You know at the end of a superhero movie where the villain is beaten by the hero, he/she stands up victorious, only to be slyly attacked once again by the supposedly defeated brute, not completely conquered and the true battle ensues. It is pretty crappy to have to write this blog, hoping beyond words that I would never have to, but Rome was not built in a day and don’t fear I still choose to be that superhero who knocks the final punch.
At the end of the blog in January where I got the initial good news, I described my situation as the battle been won but onwards and upwards to win the war. It’s time for round two. Ding- Ding, it’s time for me and the prick I like to call cancer to get back in the ring. This time however, I will be taking the Conor McGregor approach. I’ll walk into the ring knowing I am awesome, confident, cocky, have kicked the s**t out of worse and it doesn’t stand a chance. In the words of the man himself ‘Failure is not an option for me. Success is all I envision’. The road to success is paved with many obstacles, character building obstacles I tell myself to make myself feel a little better about all of this. Even Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson had set backs, hard knocks and moments of doubt but they were relentless in their drive to thrive and succeed. I got to do that, I can’t falter now.
I had six months of pure bliss. I was slowly becoming myself again. Then BOOM, tummy pain, bloating and the ‘I am afraid it has returned’. Of course the correct posture and fake smile a politician would be proud of returned to the appointment room, coupled with the deafening sound of my heart beating in my ear. I felt sick, tears drowned my eyelids, not again. Trying at all possibility to find some light I found it when the doc told me, okay yes, it has returned, but not as bad as last time and the treatment I will be on now will not even compare to the mental or physical severity of the previous one. I will be able to continue living my normal life aka drive, exercise, cause general mayhem and possibly return to work if I am strong enough. What more can you ask for? My firm belief is that if you let this dictate your thoughts and actions towards the negative, well then hang up your gloves because it has won.
Don’t get me wrong I am still processing all of this. The day I was told I remained up in Dublin and kept my plans to hang out with my friends. I did not want anything to change. Going back home and staring at a wall was not going to solve nothing. I had a great evening and was completely confident it would all be graaaand. Fast forward to the following night and I was caught rapid crying my eyes out at 2am. The past few days I feel as though I am hanging by a thread and anything/ everything could sever it and leave me plummeting into a darkness I have never let myself experience. I was close to it the other night. The ‘under no circumstances are these to enter my head’ thoughts crept into my mind. The ‘why me?’, ‘What if…?’ plagued my mind. I was so frikin devastated for myself, but more so the people I love. Telling them was probably the hardest thing I have faced, but I could find a little solace in reassuring them it’ll still all be okay. Feeling sorry for myself just doesn’t suit me. I am learning to let go of the bad thoughts and attitude. A great friend told me that I don’t always have to be in a good mood, that when I want I can just be sad, kick some doors in or scream as loud as I can. I reassured him that I will 100% do that when I feel I have to, but honestly I find no comfort in it. I don’t secretly enjoy the moments I am in bed crying , asking why did this happen to me, why not that rapist, or that terrorist. My favourite emotion is the fire I feel in my heart, the passion and instinct I hold deep within me to hold on to that string I feel may break, weave (or crochet may be more apt) an even more indestructible rope that even when at times a thread or two may snap, will still hold up and carry the toughest of loads. If I am giving into the murk where pessimism resides in my mind, well then I can’t do this.
The toughest qualm I have was that I was so happy in the lead up to it. I was a busy bee reclaiming lost time, playing camogie, forming new friendships, dancing my socks off and laughing as much as I could. I had just been to Germany, making plans for my future and meeting some really amazing people. I had my initial meeting two weeks ago, and am due to start more chemo tomorrow. Shit it is all going to be taken away from me again. Or is it? Not a bleedin chance. Just because of this small set back, it doesn’t have to ruin my happiness. It is my choice. I could stop doing what I love or I could keep dancing as long as my legs will let me. It is mine for keeps and nothing is taking it away from me. I have Kodaline and Beyoncé concert this weekend, a weekend away in Kerry the following and then Sweden for ten days and nothing is changing that. My treatment is so much lighter than before that my doc does not believe any plans will be affected, even ensuring my treatment days do not interfere with my busy social life. So let’s do this!
I’ll leave you with another wise McGregor quote, seems pretty apt. ‘There are two things I like to do; Whoop ass and look good. I’m doing one now and Saturday night I’ll do the other’.
I began my first chemo session of the new cycles today 07/07/2016.. bleedin piece of cake.. I’ll let you know soon