Monday, 24 October 2016
Learning to deal with my emotions

Learning to deal with my emotions

28th May

SINCE the major events of last week I haven’t got much to report apart from the first signs of the regrowth of two eyelashes. Stop the press! It might seem insignificant but honestly losing my eyebrows and eyelashes has had quite a big impact on me. Of course I knew it would happen and also that, like my hair, they would grow back.
The ‘logical you’ however isn’t always in the mood to be rational. When I look at the ghost like face that stares back at me from the mirror I still don’t recognise myself. It is almost as if I were absent. I combat this by putting my wig on and a bit of lipstick and the world seems brighter. After all it won’t be forever.
I want to concentrate more on talking about emotions. Whether you are currently dealing with your own cancer or that of a loved one I think that the emotional turmoil is far greater than the practical A-Z of dealing with the disease.
When you are first diagnosed with cancer there are a series of steps to take in varying forms from surgery to chemotherapy to radiotherapy depending on the type of cancer you have. It gives you a structure to follow and provides a routine with short term goals to reach, like the next chemo session for example. Once this stage is over and you start to examine your life a little more and what the future holds then things can become more complicated.
Last week I was told that I was to look after myself and come back in six months’ time. Whilst I was waiting there were a number of ladies all at different stages of their cancer recovery.
One particular woman had reached her five year mark with the all clear so skipped off happily. Another lady had just received the news that her cancer had come back after years in remission and another that her cancer had spread to her bones. It was a reminder that I may have to face any number of outcomes in the long run.
Like life, cancer seems to be a lottery. I have been so focused on beating cancer and almost treating it with disdain that as I slow down and start to think more, all sorts of things come to mind. I imagine as I am now a single parent family that I feel an even greater need to survive.
The children are having a hard enough time coming to terms with losing their father. Now is not the moment for me to sink or falter.

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