I don’t like to talk about it much. To be honest, I sometimes forget I was sick. Especially when I’m feeling this energetic… ok bar the occasional flu. Since January 2012, I have been feeling good.. a good for me is a 7/10,which is pretty high in my book of merits. The only times I ever gave myself a 10/10 is when I heard the cries of new life after I gave birth to my darlings, Zara and Zach, and when my surgeon announced that my cancer was stage one and he had cleanly resected the tumor. (A true miracle and the work of my master surgeon who, 3 days prior to my surgery informed me that I would possibly have 6 months to live without the resection… gulp… yes it was a scary time.)
Today is a regular 7/10 day, and it’s that time again. I need to go for my blood test. I hate it, not because of the pain and prods of needles but the unbearable anticipation of results, which I get in a few days time. I go every 4 months now and have a CT scan twice a year. I’ve had a clean bill of health thus far, but no matter how good I feel, I can’t help but worry. My AFP’s (Alpha Feta Proteins) are all I worry about. They have been low low low since my operation, and I’ve been happy happy happy… In fact, thus far based on my blood work alone (sans medical history) one Doctor said that my results are on par with an athlete (of course I asked what type? Fingers crossed not a curling athlete, c’mon! Instead they said a runner… I was chuffed.)
I feel good, energetic, my energy levels are high, and I’m sleeping. Shouldn’t that be a sure-fire sign of good health? My gut says yes, but I was doing 2-3 yoga classes a day plus cardio on top of that, when they found the 6lb tumor two years ago. (Yes, I have an addictive, some call it obsessive compulsive, personality… and lucky for my husband I just can’t get enough of him .. he’s away and I miss him. Can you tell?) But I was always tired, never slept and my brain told me to exercise more, to exhaust myself so I could sleep. Emotionally I was wreck. My energy levels were at an all time low. My body was trying to tell me that it was sick. (NB: Listen to your body!)
I’ve never said the words cancer out right to my kids.(Part of me is still in shock I suppose and perhaps I don’t want to admit it, especially when I’m feeling this good.) They know mummy was ill, and she had a big operation (big slice and dice through my core and across my right side) and she was fragile for 6 months to a year where I could only hug in one position, never carried them and kept the same hours as they did (up at 6am and asleep by 8.30pm at the latest). Should I tell them that mummy had cancer?
The media always depicts such a devastating end to those with cancer, and I refuse to let that be my ending. In fact I consider myself somewhat of a miracle, and we are reminded of that miracle everyday, in the form of large and permanent scar across my torso. Our bedtime routine is hug, read, hug some more and then bedtime kisses which include a kiss to mummy’s scar (kind of like kissing a growing baby, but for my kids it was kissing a growing liver… I tear up just writing about it).
On this journey of recovery, Zara and Zachary have endured their own little battle of worry and curiosity. They know what happened to mummy, although I’m not entirely sure they understood. They saw me in hospital with tubes and bandages a plenty. They saw fear, tears and worry from their pillars of strength (Dad, Grandparents, mummy and daddy’s besties) followed by tears of joy and triumph. They felt the love and support of our entire family and friends until mummy was back on her feet. And now as a result, mummy runs, plays and is still a wanna be tiger mum. Isn’t that enough? Do I have to use the word cancer?
I think not. The label for them is not important, but rather the outcome, and so far I’m rocking it!
However, despite feeling strong I still have butterflies in my stomach, and my fingers are tapping senselessly. No matter how great I feel, I’m scared. For those of you on the same journey, you will understand the magnitude of each test. Every four months the vial of blood holds the answer to my destiny. Sounds morbid doesn’t it? Only time will tell… so wish my luck my friends… Will post soonest. I’m a pinprick away to another day… in the meantime, I’m going to run off the anxiety and think as positive as I feel I am striving for a 10/10!