The 18th of December marked a year since I was told I was in Partial Remission from Ovarian Cancer. It had me feeling all kinds of things and really made me think about the after shock that an illness like that has on you and those around you.
For example I shall start with my nan, she was my rock throughout my illness she sat with me in hospitals for hours on end, cuddled me when I was crying in pain or crying from being absolutely exhausted from chemo, she would hold my hand and rub my back and play with my hair until I fell asleep. She held my hair back whilst I was sick and delivered food to my bed when I was too weak to move. She saw me at my worst and told me everything would be okay when people doubted me. The thing is, who was there for her? Some people, luckily the minority, were really very nasty when I chose to write my blog about my illness. The fact I’d kept it a secret seemed ‘unbelievable’ to some and they seemed to think it was okay to talk about me to other people and spread rumours without either asking me directly or having any facts.
This absolutely killed my nan, and me, as if me being poorly wasn’t hard enough on her she had to deal with people’s lies and how defeated and let down I felt. Like I said, I’m very lucky that those people were in the minority and are obviously not people I would want around me anyway but they got that rise from me, which I hated. How was I to PROVE it to them?
My Nan said once when my sister rang me in tears because she had heard some lies about me- ‘would they like to come and live with us for a couple of days? Do you think they would believe you then?’ It kills me that people genuinely think it’s okay to be like that to another person. I sincerely hope that you or someone close to you doesn’t go through what I went through because it’s hard enough to battle that illness and think you’re not going to make it to your next birthday without being… there is simply no other word for it… BULLIED too.
Then we will move on to me, I naively thought this is great, I’m in remission now all the pain will go. I’ll be well, I can work and run and get fit and do whatever I want.
My body has been absolutely battered by treatments and operations and to be fair it’s been through an ordeal. So now, I’m a shadow of my former self, I still get a lot of pain. I still have cysts, that burst quite regularly and it is excruciating. Of course I have no way of knowing when they will decide to do that either, I was in the middle of serving a customer the other day and suddenly ended up doubled over in pain! It’s horrendous if I’m honest.
Some days I can’t even get out of bed because I’ve spent the majority of the night awake in pain and it really does wipe you out. I’ve mastered the ‘poker face’ where no one can really tell I’m in pain over my resting bitch face but sometimes I don’t want to pretend to be okay. I want to wallow in self pity and feel what needs to be felt because ‘that’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt’
I suppose I should mention that I do feel exceptionally grateful and blessed. I never thought I would hear the words remission and I certainly never thought I’d give birth. The fear of it returning will live with me forever. The health hypochondria that every headache is a brain tumour because that’s ‘just my luck’ will always live with me. I will also NEVER stop telling women to GET. CHECKED. Its so so important and most women don’t go for fear of the pain please believe me when I say a couple of hours TOPS of being uncomfortable is much better than the alternative. Trust me.