I wanted it to be Cancer – It was an agonising wait! Each minute felt like an endless hour! It was so hard to focus on anything around me, that looking back all else is a blur! In the end I had to immerse myself in something! I had to lose myself in anything that would mean – I would stop thinking and agonising about what would be! Because every time I did I kept thinking – It had to be cancer!
Having that diagnosis hover over me and not having had time to dwell in the immensity of it meant I probably had less time to agonise over what would be amidst it all! But now, this part of the journey was ending, and all I had to find out was – was it truly cancer? Was all this for a reason?
I had shared with people around me so they knew the enormity of what we were facing and excused any times we could not give ourselves to our community as before! With it the pity looks that had to be overcome, was it all for nothing? Would we look deceitful and would the whole situation make a liar out of me? I would feel like a fraud – It had to be cancer!
What about telling my then almost 7 year old about the big C? I feared she would overhear a conversation and not have anyone to guide her thoughts or feelings! So I called her one day and said – Bubbuh, you have heard about Cancer, right? At that moment I saw the fear in her eyes! I continued mummy has cancer, but mummy is not sick with cancer! Mummy will need to have an operation so mummy wont get sick with cancer!
The thought of having to leave my tiny newborn to go into hospital and the stress of it all had made it impossible for me to breastfeed. I am a mum that believes in building up her babies immune system and how it would make a difference to them later in life! I felt like I failed her and I failed her again when I could not even hold my baby on her 2 month birthday because it was also the day I returned home from the hospital! Actually I could not hold her for weeks and weeks after that!
In my church I have a group of friends. They provide a two week meal plan for mums who had just had a baby! I was asked if I wanted to receive that gift and being the very reserved person I am, never wanting to burden others I fought against myself and accepted, but asked if it could be provided 2 months later (after my kidney removal) and yes, they did so!
It was such a blessing – My husband was running everything at home, the newborn with endless bottles nappies and sleepless nights, the now 7 year old (during her holidays), the home, but at least he did not have to cook! My friends were there for me in prayer and in another very meaningful way – with lovely food, a chat and a hug! But again, all that I had received now turned into a dark cloud cast over the possibility of was it or not! – It had to be cancer!
To my weirdly gratifying relief it was cancer, It was all for a reason, it made some sort of sense. I was not a fraud, despite my impostor syndrome, after all, I had no chemo, no radio, I did not lose my hair! I looked for all intents and purposes good! My pain and fatigue, although invisible to others, often come upon me like a ton of bricks! It was cancer, but sometimes I am still daunted by a little voice whispering – suck it up, what you had was nothing compared to the people with real cancer.
So everyday I try to be kinder to myself, hoping that others reading this post can do the same.
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