“Would you like to see it?”
I hesitated for a moment. “No. No I wouldn’t.”
The young nurse looked surprised. I felt the need to explain. “It’s behind me now. I’m not looking back.”
And so it was. In February 2020 I began the new month a lot lighter. My dance with the big C wasn’t quite over but the fact the the dreaded lump was gone, left me with a huge feeling of relief. I’m still trying to work out how it got there in the first place. When I find out, I’ll let you know! But one year later, I’m incredibly grateful that it’s no longer there. In this sobering, anxiety filled year we are all having, success can be easily overlooked. I have to remind myself to give thanks for every blessing, even if it comes shrouded in fear.
A phase of my journey has ended. When I glance back, parts of it, the ones I don’t choose to dwell on, seem like a distant nightmare. As I walk (still not jogging, but I’ll get there) into my future, the pandemic road is rocky and precarious. Regular check ups are punctuated with ‘code silver’ announcements echoing through the hospital corridors. Although I don’t know what it means, I can guess by the frantic scurrying and blocking off of passages. There is an ominous tension in the air, despite the staff’s attempts at appearing calm. And yet, these earth angels are there, serving us despite the very real dangers to themselves. Bravery cuts through the angst and excellence still prevails. I am incredibly lucky to experience this.
Despite everything I’ve been through, my white coat syndrome still pops up for a second, as I wait my turn. But I dismiss it immediately. It has no place in my new life. The doctors and nurses I have the privilege of dealing with do not deserve my silliness. I owe them way too much, to allow this childhood phobia any leeway.
And I remind myself that healing is not an either/ or situation. My role is vital. There is no reluctant passenger here. I am staying in the driver’s seat and my cobbled together approach will remain in place.
I don’t have Archie by my side as much these days. But every now and again, he takes a break from prowling and curls up next to me. He is still here and if need be, he’ll step into his other role.
P S Not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but my post cancer motto is, if it’s green eat it!