Well. Had my last chemo this week. Not entirely sure how I feel; if there’s one thing this journey is teaching me it’s that sometimes human emotion can’t be fully articulated or redacted for public consumption. So for now I shall say I feel ‘happy but crappy’.
But what has been playing on my brainbox is the notion of moving forward. Everyone around me is thrilled that this poisonous chapter is over (as am I; once recovered I shall celebrate with a seafood platter. For breakfast. Every day). They say ‘now you can get back to normal’ or ‘now you can get on with life’, which I know is coming from a place of love and is just because they want me to be back to my mad, ‘lust for life’ self. But normal has not been part of my life for a while, what with my bad leg being a constant reminder of my previous bone cancer. And normal will most definitely not feature in the months to come with radiotherapy and the years of hormone treatment. Fear not friends, my joke cracking personality has not done a 360 and morphed into a likeness of Morrissey on a bad day. But life will never be the same again (and again after ‘leg-gate’); I am changed, those around me are changed. So saying ‘back to normal’ can sting a little.
That said, most of the change in me has been positive (‘there she is!’ you shout with glee). I’m still in the dark as to what my long-term plans are (daren’t plan too much in case my body tries to kill me again – lol/not lol) but a few things are shiny and clear; family and friends give me all the love and emotional nourishment I have ever needed and I will strive to keep spending as much time as I can with them. The gradual acceptance of my body’s ‘imperfections’ which pale into insignificance against its mind boggling resilience. That there is beauty and joy to be found even the biggest, most foul smelling, foetid pile of life-dung. A gradual (and albeit difficult) understanding of the maddening intricacies of my mind. That I will never compromise who I am and what I love for someone or something that detracts from my own wellbeing (getting right into it now readers!).
How then do I move forward with the proverbial monkey of long-term illness on my back? How do I let my ambition and excitement for what’s to come not be hindered by the constant reminders of what’s gone before (tit squishing mammograms ahoy). I thank whatever fortuitous smooshing of circumstance and cells that created my positive mental attitude; I’d be nowhere without it. But nobody should have to take their own mortality into consideration twice by the time their 30.
So as the year begins its carb/booze/meat/cheese filled crawl towards the next, I’m thankful for all the brilliant things in store for me; Christmas with my beautifully bonkers family, Thailand with my wonderwoman Mother, much over excited holiday planning with my babe-alicious pals (V E G A S).
But quite frankly, the future is also scary as shit.