Well I have reached my 3 year mark, 3 years since I had the dreaded RAI and was locked away from the world for 4 days. 3 years since I was forced to stay away from my husband and baby for 1 month…and what have I done! The truth is I have no idea. It really just feels like yesterday the memory seared clearly in my mind and it struck me I have to now move forward, but how? What does that mean exactly?
Its not like someone wrote a manual or a10 point system. If they did it mine would look something like this:
1. Get diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 28 when my first baby is 2 months old.
2. Have to leave Sydney due to illness being a heavy financial burden, grandma tries to commit suicide and family disowns me.
3. Grandad dies of dementia related stroke and father inlaw looses his battle with Bowel Cancer.
4. Get to 1 year mark and am now allowed to have more babies only to find out my husband has testicular cancer.
5. HOLY F*** bought a house and now undergoing the 2nd round of cancer and heavy medical financial burden.
6. Husbands on chemo when we start IVF to try and realise our dreams of more children.
7. Have a rough pregnancy and have to finish work at 26 weeks, more financial burden. Then have our beautiful 2nd baby boy.
8. Husbands 1 year clear mark
9. Reach the 3 year clear mark so far without a hitch, except psychological scars.
10. Move on, LOL!!!!
Seriously does this look like the list of aspirations we all hope and dream of in our early 30s. While most of our friends are traveling, getting pissed and buying wanky designer clothes we are off having treatment, suffering heavy medical financial burden and just hoping to make it through each day.
Its funny isn’t it people expect as soon as treatment finishes you just become your old self again and move on, or even better, go off and climb Mount Everest or meditate in hills of India. Forget the fact that we live our lives at appointments with doctors, specialists and pathologists. Or the fact that we have to pass the tests for at least 5 years (in my case) before we are deemed clear, no this is not the normal life of people our age but it is for people surviving cancer.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.