Here we go again…

Another year is about to end, with the promise of a shiny new one about to descend.

No denying it has been a tough year, but I’ve been very lucky also.

The last couple of months have been especially trying. I’ve felt like I have needed to prove myself in every aspect of my life.
Work.
Friends.
Married life.

I honestly don’t know whether I am coming or going. I could sit here and wax lyrical on everything that is wrong with me. I feel like I should write it down as if to justify my behaviour.

Part of me wants to do that, get it out there and let people know. List everything down. Outwardly I might be fine, but fuck me, am I a mess inside.

Part of me wonders why on earth I have to write anything at all. Do people not realise what I have been through this year?

Part of me wants to hide. Hide in a very dark place and wait for Spring.

Part of me knows I should try to move on as much as I possibly can.

Part of me…well you can see from above why I feel at such a loss.

I made an appointment for my Doctors for the 23rd December; I need to stock up on my patches but also, I need help.

Psychologically, I need some assistance. Not necessarily through meds (but I am open to that option) but maybe some therapy.

When you finish your treatment for Cancer, if you are lucky (like I am) you don’t see anyone (doctors/nurses etc) unless you need to or at scheduled appointments. For me, it has felt like you’ve been cut loose from the pack and you are out there to defend yourself.
And that was fine in the beginning, you are given a new lease of life, you’ve beaten something and for a moment, you are invincible.
But now its a bit farther down the road, and you’re still doing well, but the novelty of conquering cancer is waning.

I found myself looking in a dark hole. I was looking at a girl I used to know.
A girl who was paranoid about every tiny thing.
A girl who just wanted to please everyone and not upset the dynamic.
A girl who, at one point even considered leaving her job, just to make it so that her colleague was happy.
A girl who cried herself to sleep because she had forgotten to reply to a text and the recipient was upset because of that flippant forgetfulness.

I realised I had changed. I’ve written about it before, and although this whole bloody situation has made me stronger, it also took away some of my softer side.
I don’t suffer fools gladly and you can’t walk all over me anymore. And the other day, I realised that what people didn’t like about me anymore. They couldn’t take me for granted and weigh me down, because I simply don’t let it happen.
Someone recently told me that I was cold-hearted now, that I didn’t care as much as I did before.
To a certain extent that is true. Although I care about the bigger things now, the people and things that are important to me instead of fretting about the small things.

I think it is because I am being told I need to move on. I need to get over that fact I can’t have my own children anymore. I need to stop playing the cancer card. So I’ve just stopped it.

I guess I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve anymore. I think I used to make myself too vulnerable to people (why do you write a blog then?!) but I have shut that down now. I rarely talk about my personal life in work (apart from James because he is farking hilarious and EVERYONE should know about his antics) and actually I go to work for a rest from my ‘real life’. I get an eight-hour break from having to deal with the shit storm our family had to go through.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my little family. They have got me through the worst time imaginable, but it pains me that I/we have lost so much along the way.
I can switch off at work and forget what I have done to our family and just pretend to be someone else for a little while.

I can pretend to be Frannie, who gets her job done (and works bloody hard to do that) and flirts with people and can talk about stupid inane pish without letting any of the other hurt in my life get in the way.

But all that has changed recently.

The crushing anxiety which feels as though someone is sitting on my chest is creeping back in. The shaky hands are there, which is becoming noticeable when you pass something to someone. The paranoia that people are talking behind your back is ever-present, as is the nausea that follows it.

So why am I writing all this down, on the cusp of the New Year, which is to symbolise a new beginning? Because I want to leave all this shit in 2013. I don’t want it to drag me down in 2014.
I will never regret this year. This year I BEAT CANCER. I was on DAYBREAK for crying out loud.

But on the 23rd December I was meant to go to the doctors and I didn’t.
I bottled it at the last-minute.

I know I need help. I can admit that much. But I don’t want to go back to how I was. I like the bolshy, takes no shit, Fran. She’s pretty fucking spunky. But I do love some of the old Fran. She was kind and amazing.
How do I get both. Is it even possible?

So, here we go again. The constant loop inside my head.

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Temp

I’ve been working at the firm I am currently in for the last 12 months and two weeks ago I was asked to join another team in my department as
1. My role was ceasing
2. I had really proved myself in these last 12 months and thought I could handle this new job.

Woo hoo!

All very good but it’s still a temp role which is financially crippling but the hours are good and at the end of the day, it’s paying (just) my bills and keeps Jim Jam in biscuits.
I get reviews every 3 months but essentially the job is for a year.

After my wonderful prognosis last week, I was both euphoric and daunted at the same time.

The feeling of euphoria is fast fading.

My life is now basically on a temp contract. I get reviewed every 3 months, but I’m hoping that the contract gets extended to more than a year.

I want to so badly just let myself revel in this joy. I still don’t quite believe the outcome.

I used to be such a dreamer; an eternal optimist. I would see the good In all situations. Even when I was diagnosed with Cancer, I took it as an opportunity to try out a new hair style.

But along with taking my ability to have children, it seems as though cancer has taken some of my spirit too.

I don’t think I’ll ever fully let myself celebrate until perhaps at the magic 5 year mark.

So, I have a new temp job and a new temp life.
Lets hope both bosses like me.

Crystal Ball

This next blog has struck a chord with me.

Whilst pondering on what I was going to write next, willing myself to suddenly become hilarious, the wonderful @ruralmummy threw this spanner in the works…

well the only question I have is about future treatment. Is there going to be anything on going? What is your prognosis long term? How do you feel about your future now?

The 28th February sees me having my 4 week check. I think this check up is to see how the lasting cumulative effects of the radiotherapy are doing and how I am doing in general health.

2/3 months later, I will have an MRI to see the status of the tumour and what/ if future treatment will be.

It could be surgery to remove, seeing as it has shrunk the margins are better to play with. It could mean more chemotherapy.
I don’t think radiotherapy in that area is an option as you can only have a limited amount of radiation.

Hopefully it won’t need further treatment.

Hopefully I can just go every three months for a check up for the next two years, then I can increase that to every six months, until we reach the magic 5 year mark.

I’ve really tried not to think too far ahead. Whilst I was having treatment, it was easy to have goalposts to aim against.

These last 4 weeks have been a bit like floating in limbo.
It was nice to have the security of visiting the hospital everyday. They checked you everyday, if you had a problem, you only had to wait 24 little hours before you could voice it.

Then suddenly they take that security blanket away from you and you have to try and get back to what life was like before Cancer came along.

So I’ve tried not to get too excited about future dealings with the devil. I have been so positive about things but, every time I try to get my brain to think about life down the road, I pull myself back.

You know those full body scans you can have, which can show osteoporosis, heart disease and even when your next due a poo, well I never ever liked the idea of having one done.
Why on earth would you want to know what could possible ail you in later life. Yes, yes I know prevention is sometimes better than cure, but why would you want to base your future on something that may or may not happen.

But now? Now that my future, for the next 5 years at the very least, is determined by a Fuckwit. Yea, i’d want one of them bad boys. It’s a freaking crystal ball into your bodies future.

I guess it’s a control thing.

I think you could ask any Cancer warrior what was the one thing they would like most and the answer (other than survival) would be to have more control over your….destiny I guess.

In a situation where everything is questioned or put on hold or assessed to within an inch of it’s life, having control over your own body is a sacred pleasure.

So what does my future hold?

I hope it holds me seeing in my 10 year anniversary with Pete next April.
I hope I get to see Jack graduate.
I hope I get to see James grow up and go to school and be a happy little boy.
I hope…I can only hope.

Where is that crystal ball when you need one.

For now….

Dear James,

Tomorrow Mama finishes her cancer treatment. I am both elated and scared by this fact.
Tomorrow, I have my last general anesethic for my last brachytherapy treatment. It will be 3 in total and three times I have done the same thing the night before. I have held you before you go to bed and I have sobbed into your hair. I tell you that no matter what, I am your Mama and that I love you more than you could ever know. You look at me with your chocolate button eyes and say ‘Na’niiight’.

Throughout this whole experience I have tried to shield you from my crying or my anger. I think I have done a good job of protecting you, but I never worry about crying in front of you at these times because, it just shows you how much I love you. If I never woke up tomorrow, I hope on some level you knew how much I love you.

You have been my little star these past 8 weeks. You have dealt with this upheaval so well, it makes you far older than the tiny 20 months you are.

You are saying so many words now, some with a northern inflection and even some sentences. Caaakes and Haats are my favourite words of yours.
You just love to be part of the crowd. Centre of attention if you like. You tickle and do the tickling noises too.
And you are tantruming like a gooden. You’ve definitely kept me grounded these last few weeks.

We’ve had such fun these last couple of days in the snow, you’re so independent, it hurts.

You have curls and curls and curls. You could almost be a girl, if it wasn’t for the fact you look so much like a boy.

Now were venturing to the next step. Its a bit uncertain and i’m not afraid to say i’m worried, but please stay as you are, my darling. Your amazing love has got me through.

I am so proud of the little gentleman you are becoming. I hope that one day, when you sit down to read these letters, you can say you are proud of your dear old Mum. Its been far from easy, but you make it a smoother journey.

I love you with everything I have.

Snowy Boy

Snowy Boy

Keep growing strong,
Mama
xxx