A BUMPY START
For me, the year has started off with all the anxiety and tears I would expect over the entire year.
After Christmas, I noticed my neck had changed size and shape. For those of you that don’t know, this is where the Sarcoma was cut out two years ago. So naturally I lost my shit, cried like a baby and moved my oncology check up forward a month.
Anyone that's had cancer scans will understand the supersized level of anxiety (scanxiety) that sits alongside the routine ’let’s see if your cancer is back’ scans. The psychological impact that cancer continues to have once treatment has ended is like the mother f**king Titanic of emotions. Some days you’re cruising with the sun on your face, while other days you feel like you’re plummeting to the bottom of the ocean without a door frame to hold onto.
This particular bout of scanxiety did a number on me. I was convinced the cancer was back. I was convinced this year was my last. And I was convinced my baby boy would grow up without me there to hold his hand. I spent 2 weeks sobbing on the couch and putting off making future plans as I was certain my calendar was soon to be filled with chemo and hospital appointments.
Turns out I was wrong and my mind had just taken me for the joy ride from hell. My scans came back clear and I am so very blessed to live another day.
However, my beautiful friend Shonel was not so blessed.
My heart broke after we lost this superwoman (@support.your.girls) to the stars last Friday. I can’t properly comprehend that we were messaging on Wednesday and now she is gone. It seems cruel, confusing and unfair. And it makes everything very real. My heart goes out to Luke and her two kids.
And then just when the calm was beginning to return, my oncologist rang yesterday to say the extra test he requested - a boob MRI as I’ve had so much radio to my chest, has picked up a small lump. So now I wait for a biopsy and my anxiety soars again. What the actual F***.
This year has barged in like a drunk bull in a china shop and thrown everything upside down. It has rattled not just me, but the entire cancer community.
However, amongst the mess lie the same lessons that cancer repeatedly preaches. Life isn’t forever. It is fragile and uncertain.
This has made a few things abundantly clear.
This year, smashing sandcastles, playing hide and seek, morning swims, early nights and time spent counting all the curls on my little boy’s head is top of my to-do list.
Bravery is so important but this year I will find a beautiful balance between being a mum, a partner, a business owner and being just me.
So what would you do if this year was your last? A sobering but powerful new year’s resolution writing exercise. You will quickly identify what makes you happy and ditch the rest.
Would love to know what you land on.