Ok, so get ready to feel sorry for me. Violins please...
Within hours of my return home I realised I had brought a little friend from the hospital called, Gastro. It decided to play with the husband and child number one. Child number two though, didn't like all the playing but decided it quite appropriate to develop bronchilitus, a condition that meant that a visit to the doctor and antibiotics were in order. I coudn't lift my arm to get dressed, my arm pit had a permanent prickly sensation so I always had a cushion under my arm, I didn't want to eat, I couldn't clean the house (not really upset about this one, just included it for dramatic effect), had very little energy to play with the children and I just wanted to return to the person I was when I walked into the hospital, a fit and healthy young mum of two girls who was content with life.
I remember very clearly the moment in which I walked into the TV room with children one and two, and feeling a sensation of having a black cloud over the entire house. I have never experienced depression, maybe it was a bit of that coming on. Maybe it was hormonal. It could have been the anaesthetic still working it's way out of my body. Either way this way of thinking was clearly not helpful, for anyone! I had to get a grip!
Rather than focusing on my situation I thought back on my ward buddy who had battled cancer for 20 years. She now had only lost her husband 3 months ago and was in hospital, alone. She was still mounring the loss of her husband when a cancerous tumour began to grow in her brain, messing with her eyesight. And, what about those women who are diagnosed with cancer before they have children. What about the fact that I have loads of support. It really does not take too long to get the focus off of one's pathetic little sook to see the bigger picture. As I have mentioned earlier, after the initial diagnosis, we have had good news, compounded by more good news. That was plenty to be upbeat about. So, I tried to focus on that and not get too upset about how I was feeling. Feelings are so temporary.
It was when I was coming out of that state of mind that I received initial results over the phone. Again, good news. The tumour had shrunk by 1mm (could that have been my crazy diet punching the cancer in the face?), there was no evidence of cancer in my lymph nodes, the margins were clear (tumourous cancer removed and none in the surrounding area) and the cancer was oestrogen respondent (more on that later). Out of all that great news however, the only thing I really heard the nurse say was that I may need further surgery to be certain that the margins were clear. This sent me into an absolute panic. There was no way in the world I could go through that again. The drains being pulled out...Noooooo!
This is where support saved me. I poured out my concerns to a friend who made a very simple statement that was really just common sense. She said, something on the lines of, you have made it through this time, you will be able to do it again if need be. True. That was that.
A few days later we felt that donuts were in order when I was told that the surgical team had unanimously decided that no further surgery was needed. Having sat at home for days, I even had energy to visit the local health food shop. Whoo hoo! Such relief. And look, that whole week, which seemed so huge in my mind, can be reduced to a blog on a little known web page in Australia.
I was pretty disappointed in myself to learn that I placed so much dependence on my health to be happy. Another lesson learned: do not place my joy in something that can be taken away so easily.