that was someone saying to me “I thought it finished now”. It’s quite common I think for people to think: ok so you had a rough time and now it’s finished, chemo finished… it’s all fine then, right? Well… no, actually it’s not that simple. Yes, I’ve been waiting all year pretty much for this nightmare to finish. And it has and ok so now what? Life is never going to be the same. Cancer is something which changes you and your family forever. You can’t go back to before cancer. You KNOW about it now. You revaluate your life. Your life is different.
When my father passed away I noticed something which now applies to few other situations in life. When he died, people all of the sudden decided into those who KNOW and those who DON’T. People who get it as they have been there themselves and those who haven’t got an idea. It’s not to say that those who don’t know, cannot be at the same time very friendly, understanding and empathic. But they haven’t been through the same.
Things did built up at the end of chemo, but I didn’t crumble. I put myself first and realised what I need and I did it. I felt proud of myself. I started to stand up for myself and believe that I can be right. I started to believe in myself rather then others.
I havne’t been at work for 3 weeks, I switched off that completely. It helped to narrow the things which were happening. We went on holidays and I drove first time on motorways and did few hundred miles there and back! I was sooooo proud of myself. I can do that! I even kind of liked driving on motorways. Something I didn’t expected.
When we got back and I returned to work I realised I actually got now something in a shape of coping strategies. I have never been able to use them before. I learnt to understand that feelings are not me. I have feelings and they are temporary. It’s ok to feel frustrated, it’s ok to feel angry and it’s ok to feel worried at times.
It wouldn’t be possible without the counselling I had. I have finished now my CBT therapy, I have a catch up meeting in 3 months time to decide if I can be discharged. I have had a break in counselling as well due to holidays but I’m still continuing that. But I also discovered Katie Piper. I discovered her before the Strictly Come Dancing actually. A very long time ago I saved some programmes I thought were interesting on my favourites on Channel 4 application. And she happened to present one of them. I then researched her story and starting reading her autobiography. And then she actually announced she was taking part in Strictly. I so wanted to write to her but it’s pointless now when she is in the TV show as I’m sure she gets lots of post anyway. But I do admire her not because she is inspirational and she went through hell (and she did, and she is inspirational) but my magnet was the way she cope with anxiety. The way she described how she felt was exactly what I was writing here. I have minor PTSD no doubt. And I realised that people fall and get up from much more difficult blows that life gives them. And that what happened to us wasn’t good but it is definitely possible to lift yourself up. It’s all in your mind and attitude. You have to work hard though, nothing come easy. I definitely felt confused and had many moments of this not working. But then slowly things started to fall back together.
I was also recommended a wonderful wonderful book by Regina Brett “God never blinks”. It’s 50 lessons for life and they are amazing. Out of 50 everybody can find the ones closer to their hearts but the one which stood up for me is the one opening this post. Life is too short for long pity parties.
Ok life isn’t perfect and I know the road is not yet complete. I still have little set backs. I still feel very very vulnerable. I still don’t know if the seizures will return and if they do how would I react. BUT I have now moments when I think they aren’t as scary as I kept thinking before. Only moments thought but it’s an improvement.
Going back to work is difficult as my older daughter developed separation anxiety and she shows classic signs of anxiety now. And I don’t want her to be like me but I don’t quite know yet how to deal with it. So, things aren’t as easy as it may seem but I decided to play the positivity card. Let’s get busy living, not dying.