Last night I wrote the following tweet, which got more attention than I thought it would:
Birthday in a few weeks! Don’t think people realize how important my 30th is to me as a cancer survivor. It is a landmark I will feel privileged to reach. If anyone did already realise that, I would declare them my bff right now; that would be impressive. Blog to follow tomorrow.
This week I am thinking about the labels we put on ourselves, the labels other people put on us, and the labels we want. Partly because today is PTSD Awareness Day, and partly because a colleague is celebrating a different diagnosis that has given him relief and closure.
Whenever someone says they don’t have a choice about something, I always think, well there’s always a choice – no matter what the subject matter is. You can just do nothing. You can sit still, hole up, you can struggle or not struggle, whatever situation you are in. You can keep hoping or lose hope. You can try or not try. You can keep going or give up.
So the other day when I was thinking about how I deal wih being a cancer survivor and I thought ‘well I have to deal with it, I haven’t been given a choice or been asked if I wanted it or not’, I immediately thought – as an involuntary reflex – ‘you always have a choice’.
So I thought about it, and I’m right. I don’t have to do the things that I do. I don’t have to go to screenings or checkups, and I never had to go along with genetic testing. I don’t have to do anything at all, ever. I could just bury my head in the sand, but I don’t. I’m making the right decisions. I’m doing as well as I can in the circumstances. I have a choice and I am making the right choices. And if you’re going to checkups, and monitoring yourself, and keeping on top of all your health-related stuff. you’re making the right choices, too. And I think that’s a little bit affirming. A little something to hold onto.
Hello! I’ve had a short story published in an online zine today. Well, it’s sort of a very short fiction thing based on real life but sort of fictional. It’s metaphorical, which I love, and based on my health experiences and feelings around that. You can find it in issue 12 of Degenerate Literature. Hope you like it, and if it resonates with anyone please let me know – it’s awesome to connect with people who have had similar feelings and experiences!
I’m so pleased to say that this blog has been named one of the top ten cancer blogs of 2016!
The lovely people over at IHadCancer.com listed their ten top cancer blogs of last year, and out of hundreds of submissions, mine was one of the top ten!
So, I can now say I’m officially an award-winning blogger, right?! I’m even gonna get a badge to put on my blog and everything.
I mean, when I submitted my blog for consideration I didn’t even know it was for an award type thing, I just thought they were putting a list of resources together. And I thought my blog would be too poem-y and not quite as bloggy as others to merit consideration. So this is really cool.
And best of all, it’s really inspired me and motivated me to keep writing, and blogging, and posting my poetry. I feel appreciated and like what I do matters, and that is the best start to the new year I could have gotten. So a huge thank you to the guys and girls at IHC – it might sound silly but this really means a lot. You’ll all be hearing a lot more from me in 2017. This is my year.
I can see I’m in great company, and it’s really cool to be connecting to other cancer bloggers on Twitter, too. You can see the list of all the top ten blogs and special mentions on the IHadCancer.com website.
This is just for me. If someone else gets something out of it too, whether it makes someone else feel less alone, or like someone can relate, that’s fantastic. If not, then fine, it’ll just be an outlet for me.
I’m struggling this week. I had a bad dream a couple of nights ago, and because I didn’t want to have any more bad dreams, I delayed going to bed last night and went to sleep late. Not too late, but I was tired today. I feel perpetually tired.
are the least important,
ones with the least need for help.
priority on the list. Our journey is done.
I don’t feel like a winner.
Why am I upset when I survived, my story’s been told,
out the other side, I’m perfectly alive?
is my gratitude? There are people
off than me, worse off than I
was, therefore mitigating
I’ve ever felt, of course.
emotional needs are nothing
to those with stage four
suffer so much physically,
who need a miracle.
have so much to be
for. I’m so lucky.
a picture of a candle on Facebook
not make me feel respected or honoured [1 share = 1
just reminds me of things I don’t need
help to be reminded of. [1 share = 1
don’t fight, we survive
it’s not our fault that
not the heroes
are not soldiers.
are just people
to get by.
is no more
strength in us
I had never experienced survivor’s guilt until very recently. Today at work we had a Macmillan Coffee Morning to raise money for cancer support, and I figured the day was going to be hard. For the first hour
I sat squeezing my stress ball trying to stop my hands from shaking. I don’t even know why they were shaking. My discomfort and reluctance to have anything to do with cancer charity related events seems somewhat illogical. I mean, the Macmillan charity has never tried to kill me. So I already started today having a difficult time trying to understand myself.