Sep 5, 2016

The pre cancer mindset...

One of the biggest adjustments since this whole breast cancer thing happened has been the mighty change in my thoughts and feelings. I mean obviously it's going to change you, that goes without saying. One of the first things the Dr said to me after she told me I had cancer was 'this will change your life forever'. But lately I've been thinking a lot about when I was a teenager and in my early twenties and how you have that wonderful feeling of complete and utter hope, a fresh view, with innocent dreams and trivial tasks consuming your mind. I remember I was all teenage angst and romance obsessed, all I cared about was my art, the way I looked and my immediate friends and family, with absolutely no consideration of what might go wrong or anything bad in the world.
I wish you could bottle that stuff up and keep it forever, it's so beautiful.

 I imagine the time when I was so sure of everything but had no idea about anything. Of course you grow up, life happens and you go through stuff; Like marriage, like childbirth, like being a mum. Like financial problems, career growth, success and failures.

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. If you know me well then you'll be pretty aware of those mistakes! A very bad, abusive relationship which involved a lot of bad choices that affected my whole life. A whole other blog post! But the point I'm trying to make is that, I thought I'd had my adult experiences that shaped me as a human being, I thought that relationship and financial stresses and being a parent were the things that changed your life and made you grow, appreciate things and become a better, wiser person.

And as much as all the other I things I have faced in my life have changed me, cancer took it to a whole other level.

Nothing can prepare you for the emotions that come when a Doctor says "I'm sorry you have cancer" with a gentle tap on the knee and a genuine look of sadness that says 'she's really young and this is really bad' look in her eyes.

In that moment your whole life really does change and it continues to change. Not because of the actual cancer but because you're faced with your own mortality. When you're faced with your own mortality you start to question everything. From life as we know it to the depths of the universe.
I sometimes miss the times and my mindset where I'd be searching for the perfect outfit with such passion and determination, or desperately wanting a piece of furniture for my house or wishing I had a perfectly toned stomach and a natural tan.

Because those things were important to me at the time and I didn't worry anything else, I didn't worry about worst-case scenarios, I didn't worry about cancer and I didn't worry about death, I didn't worry about what happened when people die. I didn't worry about our whole human existence and if there was a God or all that really deep, scary stuff.

I didn't worry about it because I put it into an 'I'll deal with that later' compartment of my brain. I'd questioned things slightly in the past,  when you get that teenage perspective of how big life really is and you can taste that you're about to experience more than you ever have before. But then you snap out of it and worry about your latest boyfriend or what you're going to wear on Friday night. I thought about it when I became a Mum. I became obsessed with creating memories and documenting things for the kids, I'd baby-proof everything and second guess everything from a safety point of view, I wouldn't put myself in even slightly scary situations because I was a Mum and I wanted nothing but happiness and safety for us all but I was so busy being a Mum and getting on with life that it didn't play on my mind actively and again, you don't actually think that anything bad will happen to you.
Any other time I thought about it and found it all too scary to comprehend, I'd quickly return back into comfortable territory like reading a romance novel, or planning my day or watching trashy television and eating junk food to make me feel better. Because I like doing those things. I miss the importance of doing all those things. I feel like ever since this all happened it's made me feel a bit like...We're all gunna die one day, bad stuff happens to good people, what's the point of all this?!

This post is getting a bit deep, and I don't sit around crying or feel depressed or angry about it or anything, I don't think about it every second... It's just that life now, doesn't feel like the be all and the end all, those little things I used to put so much pressure on, don't feel all that important anymore and I actually kind of miss that.

There were moments between finding out I had cancer and 'how bad the cancer was' where I was in limbo. Finding out I had breast cancer but no clue what type of breast cancer it was or if it had spread was definitely the hardest time for me. I had to educate myself on all types as best I could, so when the Drs told me, I'd know how bad it was. I was introduced to a world of terms like 'aggressive, invasive, grades, stages, lymph nodes' and it was frightening. I'd lie awake, unable to sleep from all the new information, combined with the fear. 

And that changes you.

I guess everyone feels like this to a point, cancer or not, everyone has their own challenges and their own story. I'm just going through it right now and it feels weird, like a transition.

I'm going to shut my laptop, read the kids a bedtime story and go and watch some trashy TV, preferably reality TV and stop with all the personal growth chat.


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