The Truth About Surviving Cancer
I won't sleep tonight and I haven't slept much for the last few nights either. My appetite has gone over the last couple of days and a constant feeling of dread has sat behind the things I've distracted myself with.
I've never shared the downsides of surviving cancer before - it's always felt wrong to admit feeling a bit shitty about it, like it's some kind of dirty secret. There's an ongoing mental conflict between being endlessly grateful and constantly fearful - much like an emotional tug of war.
As I prepare for my annual results tomorrow I fluctuate between thick anxiety and teariness as I ponder the 'what ifs', and serious repenting of my sins for overindulging in chocolate, avoiding the gym and telling rude jokes - aware that chastising myself won't really impact the outcome!
Sometimes being a cancer survivor is a bit shit - but we’re not really supposed to say that. The fear of recurrence is always in the back of my mind but I never talk about it. Instead I fake it and pretend everything is OK. By pretending I almost start to believe it too, for a while, but going back to hospital brings the emotions flooding back - and it scares me.
Being 'cured' of cancer doesn't mean it's the end of the journey, it stays a bit like a scar. And whilst I'm unbelievably thankful for my outcome, it's hard to stay upbeat and uplifting all the time.
This has not been an easy post to write or share but I want to be honest - there's already too much smoke and mirrors on social media - so that's the truth!