Saturday, 26 February 2011

Keeping Positive...(is impossible so don't worry about it)

This is a bit much for me to say, since I worry about it all the time, but that's exactly my point. Giving someone a cancer diagnosis, then necessitating that they 'stay positive' (seriously, you get it from all sides, doctors to colleagues to neighbors to someone you went to school with age 12), is tantamount to requesting dry eyes at the end of The Notebook/Bambi/Armageddon, delete where appropriate.

I suffer from Remain Positive Paranoia (RPP) to the extent that I am afraid of any negative thoughts impeding my recovery. I literally picture them canceling out all effects of chemotherapy. If I suspect one is creeping in I have to have an emergency think about chocolate or kittens or anything to blank out my entire mind, since it is virtually impossible at this point to replace a negative thought with a positive one.

Remember 'The Secret'? Same thing. In the end I agree, there can only be good from trying to turn your thoughts to positive ones (to get a cheque for £10,000 in the post. Er, I'm still waiting for mine). But this book had me scared of the inevitable negative ones too. Actually frightened. The thought being if you allow a negative thought into the universe you make that negativity happen. It sits better for the positivity side of things see? I was introduced to it by a friend who was so entranced with the philosophy (pff) she would call and check on my thoughts, and I, in moments of bus-stop mind wandering, would call her back in a panic and ask exactly how to phrase my current particular thought so there was no inkling of a negative. You see, RPP sufferer, even before D-Day.

Turns out The Secret is ridiculous. There is no secret. I think what the doctors, neighbors, school friends are trying to say is don't give up and wallow around in pitiful misery all day every day. The important thing is you ARE allowed to do this sometimes. You're going to have those moments - this is cancer people - but at the same time it's a long road and there is fun to be had along the way. Banana pancakes and ASOS anyone?..

If you're still worried, some tips to being as positive as you can, at some times, only when you feel like it:

Make Plans - going to Busaba Eathai on Old Street of a Monday has me in raptures (outfit planning, menu thoughts, what wig to wear) for a WEEK beforehand.

Chemo Countdown - yes 8 sessions is a lot, but 1,2,3,4 down, 4 to go suddenly doesn't seem too long, (sometimes!)

Watch the Discovery Channel - there is a big huge world away from your own little one with an awful lot of other, often more important stuff going on. And it looks fantastic in HD

Avatar - It took me a while to get round to watching it - blue giants in love in the forrest?? - but what an amazing movie, had me thinking happy thoughts for three whole days afterwards. And I'm not even that soppy.

Notice the benefits - from the clear skin/sparkly eyes compliments to all the extra fuss and attention, (if you like that kind of thing), wallow in it a little bit. I bet there's someone who is even a little bit jealous. The weirdo...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Forest has one R in it my dear silly gump

    Must I edit your work every time

  2. Loved all your posts but this ones definately rings most true- I think I've been amazingly positive over the last month since diagnosis but feel like saying 'It IS cancer your know!' to the next almost stranger who warns me gravely to 'Stay positive'
    Have also rewarded myself with jewllery- bless Pandora for having some Breast cancer awareness charms for my friends and family to buy for me!! Curretly have a short and almost funky 'do' and have made a list of 'Silver linings' cancer has gifted me with! (Have had so many presents, cards, flowers, lunches out, friends round, cinema and theatre trips... have never seen so much of my beautiful friends- it's really brought us all together!)
    ...and as I type the postman delivers yet another parcel! Yay for me!!