I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had a melt down. Ok, maybe two hands…but I am a master of disguise. I have learned to hide my feelings with humour and diversion. I hide my pain, my anxiety and my fear, by poking fun at myself and laughing about the shit storm I have endured since being diagnosed with breast cancer.
This week I had to drive into the city for an appointment and on the way home, while driving on the highway, I hit a pothole the size of a small town, going 110km an hour. My front left tire exploded and the right tire split. I lost control…literally, fighting to hold onto the steering wheel to keep my car from spinning out and smashing into another car or the guardrail. It was very scary. I managed to get onto the shoulder and limp the car along to an exit and a service station.
What I felt in that moment is very similar to what I felt when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was zooming along with my life, on a nicely paved road with a few twists and turns… just enough to keep it interesting…and then WHAM. My life hit a giant pothole named CANCER and in an instant everything blew up and sent my life spinning out of control. Keeping everything on track has been no easy feat. Trying to manage the pain and recovery from seven surgeries; not to mention the loss of income, confidence and quality of life has put me to the test. It ain’t easy waking up in pain, getting through the day in pain and then fighting through the night in hopes of getting a few pain free hours of sleep. My calendar used to be filled with social engagements, dinner parties and trips…and now its nothing but doctor’s appointments, procedures, consultations and physio therapy. I feel like I’ve lost control over my life. Cancer and all its ramifications now dictate what I can and cannot do. And it pisses me off!
I don’t want to be held back from doing what I want to do. I don’t want to be hindered by pain, loss of mobility and anxiety. I want to be spontaneous and carefree. Oh lord, that sounds like a bad tampon commercial doesn’t it …go with the flow…but I’m tired of having to “plan” and overthink everything just to go on an outing. Will it be too much for me? Did I bring all my meds? Will I get through the day without too much pain? Will I get through the day period?!
I am working hard, everyday to keep things going; to keep my life on track; to keep from losing control. It’s hard. It’s tiring. It’s painful. But what choice do I have? I can put my life in “park” or I can shift out of neutral and keep moving forward. I may not be ready for the fast lane, but I am certainly determined to move this journey along and reach the end. Every day I gas up and tell myself to keep going. I may occasionally run out of fuel or blow a tire, but if I work on moving forward, I know that I will reach my destination eventually… even if I hit a few potholes along the way.
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.