Just Another Day

Christmas day was a challenge. It’s never great spending Christmas without my boys but I want them to do what they want so I can’t honestly say I’m loaded down with Christmas spirit at the best of times BUT I am very positive and always approach it with the ‘it’s just another day’ attitude. But I’d woken up in the night having a little panic thinking I was dying. My body didn’t feel right. Oddly, I had a moment like this at a friend’s a few weeks previously. Except in the middle of the night, alone, you do literally think this is it; this is the end for me, I must be terminally ill. It then dawned on me that over the previous four days or so I hadn’t eaten much, and I’d walked about 26 miles so that was the actual reason my body was having a mini crisis! I needed food, so at 3 am I got up, raided the fridge and started to feel a little more human. It’s funny what your brain does to you, it plays games and tricks especially in the middle of the night.

I still felt a bit down when I woke up so I walked the dog for about 8 miles. It was great thinking time. By the time we’d got home, I’d realigned my brain. Excited with myself, came back and wrote down my thoughts:

The C Word

Facts

• I could have died in a car crash last week.
• We are all going to die.
• Having the big C doesn’t mean that I am going to die, it’s a just a small jab in the ribs, a wake-up call – maybe for everyone – I think sometimes the kids take me for granted a bit.
• My life’s been relatively easy for the last 13 years to be fair and pretty close to perfect so, to be honest, something like this may be needed to happen to make me realise again just how lucky I am and realign my thinking.
• It’s not my kids or anyone else I love.
• I’m strong. I can do this.
• I have something that needs fixing that all, it’s just the words that are scary.
• If they tell me it’s terminal I will still fight the fucker… I usually win battles… and anyway we all have to die sometime, I would just have been given an early warning… more than most get. I’d be pissed off that I was wrong though (I’ve always said I’ll die when in 92 and even had a party this year to mark the halfway point!).
• I’m fit and well.
• I think we got it early – it’s not in my lymph nodes.
• I’ve got amazing support.
• The more you dwell on the negative the more the negative becomes reality… tell less people.
• Financially I’m OK…I’ve got cover of some description.
• If I sit and wallow, I could make myself ill, there’s nothing wrong me… I have a lump, I’ve survived far worse.
• This is a blip.
• I’m not scared. This is no different to anything else I’ve had to face.
• I will win.

Philosophical

• This has definitely happened for a reason.
• Maybe I need to slow down.
• Maybe I need to reassess work and find people that can run it without me to enable me to sell it and stop fannying around with it. The model is right I just seem to think only I can do it… bollocks.
• Maybe I need to do more of the things I want to do and stop saving for a rainy day… it’s currently fucking raining!!!
• Maybe I need to get on with children’s homes (this is my long term goal).
• If I don’t experience this, how can I help anyone else that might go through it.
• Maybe I need to chill out a bit about the things that don’t matter.

Emotionally

This is going to be a test of my strength. I will fucking win.

I’ve made a decision too. I’m only going to tell my fave people only:

Cath
Clips
Sally
Karen
Conor & Oakley – I’m going to tell the boys tomorrow…I’m going to sell it to them, focus on the positives.

Positives

• I got it early
• It’s not in my lymph nodes
• The process wasn’t as painful as I expected
• Staff were amazing and honest
• I’m fit well and healthy
• I feel great
• It will fix
• I will win
• The situation in itself does bring positives…financial, opportunity to refocus realign and rethink… none of which I would have done.

My World is Changing

My whole world is changing. I’ve gone from making people happy to making them sad. I’ve gone from being the one who checks in on them to being the one who gets checked in on. My friends are crying because of me. I just want to run away. I still can’t really believe it. Not me. I’ve so much to pack into my life. So much to see and do and I won’t know till the 7th if I’ll be here to do it!! So. We make choices and I’m NOT sitting at home pissing my pants about this. I’m going to live, love and enjoy every moment of every single day. I’m being faced with something like this and at the moment it’s all very much unknown what version I’ve got and what treatment I’ll need and, yes, indeed whether I’ll survive it. Dramatic? Maybe, but it goes through your head. It also makes you feel reckless and review the day to day things you do and the importance you put on stuff that frankly is irrelevant. It’s all well and good you reading this thinking, ‘Bloody hell and she reckons she’s not dramatic? They’ve told her it’s not in her lymph nodes, what the hell is she whining about?’ And yes, you’re absolutely right, BUT my usually very positive brain is wondering a collection of the following at any one time:

• How long it takes to spread to the lymph nodes?
• Is the two-week wait long enough for this to happen?
• Is this secondary cancer/ have I got it elsewhere?
• Will they give me a lumpectomy?
• Will I need radiotherapy?
• Will I have chemo?
• Will I keep my hair?

Tell me you wouldn’t do the same? Oh, and the best bit – social media only seems to be posting statuses of someone dying of cancer; sorry, “losing their battle.” Just what you want to see.

Tuesday 29th December

So I wake up on Dec 29 early after a poor night’s sleep and drive 80 miles to have breakfast with Catherine, then I drive to the coast and spent 3 hours on my own walking the beach. It was fantastic. The day was cool yet sunny and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy it. It was just what I needed to recharge my batteries and to not think. And I LOVED driving my car – it was just what the doctor probably wouldn’t have ordered because I drove way too fast, roof down, wrapped up in my big skiing jacket and the heater on full blast, music blaring. Great for the soul and a superb distraction from my thoughts.

God, how I HATE being needy.

Although my business closes at Christmas, the following day I go into work to pay the wages. I’d woken in the night with this enormous feeling of just being so alone, so on my own with this BIG horror story, I just wanted someone to make it all go away and tell me that everything will be ok. Sadly this carried through into the day. I was probably hormonal to be fair. Gosh, us girls have a lot to deal with, let me tell you. However, the hardest thing for people like me that aren’t very emotional and therefore don’t cry and behave like a normal girl is that when these black days arrive, it’s like the end of the world. I basically have a huge meltdown. Well, actually I have two. I’ve gone from Mrs. Strong-Independent-In Control-Witty-Happy Bird to Mrs. Fucking Needy-Crying-Irrational-Moany-Bitch.  This is not something that’s synonymous to me and a very ugly trait in my view. This is very scary for those people around me because I’m just not like that. I’m factual, practical and logical… this little predicament is NOT playing to my strengths.

The support I’ve had from my friends has been amazing and they’ve delivered exactly what I’ve needed at the time I’ve needed it. New Year’s Eve was a challenge. I go on a HUGE walk and reflected on my fate. Gosh, this is hard. It’s the not knowing that’s the hardest thing to cope with.

A New Year’s Eve party at the neighbours’ is fab, although by 10.30 pm I’ve lost my happy mask and just left and came home and got into bed, with Sally in hot pursuit just to make sure that I was okay. I’m really not! I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my entire life and I’ve got to the point that I didn’t even really know what I’m crying about: cancer, being a bitch or just having an overdose of hormones. Life, hey?

So I have 3 meltdowns in 2 days – an absolute record for me. GREAT and Happy New Year!

Oddly, though, after my hormone days, I feel absolutely fine. I feel back in control of me and I just want to find out exactly what I’ve got and how we are going to fix it.