9 years - and honestly, life does go back to 'normal'

Hi everyone

I think the last time I checked in here was about 2 or 3 years ago but I was sitting here this evening and thought about my 9 year 'anniversary' which is on Friday. I see that my video is still on the site (Alison' Story) and I hope that for some of you it has been useful - and I can hardly believe how much life has moved on since then.

So  - for those of you just taking your first steps to recovery and who are going through that period of feeling like like can never be 'normal' again I just wanted to drop in and let you know that it does! It took YEARS for me not to think about my cancer, not to worry about my cancer returning and not to constantly feel the impact of cancer on my body but now, all these years on I can honestly tell you that whilst I remember that I had cervical cancer (e.g. thinking about events of 9 years ago this evening), it rarely invades my thinking or feeling on a monthly or six monthly or nearly yearly basis. Yes - I have to take HRT but that really isn't problematic. I have been taking Premarin (oestrogen-only HRT) for the last 8 years (I had my ovaries removed a year after my radical hysterectomy). Yes - sex still hurts a bit, but we have worked around that pretty much and to be honest, that is something that hasn't really returned to 'normal' but I am no longer worried about it. However, those small things that I swore would never bother me again bother me! I do get caught up in silly every day things and life feels pretty normal. 

However - I am alot more resilient than I used to be, I am alot more pro-active with my health than I was before cancer (i.e. I am a nightmare pushing patient who says what they want to happen and I usually get what I want - without being too horrid!!) and I do realise that life is too short to be spending time with people who make life unpleasant or difficult, it is too short to waste time and energy on pursuits that are not beneficial or enjoyable and life it too sort and too precious to put things off until tomorrow. I have done more since I had cancer than I had done before cancer, I have been able to sort out the things that are important to me from the things that are not and I feel that I have an inner strength that can beat anything and everything. I'm learning the cello, playing in an orchestra and have taken up kayaking!  I have reasonably severe arthritis that affects my entire spine and pretty much all of my other joints for the majority of the year (it flares and then gets better - it is pretty good at the moment). Before cancer, this would have been the end of the world, being immobile and in pain would have put me into a deep depression - post-cancer it is annoying, and an inconvenience and I would rather my body worked properly but do you know what - it isn't the end of the world - it is what it is and I have learnt to cope with it and ensure that I try my best to make the most of my life how it is. This winter is likely to mean the need for a wheelchair at some point - honestly, it doesn't bother me, that wheelchair will mean that I don't miss out on things that I want to enjoy. Conquering cervical has done that for me. It has made me see the positives in the negatives and the hope for the future.

So - when I was at the stage that many of you are now and people told me that cancer would make me stronger I just thought - do you know what, that is bo**%%cks - I don't want to be stronger, I don't need to be stronger and I would rather not have cancer to make me stronger. Now - I guess it has, finally made me more able to differentiate the worthwhile from the worthless and it has made me take opportunites that I would have otherwise put off. 

Love to all of you - it is a very hard time, it feels like an eternity but you will get through the other side one way or another and the person you were is not the person who you will be become but that person will value and love life more that your pre-cancer self. 

 

Alison xx

Alison! Thankyou so much for this post! I loved it! … And congratulations for the 9 year mark :slight_smile: fantastic!!
I already feel like a stronger person post cancer and waiting for that normality to come back… I’m sure being back at work next week will aid that!! And I’ve sifted though the absolute crappy friends I had and decided I don’t care and I don’t need them I’ve got plenty of outstanding ones… And I’m already so much happier for that!

Onwards and upwards!

Take care :slight_smile:

Em xx

Fab post to read Alison - Well done you x

It brought a tear to my eye because I am just nearly at the 1 year anniversary of diagnosis. What a rollercoaster year it has been and I still have bad days but I can now see some positives as you have experienced.

My friends list is shorter but very genuine, I actually take days off from work now because i can!!

I feel a lot calmer ( probably was a bit of a stresshead)  because NOTHING can make me feel that bad and helpless again.......But most of all I realise life is too short and do not put things off anymore for another day.

Thankyou for your post and all the best for the future

Kath xx

and another positive.......My hubby and grown up kids can cook, shop and keep the house tidy!!  Lol xx

What a brilliant post to read! Thank you so so much and mega congratulations on your 9 years!

I am just 5 months post op and had my 3rd counselling session today and I was saying about how much more confident I feel, already, in listening to what is right or wrong for me. Before I brushed my own needs and feelings aside. Cancer did not allow me to do that, I had to face it head on, and I can already see how this is helping me be more assertive in other areas.

Having only just stopped being in constant pain I feel like I am claiming my life back. The days are enjoyable now. When you have things taken away from you the feeling of having stuff come back is beyond anything I have experienced before. I don’t have to struggle through a shower, I just have one. Such a simple thing but it’s made a tremendous difference to my outlook now I’m able to get through a day better.

I raise a glass to you all ladies! Enjoy the life that you have :slight_smile:

Xxx

Amazing post! Congrats to you and thanks for giving us all an insight into the future for us :) xxx

Wow what an amazing post brought a tear to my eye I hope in many years I can also bring hope to newly diagnosed x x