On Bad News

I have cancer. Leukaemia to be specific, and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia to be even more specific. I registered this blog name during a strange emotional high on my second morning of chemotherapy, after a week in hospital connected to drips full of red blood cells, platelets, fluids and antibiotics, intrigued by the new plastic tube running from my heart, through the skin and sitting just six inches above my right nipple.

Halfway through writing what I was sure was going to be my first blog post which would mark me beginning to deal with the maelstrom of emotions I was going through I stopped. I think I managed 3 paltry paragraphs of glib clichés. I couldn’t put into words how I was feeling, couldn’t even begin to process what had happened to me. In 6 short months, I had gone from a relative picture of health, to a shaking hyperventilating mess. And that was just the physical side effects of the cancer. I had 7 more months of intensive chemotherapy and a long recovery ahead of me.

Thinking back now I can easily realise that I had no idea just how unwell I was, or just how bad treatment was going to be.

I’m glad those original three paragraphs were left unpublished. Thinking back now I with the benefit of hindsight I’m embarrassed by them. I didn’t realise just how hard Cancer was going to be, and had no idea how I was going to cope with it.

In my mind I was going to spend the next 7 months lying in bed, losing the bit of extra weight I was carrying and getting this alien collection of cells in my blood under control. I was going to coast through my cancer diagnosis without so much as a wobble.

I was completely wrong; I didn’t so much wobble as become completely jelly-like. It was impossible for me to stay still at times.

Now, my first active treatment phase is over. I’m not due to get any more chemo, I go to my appointments once every 6 weeks and I spend a lot of time hoping against hope that I’m going to be OK. Among all of that I’m now trying to get my life back together. That’s the thing about Cancer, it doesn’t just rob you of your health, it robs you of a million little things here and there; your self-confidence, energy, feeling of security, and at times happiness.

Now I feel like I’m finally in a place to write that first blog post and put it out into the world, and to start dealing with the feelings that come along with it.

Any idea that this emotional odyssey I’m going on is going to be easy is probably about as far away as the idea on that morning all those months ago that I would sail through having cancer.

All that aside, I’ve learned to take the positives from my situation. I know what you’re thinking and there are positives; they’re just harder to see from being stuck in the mire.

So buckle up, because if you’re still here after all that, like I am, you’re in for a treat.

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