It takes a while to adjust to the fact that you’re a cancer patient. A scary while within which you can’t quite believe what is happening to you. But cancer is never a short-term thing like having a cold or a broken leg and I’ve found that you have to adjust, and all of a sudden being a cancer patient seems like the new normal. Today I have a meeting with my oncologist – but that doesn’t seem like an unusual thing to have anymore – I’m now a person who has an oncologist. That’s just what’s happening. On Monday I might be going back onto chemo, but even chemo seems like it’s just part of the new normal of my life. Sure, there’ve been bad weeks – but doesn’t everyone have a bad week once in a while?
It’s confusing because the chemo is working so well that most of the time I feel perfectly healthy, apart from the side effects of the chemo itself. In fact, cancer has become so normal that sometimes I forget I have it at all. Since being diagnosed I’ve been to festivals, raves, parties, weekend breaks in the countryside, storytelling classes, UCL courses, on long walks and out to pubs and meals with friends. I drink less than I used to and I get tired quicker, but in general my life hasn’t changed all that much, apart from the chemo and oncology regime which has just kind of faded into the background and become part of what I do these days. Even the uncertainty is something I’ve become familiar with even though that’s the scariest part. Will this year bring surgery? Radiotherapy? More chemo? Different chemo? At the moment I don’t know – and I suspect my oncologist doesn’t either. I have had to get used to taking each day as it comes, so I am grateful for all of them. That is my new normal.
So Happy New Year dudes. None of us really know what’s going to happen in it, but I hope it’s a good one for both you and me. Big love.