I was recently diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I'm apparently on the young side for that diagnosis at 37. As I write this, I'm 78 days post op from my hysterectomy, and I just finished my second session of brachy therapy radiation. My therapist has recommended that I journal to help me cope with all the emotions I'm experiencing, and I've decided that since I pay for his advice, I should take it. Last week I wrote an entry that really helped me. It helped me to get those feelings out and be able to say exactly what I meant about how I felt. Now I'm going to leave that entry here, in the hope that it helps somebody else. I had a conversation with one of my bosses today where she was saying that radiation isn't so bad because she's had friends do it, as well as having several other horrible sounding illnesses and I left that conversation not feeling great. I dunno if she was trying to make me feel better or subtly shaming me, but either way I didn't love it. It's not the first time since all this started that I have felt insecure about my frame of mind re: this illness. I am vacillating between telling myself to be strong so I don't crumble under the strain regular life, and taking people's advice to feel my feelings, and be however I am at any given moment, not worrying about putting on a face for whoever is around. I'm over here struggling to be my idea of strong, when all I want to do is curl into a ball and cry. Meanwhile, people like her are walking around assuming I must be fine because they don't see it as big deal because their sister's cousin's friend went through the same thing, or something worse, and was fine. To be clear, for the record, I am not at all ok. I am a person who had never been sick before. I've never had any occasion to go to, or stay in a hospital for myself. I never broke a bone. I never had anything more serious than what a prescription of antibiotics could handle. To go from that, to needing a blood transfusion because my period was so out of hand, to finding out that it's out of hand because of FUCKING CANCER, to finding out that my only treatment option for said cancer was to rip out my womb, to finding out that I have to have radiation treatments on top of that, to finding out that ONE of those treatments involves me being held open by some fucked up implement so they can pass a radioactive wire into my vagina, to finding out that THAT is not even the worst of it, was a lot for me. I wish I was ok, but I'm not. I think I'm supposed to be ok, but I'm not. I don't know if I'm being dramatic or not. I'm not supposed to care if I am or not, but I do. I'm terrified and devastated, and I'm not ok, not at all.
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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.