Being me in the world
A couple of times, people have told me that they’re sorry I got cancer. I must admit I feel the same: I am really sorry that this happened to me. I feel no resentment, but it would not have been my choice. (Although I’m still glad it wasn’t Daynia or Noelene.)
Another thought that was expressed this week was, “At least it’s gone” – which it has. The cancer may be gone, but it’s not over. For at least the next couple of months, there is still the chemo and the fallout. The effects of the cancer will never, ever be over, though.
For the immediate future, I will live with the bouts of nausea (about which I am really not happy at this moment, the next chemo being on Tuesday 🙁 ) and with little / no hair. In the medium term, there will be consultations with the oncologist and scans, I think. In the slightly longer term, there will be hormone tablets, as far as I know. In the ongoing long term, there will be regular mammograms and other check ups.
Then there is the ‘all the time’.
All the time there will be this niggle, the constant awareness that I, too, have been proven to be vulnerable. There will be an acute awareness of my left boob and the regular self-checking. There will also always be the absence of the right boob. Always.
I will always have to live with the ravages of something I never saw, never felt any symptoms from and only conceptually understood.
Even if I were to have a reconstruction at some stage (which I very highly doubt), this will not change: I will never be the same after the cancer.
I understand why people don’t talk about having had cancer cured, but of surviving cancer: even when it is gone, it is always a part of you.
Thanks to research and well-managed protocols and treatment, cancer is mostly not necessarily a death sentence anymore. In many ways, though, it is a life sentence.