For many long months, I wondered how should I start this. I guess the only way is to sit and write, so here I am now, doing exactly that.
Having gone through two cancers and exhausting treatments in the space of only one year, I thought I’d share my experience (or adventure, as I call it) with whomever may stumble upon this blog. So make yourself a cup of tea, sit comfortably and let me tell you a story.
When we hear about other people’s illnesses, we often wonder what would we do if it happened to us. We tend to have a pretty solid imaginary treatment plan figured out, and feel absolutely and totally confident to say: ‘if I were you, I would to this’. Well, let me tell you one thing – it’s bullshit.
The truth is we have no idea how we would act until we are actually in that situation. I know that first hand.
So what is it like to get the big news? It’s bizarre. I will never forget it. Never in my life have I felt the way I did on that memorable day in February 2015. Following a doctor’s appointment arranged to check the symptoms I was experiencing, I ended up in a hospital, where I was told I had cancer.
Have you ever seen that movie 50/50? Remember the bit where a doctor is talking to the main character, delivering the news, and all he hears is some jibba jabba, while his thoughts become complete and utter chaos? That’s exactly what it’s like to get the news.
I remember thinking ‘this can’t be right! Things like that happen to people on TV, not me’. I was 27 at the time, just back in college, getting my shit together, and then this happens? I was enraged rather than scared. Mostly because I considered myself a good person, and found it unfair. I could have right away picked 5 people I knew, who should have gotten cancer rather than me (ok, maybe I’m not THAT good of a person).
I remember getting out of the room, back to the waiting area where I broke the news to Owen (my fiancé), by showing him a booklet I got about cervical cancer. He couldn’t believe it, I was in shock and in that state we drove home, without saying a single word to each other.
And then another problem emerged – how do I tell my mother? So I’ve decided to do the only thing I thought was rational at the time: smoke a joint. Having calmed down an awful lot and told everyone close to me about what happened, I sat on the couch and thought to myself: ‘This is going to be shit’.