The treatment included Chemo as well as a full course of radiation Monday to Friday for 3 months. This would start as soon as the existing wound from the removal of the 3 glands on my neck was healed. This gave me a couple of weeks to prepare myself.
I remember going to the shopping mall alone one morning just to find comfort in normal daily routine by walking around and shopping. I felt as though I was having an out of body experience. I no longer felt grounded, I had the feeling I was floating. People were walking by oblivious to things around them and taking their tomorrow so for granted.
I realised mine was not!....and suddenly there was no comfort in any material things around me. The shoes and clothes that I used to love buying seemed so pointless and I could not wait to get out of there.
I envied everyone around me and wished I could have told them how privileged they were to be healthy.
I learnt such an important life lesson from having this experience with Cancer and that was:
When my life was under threat, all material value became so insignificant and that my family was all that mattered.
It was at this early stage that I found myself asking some serious questions.
Have I been a good enough mother?
Have I been a good enough wife?
Have I spent enough time with my children?
Would they have enough memories of me to last them a lifetime?
I felt so privileged to be able to stand in that space of no regret and answer myself "YES "
My family has always come first and my friends have all heard me say many times.
"I only have my kids for 17 years before they leave home so, I want to spend as much time with them as possible and create as many memories as I can. It is these memories that will bring them home when they are older"
Craig and I have lived by that motto!
I did not want to face this battle with only my family so, I contacted all my friends individually for coffee dates.
I told them I needed their support and that I wanted them to keep in contact with me and not feel that they should leave me alone because I was ill. I explained that I would loose my voice within weeks as the radiation on my throat would damage my voice box. I asked them to sms me at anytime as I could always reply via sms if I could not speak.
I wanted them to understand that when things were at their worst, I would need them the most.
My friends did not let me down!
My home was filled with flowers; they set up lift clubs to fetch my children from school and sport; and people I thought were acquaintances are amazing friends today.
One friendship was lost though... a close friend who I spent many years with... seeing her through trying times in her marriage. Yet, she could not pick up the phone to say " How are you, I hear you are ill"
Looking back, I have realised how each person deals with illness and the possibility of mortality in a very different way. Some people cannot face it at all and that is not easy to come to terms with as it's often a person you expect the most from.
After seeing so many people give of themselves in my time of need, it gave me an opportunity to experience really personal human connections and build even better friendships.
Next Blog: Getting my Mind prepared