There is an untold part of this breast cancer journey, an aspect that is overlooked by the medical profession as well as friends and family. And that is your relationship with your body after breast cancer.
When you are ill you have to spend a lot of time on your own. Most of that time falls under the banner of ‘resting’, ‘recuperating’ or ‘feeling rough’. I’m lucky in that I have always been happy in my own company. Although I am also very sociable and chatty when in company.
While most people take it easy over August, the traditional holiday month, I chose to whizz all over the place enjoying various long weekend breaks. Unfortunately, the cancer also chose to pick up the pace and start whizzing around my body again.
There have been lots of stories in the press over the last few years and months about the changes to the welfare state and the cancer drug fund. I mentioned in my previous blog that I had designed my working life to allow me to stay off benefits as much as I could but my diagnosis of secondary breast cancer, which includes extensive bone damage changed that.
I seem to be in a never ending storm of feeling blue, tired, run down, fed up, lonely and sad and I’m having a tough time finding the sunshine again.
Life hasn’t quite worked out how I expected it to and I do have a tendency to walk the harder path (i.e. drop out of uni, then have to work up the career ladder from the bottom) but I didn’t plan to walk a path on the edge of a cliff, with loose boulders that could fall away at any time.
I am the sort of person that overthinks things in my life, they go round and round in my head till they either fizzle away or become a huge issue. Blogging has become one way for me to offload those thoughts and help me move on. Occasionally though, I do something without thinking about it and it’s only afterwards that it hits me. This happened the other day.
Dear Mum. There is so much I want to say that is hard to verbalise so I hope you accept this letter to you.
I hear from people that they are sick of reading about cancer in the papers and surely everyone knows everything about cancer by now? Then a story comes along that makes you realise you can never say there isn’t enough publicity.
Living with secondary breast cancer means there is a certain inevitability to having chemotherapy multiple times. Chemotherapy can be a real double edged sword; good as it really can work well and give you more of that most precious of things… time, but bad because each time it makes you feel more ill than you did before.
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