When I was diagnosed with cancer, I thought I was strong mentally … now I know I am!
I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 44. My treatment plan was six rounds of chemo with immunotherapy, then surgery, followed by radiotherapy, and then 12 more rounds of immunotherapy to give me the best chance of no cancer returning! This would take just over a year and I would need to keep my spirits up.
Before cancer, three things kept me sane – running, wine and coffee – but as I embarked on my treatment plan I was going to have to find sanity elsewhere.
These were the 3 mottos that got me to the other side:
1. I run cancer …..cancer doesn’t run me
I am a runner. I run for my head and my body gets the benefit. I feel like I can solve most problems when I run and it helps me to think creatively. I didn’t manage to run past round 1 of chemo, but as many days as I could I would run cancer. This meant I would do what I could as much of the time as was possible, and then the days I couldn’t I would give over to cancer, to pick up the reins again ASAP.
2. Get up, dress up, show up & show Cancer who’s boss!
From all I read, getting out of bed and showered was going to be a challenge some days. I dragged myself up, even if I just showered and put on fresh pyjamas. I love nail polish and told myself “Every time you enter that hospital, you will have some colour on those fingers and toes. It will lift you up and make you feel pretty. Those coloured nails were part of my ammo.
3. Whenever possible, be a normal mom
My world was being turned upside down, but my 11-year-old daughter’s world was really being rocked. I needed to try and be her ‘normal mom’ whenever I could. Some days I would get up, make her some tea and pancakes, sit with her while she ate them and then collapse in a heap. This fed my soul!
I am three months post treatment and there are still days that I feel cancer runs me, but more and more I am adjusting to a new normal.There are days I need the 3 mottos but its less & less as time goes on.