I'll be honest; I'm struggling a littlest bit. I'm three months post mastectomy. 2 weeks back in full time employment, 10 months fully fledged cancer patient. About 5 weeks neurosis about what I'm supposed to do now. I understand this isn't anything new, I'm expected to be a bit flummoxed at this stage, but seeing as this is just me and I'm not so au fait with the rest of the afflicted world, I'll put it down on virtual paper so I can at least record my mini meltdown for the benefit of hindsight.
The problem is this; everyone is so happy I'm 'back', and they can relax into me being me and normal life again, that I think it's easy to forget what a sh!tter it's been. And so they should too (by they I mean everyone who loves me, my colleagues, employers, etc), since it is technically behind us. But while they were all struggling through emotionally, I was very intently focused on doing what I was told and getting on with the treatment. It's only now that I'm resuming normal service, that I'm really thinking about it properly. You could say I'm slow on the uptake. Its a bit frustrating, I don't like being last in class. So herein lies the problem.
Part of me wants to forget it, but a bigger part of me can't, and the result is a pretty pessimistic jelly type hypochondriac who is so aware of my own mortality that I'm a bit afraid of crossing the road these days. Silly isn't it? Inconvenient it certainly is; There are several roads to cross to get from my front door to the desk that I so want to be sitting at every day, so I can do the forgetting part of this deal. And that's another thing. I'm impatient to get back to the old, forgetful me, so I've filled my days with an abundance of work and weddings, ignoring my body's minor protestations and shoving sensible thoughts about napping or deep breathing to the very bottom of my to do list. Until today that is, when I failed to concentrate on anything, spent a quarter of the day with my forehead on my desk, and finally acknowledged my shaky legs on every trip to the toilet. Damn it, I am not immune to after effects after all. Those blinking radiotherapy and post-treatment leaflets were right. Normal life will have to wait a little while longer.
I hope that I will get it back. Pessimism is not a happy part of my character, and I'm sick of not being as happy as I think everyone else is. You could say jealous even, but I realise there are a lot of blows that come with being a cancer survivor. Not least the one that sees you develop a fear for your future. I hope I get braver, I hope I stop thinking that every twinge is something sinister, and reluctantly washing my scar in the shower in case I feel the start of something that shouldn't be there. You see? Mental.
Most of all if I live my life that way then technically I'm not much of a cancer survivor, since it's somewhat ruined my life regardless. I'm not quite at a point where I believe my own philosophy yet, but I'm certainly getting there.
Apparently I should plan something nice for myself every day. That is a lot of nice to fit in. Any suggestions gratefully received. But they need to be centred around sleeping a lot and getting someone else to do all my chores. Now that would be nice...