Cancer. It’s a bastard. I think that much we can all agree on. Day in, day out we hear of it taking another life. We hear of another diagnosis. Another life being turned upside down by the dreaded six letter word that no one wants to hear.
Most people have been affected by Cancer in one way or another. Some will have had a friend have it. Some will have had their grandparent’s have it. Some will have had it themselves. Some will have had a parent have it. I am one of the latter some. My Mum. My wonderful Mum.
It’s Mum’s birthday this weekend and I am so very grateful (more than you will ever know!!) that she is here to celebrate it. Last year was a colossal pile of shit in terms of how years go. If you have been a regular here on this blog you will already know that my Mum went through an intense few months of chemotherapy. She got weak. She got tired. She lost her hair. It was horrible. Horrible to watch and horrible to see. Throughout it all she was unbelievably brave. My Mum. My beautiful Mum.
Thankfully the Chemo finished. Thankfully her hair grew back and thankfully the Mum of old started to reappear. There was finally light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. But, she continues to have treatment and she continues to be brave. Maintenance treatment will continue for the next eighteen months. It’s not over. There is still the tiredness, there is still some darker days. It goes on and is still very much a part of her life. And of our lives.
Cancer doesn’t just disappear after chemo is finished. Cancer stays with you whether treatment is successful or not. Cancer gets in your mind and is like a horrible nag in your head that insists on a reality check every now and again. There is always a fear. Always a worry. Cancer is scary. Cancer is a bastard.
I am always positive with my Mum. I try and lift her up when she feels down, because surprisingly, unbeknownst to a lot of people, ‘cancer patients’ and ‘cancer survivors’ suffer more emotionally AFTER the chemotherapy. I wish more people were aware of this. There is a feeling of uncertainty. What happens now? What if this? What if that? It isn’t like completing a course of antibiotics and off you go. It’s so much harder than that.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is this. If you know someone who has been through the C word and has come out the other side. Don’t stop caring. Don’t stop asking how they are. Don’t always believe them when they say they are okay because chances are, they might not be telling you the complete truth. Keep giving the hugs. Keep sending the texts. Keep picking up the phone. Keep being there. When the ‘fuss’ has died down. When the hospital appointments lessen. When people start to forget, because they do, and they will. Believe me. They will need you more than ever. More than you will know. Far more than you realise. And they will be so, so grateful.
Please. Just be thoughtful and please just be kind.
Happy Birthday Mum. Here’s to so many more. Keep being you. Love you. xxx