I'm feeling pretty sober today, this walk is mostly making me feel full of power and happiness, I can smile full beam at everyone I meet, I want to chat, share things, hug people.
Going to hospital was like a brick wall somehow, maybe it's just the bringing down to earth of the consultation experience where, in the nicest and most professional way, you are just the latest in a series of bodies that your consultant will see today. Or maybe it's the return to something scary, because it might happen, it might come back, and there in the hospital is where you go to begin to find out.
Sometimes I feel as if my cancer wasn't really cancer at all, as if it was a near miss; but that's only true to a tired mind, it was a proper cancer. I had a mucinous adenocarcinoma, stage 1a, grade 2. The important part is the stage 1a; it means I got lucky.
It took me about a year to feel good again, to put fear behind me. I came out of the illness part, through the recuperation and into the after stage. One year after my operation I said goodbye. Goodbye to my diseased body part, it's over now and you've gone. I also said thank you to what's left - thank you Leftie for working as you should. Thank you to the rest of my body, to my legs, my eyes, my lungs. Thank you for being strong and working so well I don't even notice how perfect you are. It helped to put the fear away in its place - the past - and to see that there's no need for it now.
It's just that it all comes back a bit when I go to hospital. When something unexpected comes up on the ultrasound screen, or when I lie down on the table, waiting for the doctor to touch my stomach.
My illness was two years ago and when I finished being ill, I was told that my cancer has a 6% chance of re-occurring within 5 years and that 75% of those 6% of cases happen in the first two years. I'm into the third year today and that means I've passed something - a milestone, a marker, not quite a finish line, I don't know. But it helps me to see that the fear really really doesn't need to be with me any more, maybe this is just a sadness for what went before.
So I came out of hospital, walked up Whiteladies Road and had a vanilla milkshake and a slice of Rocky Road brownie in a really nice cafe and then found about 6 OS maps in a second hand shop for 75p each. I feel better now.
Please don't comment and tell me how amazing I am, not today, go and find someone who is having chemotherapy or a hard time and give them some love.