I put my last post up on Facebook and, in the way that these things happen now, I therefore ‘announced’ that I had cancer. To friends old and new, to family I usually only see at weddings, and to that girl I used to sit next to in geography.
While I’m usually fairly private on social media and think that a lot of it is just a way to play ‘who-got-the-better-deal-in-the-break-up’, I was really touched by the kind words, thoughts and offers of help from those who read my news. But I felt a bit bad, to be honest. I feel like I’ve given a really depressing view of my life right now and, while sometimes things are crappy, things are also at least ok, most of the time.
Shortly after my diagnosis, even right after, I didn’t really get upset, just annoyed and frustrated. I remember saying to my husband “I feel cheated” and “things are just getting easy”. We were passed the first tortuous 6 months of new baby life, where you’re afraid you or they are going to die all the time, and we were getting into a nice rhythm of sleep and food and playing and just generally having a nice time, thank you very much. And I felt like that was stolen from me. But my husband, stalwart supporter of everything I do, voice of reason and general sayer-of-good-stuff said “you’ll still have those good times, there’ll just be some shit times in with it.” Whilst that’s probably not going to get made into one of those fridge magnets you see in souvenir shops, it’s really helped. Because, what you have to remember is (here’s a saying you do get on fridge magnets) life goes on. And I don’t mean it in a cosmic, circle of life, Elton John, lift-the-tiny-lion-cub-up-to-the-light sort of way. I mean, it literally goes on. You don’t get a free pass to bow out of the rest of your day-to-day life because of cancer.
The overwhelming sentiment I got from people was “I don’t know how you’re doing it?” Which is a lovely sentiment but, you just do. I’ve no idea how people manage to have more than one child, a pet and commute to work. How some people have hobbies (seriously no idea) that aren’t eating, drinking, reading or watching things? This might sound glib but really, I mean it.
Okay, I’ll explain it another way: Do you remember when you were studying? Maybe at university and you were swamped? Really, really life shatteringly busy. So tired you could barely go out? And then you got a job and deadlines and realised that you had time after all. And then you knew what busy was. But then you got that promotion and looked back and thought “I wish I had that much time now!” Or do you remember when you thought you were tired and then you had a baby? Or when you had a second child? Or a third? Or started training for the marathon?
See what I mean? You just make space. You have to. So basically, what I’m saying is, I’ve had a few kitchen floor resets and life isn’t easy right now but it’s mostly ok and sometimes it still blinking marvellous. To prove a point, here’s some excellent things that have happened since I was diagnosed with cancer. It’s also an excuse to share some more baby pictures.
We went on Milla’s first holiday abroad, complete with sand, sun and hats.
We had Milla christened, which got a large number of my family together, outside of Wales, for the first time ever, I think.
It was my birthday.
And we also still go out for lunch, have friends visit, make flat pack furniture, play, make a mess, go on the swings, eat, sleep and get on with it!