“When you have completed 95% of your journey, you are only half way there.” Japanese proverb.
It is OBB checking in with 4 radioactive sunbed sessions to go and feeling decidedly “uncomfortable.” My skin is burnt now and red all over but that is not the worst part – the itching! OMG – it is driving me crazy and I can’t do anything about it. I have literally smothered myself in the one cream I am allowed to use (no fats or oils for me) and staying hydrated but nothing helps and every day it feels worse. Bit annoying for me and I am currently drugging myself in order to be able to fall asleep at night. And I know it will have to get worse before it gets better so I am feeling a little demoralized today! In some ways this is harder than the last round of chemo as I just wasn’t so “uncomfortable” nor were my side effects as visible as this. In addition, having a monkey of a 2 year old running around me when my skin is as fragile as tissue paper makes thing that much more challenging. But I do tell myself that this will all be over soon and I just need to tough it out for that extra bit longer.
So with only 4 days left of my main treatment plan to go, I have been thinking a lot about the last year and also the new one that is just around the corner. Wow it is mind blowing to think about all the things I have done – the fears I have overcome, the strength I never knew I had and the journey I have walked, at times perhaps crawled through. I started the year with cancer in my body moving at a swift speed invading my cells and my body - undetected by anyone or anything. Now 12 months later I am in theory cancer free now and have undergone one the most grueling medical treatments out there. I think the most important thing to remember is that I am here. That is a victory in itself. But in other ways I am fearful of the next 12 months that lie ahead of me. Now that we have done everything we can do to fight this beast in my body, we must now put down our weapons and wait. I of course think positively and want to imagine only the happiest of outcomes but the reality of the situation now is that I am no longer in control. No one is. I need to put faith in my treatment and hope that my body responds the way it needs to and I remain free of this poison passenger. I think in some ways the first year post cancer will be the hardest and often reveals the true personality of your disease. After such a hard year one cannot even fathom the possibility of hearing those three words again and I never ever want to hear them again. Once was more than enough thank you very much. I have so much and so many people to live for. So I must accept my lack of control over the situation and assure myself that I am surely due some good luck. I have never ever felt such a strong desire to be alive in my whole life until now – when there is something that poses a threat to something we often take for granted – you are changed by it. So though it has taken every ounce of courage, bravery and strength to get through the last year, I know it will require even more pink power to get me through the next one. Then, maybe, just maybe I can exhale and breathe a little easier.
Here’s to a year that taught me who I really was and here’s to the coming year that will show me who I can become.