Not an easy day when you realize that life is completely out of your control, especially when your one of those people that is organized with your life and likes to ‘get shit done’. Suddenly your not suppose to make any plans other than to listen to what the doctors say and surrender to letting your body rest and take to treatment. Things like… Stay close to home. Get lots of rest. Don’t make any travel plans. Try your best to relax. Just take it one day at a time. Relax???????!!! Are they kidding me? Sure… hold on… let me go relax. I like to pride myself on being a calm and responsible thinker with my thoughts… but it takes some practice.
I focus on my breathe these days. A lot.
I meditate. A lot.
I require complete stillness often.
I think one of the hardest days yet was the first day I went to Princess Margaret Hospital, I had walked through the hospital many times before from just being in the area because of being at Mt. Sinai for all of my doctors appointments during my pregnancies but I hadn’t put much thought into it really – I was only ‘passing through’. I didn’t realize how quickly you become a patient when you are diagnosed and one of the first things they do when you arrive for your appointments is give you ‘the bracelet’. All I could think was… ‘why are they giving me a bracelet, I don’t want one!’ The hospital bracelet really made me upset… I mean when I was 13 and broke my arm and got a bracelet for being in emerg I think I kept it on for weeks because I thought it was so cool! This time… it def was’t cool. Not cool at all. I was uncool. I guess it indicated that I was staying for a longer period of time and I wasn’t sure if I really understood the degree of what I was about to go through. I’m a patient. I’m a Cancer patient at Princess Margaret Hospital. Fuck me.
I actually often hear the words “Why me?” in waiting rooms. Seriously… I do. I actually once blurted… “Why not?” Jesus Nikki… shut your fucking mouth! The lady actually laughed… “I guess so… ” she replied. I apologized and then she said… “No, your right… Cancer doesn’t choose the bad people, I guess I just feel like I’m a good person.” And you know what… it’s true – she is a good person, just like me and plenty of others. It’s not like if you’ve ever done anything bad in your life you get put into the “Cancer Lottery”.
The next hardest thing to do is tell people, ‘break the news’ so to speak. So hears the thing… I don’t like to be one of those humans that complains about life – I like to think I take a pro-active approach to making change happen so that I live a full life with all the things I want. And what an awkward conversation starter… Hey, How are you? Good. You? Oh… great – I have Cancer! Umm… awkward!!! I’ve often described it as inviting people to your early funeral – even if odds are in your favour. Everyone has their own experiences with Cancer and sometimes they don’t have pretty endings. I don’t like a complainer and if you know me you know that I feel this way. I don’t mind listening to a good bitch session as long as at some point we do something about it. Take action. I’m not angry at Cancer. I’m angry that my body is angry going through treatment, I’m sad for it.
I think a lot of people get diagnosed with Cancer and they have this “aha” moment that tells them they aren’t leading the life they are suppose to. I didn’t. I actually felt relieved. All I could think was “thank fucking god I live the life that I do… I wouldn’t change a thing.” And that’s the honest to god truth. I still have a shit tonne more on my list to do… everyone knows about the list 🙂 But… I’m constantly working on it and believe I try my best to muscle through life’s obstacles along the way… this just happens to be one of them. Shitty, but true. I think the next hardest thing about telling people is that in some way people feel like my problems are worse than yours. I’m here to assure you that they are not. You can’t compare apples to oranges. What I’m going through is difficult but I will get through it with the help of my friends and family and there may be many dark days (cause god knows that the drugs from chemo give me dark, dark thoughts) but we will get through this slice of my life. What I want everyone to know is that we can’t compare our problems – it’s all relevant. We can remind ourselves to have compassion for one another and be great friends, great listeners and be proactive about our own lives. Just don’t waste it, enjoy it. Don’t run out tomorrow and buy a sports car… but if you’ve always wanted a sports car… well then – work hard and buy it or rent one for the day! Love deeply and find joy in your days and allow yourself to have some shitty days too, as long as they don’t overshadow the bright ones we are doing ok. I know a lot of friends and family going through their own troubles and need help just as much as I do, so let’s just stick together. Always.