I haven’t really told anyone. My husband told his parents, I told my employer and mentioned it to a friend in an email as a way of explaining why I didn’t want to commit to catching up. I’m not opposed to telling people, but it’s like I can’t physically get the words out, my body won’t let me. That being said I told my brother and sister. You have no idea how hard it is to say the word Cancer when it means something to you. Someone I love has the Big C.
I quite often get referred to as a strong person or a rock. I think I have always been mentally tough. On personality tests I rate low in emotion, so maybe that has something to do with it. Or maybe it’s because I tackle issues head on because I don’t want them to linger. Or maybe it’s because I had good role models. I come from a line of tough women who endured more than I could ever imagine and came out on the other side still standing and ready to fight again. I’m a believer in doing whatever you have to do in order to survive. My mental toughness is being tested, but I’m hanging in there. Mums are special people. I remember when I was a kid we would all get colds, but my mum never did. Her explanation was that I am too busy to get sick.
I have entered this strange world. A co-worker whose father in-law was recently diagnosed with leukaemia told me that it is always there, the cancer. Even when you think that you are not thinking about it, it is there in the back of your mind. It’s like being followed around by a cloud.
My adult gap year, my year of discovery doesn’t seem so important anymore.