The road ahead was daunting, so Craig ( my husband) and I decided the only way to cope would be to get through one day at a time and not think about tomorrow.
That is what we did!
Each day we focused only on getting through that day no matter how hard it was and just kept hoping that the next day would be better. By picking out a good day out of a bunch of bad days it gave me hope that soon it would be reversed and that there would be one bad day in a bunch of good... .. it did get to that eventually!
I allowed myself to be honest with my family and friends and would admit to them when I was really in pain and feeling down but the key to surviving this was not allowing myself to wallow in self pity.
I realise now how important it was to be honest with the family about how I was feeling on a daily basis. This air of honesty allowed us all to deal with our emotions and not walk around on egg shells petending everything was alright.
I only had limited energy each day and decided to use it in a positive way and visualise my recovery and not waste it on negative thoughts of being ill or possibly dying.
I imagined separating my body and mind.
I had no control over my body. It was being prodded, poked, poisoned and burnt and I had no choice...It was under the control of the doctors and my body was going to react in it's own way and heal in it's own time.
All I could do was learn to be patient and make sure I gave my body every advantage from a nutritional point of view.
Great idea!.. but it did not work all the time though, seeing as I could not swallow or eat within 2 weeks of starting radiation on my throat.
BUT.. what I did have control over was my thoughts!
I truly believed my body would follow my mind.
I tried to filter my thoughts by acknowledging when I was scared or sad or in pain.
I cried often.
Then I would put the thought aside and focus on being well and imagine that being the only outcome.
( see my next Blog and you will read about what I was aiming for and visualising)
There was no point in getting frustrated or angry and the big one, not to find someone to blame
These 3 feelings...the acknowledgement thereof, and dealing with them (so I realised) are the most important things to come to terms with as early as possible.
The anger of why this happened to me.
I had every reason to ask "WHY ME?" and " WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?"...
This cancer usually affects males ( I am female), smokers ( I have never smoked), drinkers of alcohol ( remember I don't drink because of migraines) and predominantly ages over 50 ( I was 45).
The frustration of loosing control over every aspect of my daily life and hating that feeling. Loosing my independence and feeling like a burden on everyone around me.
How easy it would have been to find someone to blame. All those neurologists who did MRI's and CT Scans in that area. I used to tell them that the migraine's started in the exact region where the cancer was later found, but as we were told the two are not related.
I decided it was wasted energy from the start and filtered my thoughts away from that kind of thinking.
The best way to deal with this was HEAD ON! So, I accepted that I had Cancer, accepted that it was serious and that I was fighting for my life and that I had to do everything possible to give myself the best chance of spending my old age with my amazing husband and to see my two beautiful children grow up.
This was my plan:
Hand my body over to medical science (it was not mine anymore)
Filter my thoughts and focus them on Survival ( my mind was mine)
Give my body as much nutrition as possible to heal the cells that the chemo and radiation were destroying
Next Blog: My Dream becomes Reality