My life of late has become a collection of very bizarre events.
In the early days of diagnosis, cancer is pretty all-consuming. Not only because it’s a massive freak-out, but also because it seriously does take over your life in all respects. You live and breathe it day after day.
On the 5th of December, I went from strolling through a standard, Friday morning, to being suddenly whisked off for urgent scans and tests. Before I knew it, I was meeting surgeons and having little chunks of tumour bored from my boob and armpit. What a balls-up that was for my perfectly planned Friday, and every other one since!
If I had to think of a metaphor for the way I feel most days, it would be treading water: trying to keep my head above the water line, struggling to keep carrying on as normal, while my legs make frantic circles below, unseen. Most of the time I manage to do this, but the unseen struggle continues. On the outside I can seem strong, upbeat and at times even funny, but inside, I am riding daily waves of turmoil. Still, I am swimming, not sinking.
The festive season has been really hard this year.
In fact it’s sucked big ones.
I am usually the biggest kid on the street at Christmas time. I love everything about it: the lights, the food, the times spent celebrating with precious family and friends. Heck, I even bake gingerbread for neighbours and take the kids on long detours in the car to see as many decorated houses as possible. I revel in the excitement as Christmas Day draws near and get a total kick out of playing Santa. Really. I’m like the quintessential Christmas cliché!
Three weeks ago I was living a relatively blissful existence. Of course I know it wasn’t entirely blissful…life rarely is. But looking back from where I sit now, it sure feels that way!