Anyone who has been close to me for the past 10 months knows already what my secret is. And anyone who hasn’t been so close, well I’m sorry that you don’t know yet, and that might have caused you some worry, or so people keep telling me! It might have made you wonder if I’m going to be OK or if I’m going to die. Well I’ll let you in on this little secret, but not just yet.
I got cancer for a reason. It’s taken me a while to figure out why. And I haven’t figured it all out just yet. There are so many theories out there as to why we get it. Is it genetic? Is it viral? Is it from eating red meat, smoking, drinking too much? Is it caused by stress? Is it from our environment and the toxins we’re exposed to or is it just bad luck as the American cancer society would have you believe? None of those reasons is true for me. I’m not speaking for anyone else when I say this but I gave myself my cancer. I grew it, I caused it, I am responsible for it, I own it. It is mine and no one else’s. No body or no thing caused it. It’s all me. And I’m not mad at myself. I’m glad actually (you think I’m insane now don’t you?). It’s an opportunity for me to grow and to be a better person. It has changed me for the better. My life was almost completely self serving* up to the point of being diagnosed. Yes I was a mother, and a good one but not good enough. I gave myself to my child but not completely. She came as a surprise and I tried to hold on to my old life after she came. I still went to every party going, every festival, every event I would have attended before she arrived. I wasn’t going to change! I wasn’t going to become one of those people who lost themselves overnight just because I had a baby. I clinged on to my old life, sometimes in competition with Paul to see who could be better at being themselves as well as being a parent. Do I regret this? Not really. It was all a learning curve and she hasn’t suffered for it. But am I glad things have changed now? You can bet your life on it. In fact, I am betting my life on it. It’s a gamble that the universe has thrown at me and the odds are stacked in my favour.
So how has cancer changed me then? I guess it’s turned me from a selfish person into a selfless person. Even though at the moment, it feels like I’m the centre of universe and the future of my family depends on me, it’s not actually about me anymore. This is about my daughter having a mother, it’s about my mother not losing a child. It’s about my 97 year old grandmother not losing a grandchild. It’s about not leaving Paul as a single parent. If it was only about me, I might have called it quits a long time ago. Who would want to put themselves through this torture? Wouldn’t giving in be so much easier? And yes, I have thought about that. Only a couple of times when things got really, really hard. The easiest thing to do would be to slip away, to let this take me. It’s the hardest thing in the world to drill down to your core and change your beliefs, behaviours and the way you’ve been your whole life. Real change is difficult and as humans, we’re naturally resistant to it. We have to try hard to change. We are constantly evolving and to stay in the same habits can be, well, for me it has been life threatening! I’ve spent a lot of time working on myself and have had a lot of help in doing this through various treatments and therapies and it has been so worth it. I am a better person. I’m happier, I’m brighter and I’m easier to be around (when I’m not ill and feeling sorry for myself!). I’ve stopped giving myself a hard time over things, I’ve become less judgemental and I’ve connected to myself and others and found self love. Getting very personal here! Wasn’t expecting this. Well this is a new me after all!
What’s my secret then? Get to it already will you!! Ok, Ok… My secret is… I know I’m going to be Ok. I have known this from the start. It has been the clearest thought I’ve ever had. My gut instinct has been so strong about this. I’ve had a few wobbly moments along the way where I lost sight of that, but for 99% of the time in this past 10 months, I have known I’m going to survive cancer. I’m a thriver and a healing machine, remember? It’s easy for people to think I’m not going to make it. I wouldn’t blame you. You’re not in my head and you don’t know what I know. You can’t feel what I feel. And It’s a stage 4 diagnosis, the statistics of survival are appalling. I don’t subscribe to that bullshit though. I am my own statistic. We all are. Humans have the ability to heal and overcome anything that is thrown at us. We are capable of more than we know. We are able. I am able. I can do it. I am doing it! I have my strength back after my first round of chemotherapy and boy is it back with a bang. This might wane again and it might wane for you too but just come back and read this post and get the strength and power back and know that all is going to work out. Just as the universe has planned.
* this is not the only reason I got cancer, it’s not that simple! If only! I’m still figuring out some of the other reasons. Hence why I still have it! Tackling the underlying causes is, in my opinion, the most important thing. Tumours grow for a reason, if that reason is still there, they will grow again. Cutting them out is not going to solve this. Physical healing is obviously important too, but if you cut the head off a weed it will grow back. Getting to the root is the answer.