One Year : Life After Cancer

Here we are, one year since the scariest words entered my life. One year! WOW

This morning I sat and read my first ‘I have cancer’ blog, made a slight change to the favourite hair and tan products I previously blogged about, looking back I think that blog was one of the my most greatest achievements.

It felt right, for someone who like to keep up ‘appearances’ and play the role of it’s all ok I’ve totally got my s**t together it was, in a very eye opening to myself, it felt empowering to let my guard down. Not just because of cancer, although it obviously played the leading role to start, but in a way to show venerability, be open and honest and share a journey in hope of connecting with others and reaching out to others.

There is no right or wrong way to deal with this journey, you may want to share your journey ‘publicly’  or you perhaps want to keep going without letting too many others in. I guess the second is where I hope my blog can help the most, although this way can at times be worrying or lonely I wanted a place that others who didn’t feel like they could come out and talk about it escape and believe that it is totally ok not to be ok, and although you may not want to share socially what you are going through you can take comfort in the fact that this ‘community’ we have all become part of has your back, understands and more importantly sharing experiences so others never need to feel totally alone.

It is understood that we should ‘not look back’ but I dont agree fully. Sometimes especially when we hit a landmark time looking back gives a great dose of achievement, it reminds us of how far we have come.

Breast cancer where did you pop up from

https://workinggirllife.co.uk/2017/09/08/breast-cancer-where-did-you-pop-up-from/

I read my first blog this morning (above) It was quite a strange feeling to even look back at a photo before cancer, that woman had no idea what the year ahead would hold, so I feel in some way feel quite detached from this soul, and that is OK, however I now can truly believe in myself, I can look at this photo with love, something I didn’t 100% do before. I used a quote in this blog which is still totally spot on one year later …

“It is very rare or almost impossible that an event can be negative from all points of view” Dalai Lama

One year later and honestly these words are so very real.

Feelings

The year has brought me a whirlwind of emotions to contend with.

Grief, Hurt, Pain, Sickness, Uncontrolled, Anger, Punishment, Confusion, Sadness, destruction, damage, distress, Scared, 

But every feeling once allowed in has left, of course sometimes returned, but hope and love would always win. Although these feelings of sadness would feel like quick sand within me somewhere lay hope and self love and when I found my way back to them patiently that’s when I would find myself again.

The story doesn’t end here.

Just yesterday I had another scan, but this will be something that will become part of my life for the next few years and I am ok with this, this means I am on the radar, and I am in safe hands.

The tough part is dealing with the whirlwind of emotions you are left with, the ones which creep back in when you are feeling scared about you future. For me and I’m guessing many others also, through active treatment you ‘get on’ you manage and do because that is what you have to do  ..survive. Our bodies are put to the test and chemo attempts to peel away any comfort in you.

Grief

As I put the pieces of me back together I realise that I actually spent many months grieving, especially at the end of active treatment. Grief for the person I was before, grief for my body feeling so damaged and sadness others around going through this with me. Grief can tear you apart inside this is why I truly believe we must be very careful with ourselves at the end of treatment. There is a pressure whether It comes from yourself or others, but the pressure is real, the pressure of cracking on as ‘normal’, issue here is that you don’t actually understand your normal anymore and this is exactly why we all need some space and time to really start to put the pieces back together correctly, not just sticking them back in any odd working order but the right way.

The building will never remain strong if the ground works aren’t put in correctly.

Why do houses collapse : 

“Deterioration can result due to different reasons including; Substandard materials used: As building components fail, they can directly impact on the exterior walls. The collapse of interior floors can push against masonry exterior walls and this eventually paves the way for the collapse of buildings”

Why humans can collapse emotionally

Emotional deterioration can result due to different reasons including; Substandard time spent on how we invest into self care and love, time spent on too many other projects which you believe should come before the most important one YOURSELF: When Self care and love fail, they can directly impact on our exterior walls. The collapse of interior self care and love can push against the our masonry exterior, the exterior which others may view to look ‘ok’  this eventually paves the way for the collapse of you.

This is my analogy and a way of putting my thoughts into words, I really hope it can give an insight to life after cancer. The work doesn’t stop, in fact the work is only just beginning, you are not alone but at times you will feel as though you are, this is a time to be spent wisely and invested into your own self care and love. This can shape your future better than ever, you can indeed live your best life if you allow yourself too. You can learn from the past and move forward as you have always wanted, if you allow yourself time, time to finally face the unwanted painful emotions, time to sit and truly listen to your inner happiness, the happiness which may have been screaming out to be heard for years but you have ignored it because ….everything else appeared to be more important.

I just love this outlook from Jay Shetty:

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 10.01.29.png

Maybe we can all move forward with this approach if we allow ourselves some time out to figure who we want to ‘be.’ Take note of all those ‘signs’ we have had through treatment, all those moments we sat and realised what truly maters and as you and me feel catapulted into life, stand back and put your pieces back together before you ‘sign up’ to a life you never truly found happiness in the first place. Surround yourself with those who supported you and love you for you because the people that were there through the tough times really are true lifelines.

To end on this as I did on my first blog,

“It is very rare or almost impossible that an event can be negative from all points of view” Dalai Lama

If you believe in this, I mean truly invest your vision into this the world will be your oyster, and no matter how tough it may be and let me tell you, I have had some of my lowest days at the end of active treatment, we all need belief so lets believe in something beautiful, and that beautiful is you.

Love Sarah

xxx

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