lots of us – cancer survivors – trying to be ‘normal’. Oh that’s so never going to happen is it? I am now ALMOST at the 5 year deadline. February 2013 I will have been diagnosed exactly 5 years ago. Amazing, sad and scary what can happen in 5 years. Some things you never recover from. Some of those things are nothing to do with cancer at all.
But a cancer diagnosis can wreck your life, and the lives of those around you. Simply through misunderstandings – through people just not ‘getting it’. And why should they? If you haven’t HAD cancer, it’s impossible to understand the impact it has. Psychologically and physically.
But also amazing, fun and brilliant too! Incredible how many wonderful people I have met and things I have done. My treatment finished in August 2008 – so for me and my cancer team, the ‘five year deadline’ is August 2013.
My life, and my husband’s life, were both devastated by my cancer diagnosis – I lost my freelance contract because I couldn’t travel, and went from Mrs Prada-Handbag to Mrs Cleaning Chalets-For-A-Living. Oh scrubbing floors was such a joy. Not. I went from earning a rather nice wage to earning the ‘minimum salary’ or less? For the maximum work I might add.
But at least I COULD work. I was and am, so grateful for that. Many people couldn’t have done what I could do at that point. Not because I am better than them in any way – simply because, physically, it was extremely demanding, and physically, I could do it. And again, I was lucky, as I was able to take a circuit training class, and eventually beat the physical weakness following chemo.
I also went from ‘lots of’ friends to ‘different’ friends. I went from being one kind of person to a ‘different’ kind of person…according to some…the mortgage, pension and sundry other things all went by the wayside. Life became a game of credit cards.
I am so grateful for the fact that I am now back to running my own freelance graphic design house. Mad hours, mad everything – but wonderful after 4 years of struggling, networking and wishing…I am finally getting back on my feet. So, cancer – up yours!! I WILL beat you. You bitch.