On Meeting My Oncologist
A new path reveals itself,
one I’m scared to tread.
Damn…turns out it’s been growing not shrinking after all. One of the tumours in my liver is, all of a sudden it seems, twice as big as it was before. Got to start chemo again, and soon, and just nine months after my last lot finished. I thought I’d have a longer period of grace – the chance to get our new house ready, to plan some holidays, to enjoy life. Looks like these stupid cells have other ideas. For the first time it feels real. The future seems a bit more scary…
I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be back to my more cheery self, just feel like the wind has been taken from my sails. I need to focus on positive stuff, count my blessings, get my gratitude attitude back. I am going to get back to something I started last year – each day you think of three things, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that you are thankful or grateful for and write them down. I was doing it on Facebook (and shall type the first one below) but now I think I shall get an actual physical journal. The act of writing by hand, as neatly as I can manage, in a beautiful notebook will hopefully give the process more resonance. According to Psychology Today, a number of studies have shown this simple task can, if practiced regularly, keep you healthier and happier – resulting in everything from better sleep patterns to lower anxiety levels and even help reduce physical ailments. I think I’ll need all the help I can get.
So, for starters, today I am grateful that:
- My crappy news has inspired me to start writing my gratitude journal again
- I have access to one of the UK’s top cancer centres, practically on my doorsteps and that I get regular scans and have a dedicated secondary breast cancer nurse, and a dedicated oncologist and a huge NHS team working on my behalf.
- My imminent chemo-induced baldiness has given me the perfect opportunity to try out that pastel hair dye I bought months ago but was never brave enough to use. If I look like mutton dressed as pale pink lamb or some sort of demented, round faced elderly My Little Pony, then I don’t have to live with it for long!
So although this new path I find myself on is a somewhat scary one, I still intend to make sure it is one paved with gratitude and thankfulness no matter the twists and turns. In the words of Henry David Thoreau,
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”