Taking back the power.


I`ve been feeling rather emotional this past week, a bit weepy, a bit low and not really registering why. Then it struck me this morning as I was walking with my dog, it will be a year on Wednesday since I was diagnosed with cancer, so the light bulb came on.

In my case, after my treatment had finished and the doctor spoke to me those lovely words, “you have the all clear,” for a brief, heady few days, I felt an incredible high. It didn`t last and as I gradually came back down to earth I realised that cancer never really leaves us. I have a long way to go (five years) before I can relax a little and know I am in remission and even then, it may return. I feel sad because cancer has impacted on me so massively, I have spent so much time trying to manage my feelings, remain positive, productive, engaged with the people who I love, I don`t think I`ve given myself time to mourn the loss of who I was before this diagnosis and feel the feelings of sadness and rage for how much cancer has taken from me.

Well here`s the thing cancer; I`m taking it back.

Yesterday I was reading a post my daughter had put up on social media, I think she put it up there for me to see because it was all about those people who feel selfish when they are coping with an awfulness in their life, after all, there are so many people out there who have it so much worse. This describes exactly how I feel, it`s as though surviving cancer so far somehow means I have less right to my myriad of feelings because at least I am still here to tell the tale. The piece goes on to say, “don’t buy into it, because it’s nonsense. It doesn’t matter if someone else had it ‘worse.’ Every person who experiences a trauma deserves to get the attention and care they need to heal from it.”

So I rang Macmillan Cancer Care (love, love, love them) and they told me that they are working jointly with Relate to offer people who have had cancer some free counselling sessions. You may think of Relate as working with people who have a troubled marriage (they used to be called Marriage Guidance, do you remember?) However, Relate recognises that cancer affects all of our relationships including the one we have with our self. So I`ve booked me in for some `me` time with Relate and an opportunity to work my way through some of this shitty stuff that`s stopping me from getting on with my life in the present. I am looking forward to it and to letting go of some of this negativity, it is so unlike me.

And to my friends and family who are fighting to keep their head above the waves, not waving but feeling like they are drowning. I will get back to me and then I can give you that hand up once again as so many have offered to me over this past, really difficult year.

I would like to end on a high note so here you are, it`s a  middle C.


2 responses

  1. How honest you’ve been in this blog. It’s not easy to admit that “no I’m not coping” But sometimes it’s the best thing to do. We unfortunately have to go through a lot of pretending to be positive before we can own up to expressing how we feel.
    When your told you have an illness,disease everyone’s reactions are different. But if you were like me it was first why me. But then I wanted to protect my family from how I was feeling.
    My state of mind fluctuates between being on a high with positivity & wanting to keep screaming.

    Yours so right when you say there are worse of than me…& there may well be but at this time on a Monday morning in February it’s just you feeling lost. But I found there’s nothing wrong with a pinch of self pity. No one should blame us for thinking of our selves first for a change.

    I’m finding out from reading your touching blogs that we are a like in so many ways. You seek out self help as I do & im pleased to hear you have councilling sessions booked.

    So lovely lady you have every right to feel all the emotions your feeling right now but you are inspiring by just admitting it here on this page.

    Note to self: things I’m looking forward to.
    Spring, Summer, Holidays, Family get together’s, Coffee with friends, Gardening, BRING IT ON!

    Keep blogging it’s great stuff. My very best to you Nelly.

    • It makes such a difference to be able to connect with someone who truly understands some of how I am feeling. I very much appreciate your comments and I know that this too will pass. xxx