I started writing this blog in 2011 when I was diagnosed for the second time in my life with breast cancer. And as I sit down to write this I find myself poised to write about something I didn't expect to at all. Perhaps I should have.
I wanted to write a blog then for a few reasons "I suppose for me this is also about finding my voice in this fairly unique situation I find myself in and using that voice to share and shed my own burdens. And also the love and laughter that these times can evoke."
Blogging has been in some ways quite life changing. I rediscovered a joy of writing, I have connected with fellow bloggers across the world; laughed with them, raged with them, grieved for them too. And as my health improved and the cancer receded, I have blogged about many other things, enjoying the freedom to explore my thoughts around person centred care, about leadership, even about politics.
But this weeks news is bringing the blog right back to its original subject; breast cancer. I have been diagnosed this week for the third time with a primary breast cancer. I'm still making sense of that news, if there is sense to made. I'm working out the practical logistics as I plan for surgery in the new year. I'm working and making space for tests, appointments and the impact of results. I'm summoning up the energy to tell people ....I had forgotten how exhausting that is. And I'm feeling the love of my family and friends as they take in the news and reach out with their warmth and care.
It's a familiar world in many ways which helps minimise the sense of shock but I really didn't expect to be here...yet. But here I am and if I'm honest I'm pissed off more than upset! You know the lovely quote about "it's not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's learning to dance in the rain" well that's not quite where I am yet. The storms have been real this last week here in Scotland and rather than dancing in them instead I want to stamp in the puddles.
I really laughed with Helen Mirren when she said she wishes she had told more people to "fuck off" in the past. But it's less about people for me ( although Donald Trump would be first in the list) and more about cancer.
You know I think maybe I've been a bit too polite with it in the past; let it sneak into my life unannounced and rob me of my wellbeing. I have accepted its intrusion and although I have fought the impact, I was the one I punished in the process. I pushed myself to show it hadn't beaten me, I have worked too hard to make up for lost time, I have smiled when I've wanted to weep. I have said I'm fine, way too many times for it to be true.
So there are two things I want to say as my life is invaded yet again.
1. I am going to be kind to myself by saying yes to any kind and loving offer, by paying attention to my needs, by enjoying all the wonderful people and things I have in my life, by nurturing my recovery.......and
2. I hear you, cancer, but whatever the outcome of this stage of the journey- you aren't the boss-that's my job.
so here is the wonderful Mr Cohen with a very timely reminder- The Anthem ....And breathe.....