Exiting Safe Mode
One Year-ish After my Cancer Diagnosis
I have not written a blog in what seems like forever. Life has simply taken over. In all honesty, I have not really had a chance to sit back and reflect on the past year. The truth is, I have not rested and taken stock. Even when I was recovering from my operation this time last year, I was busy thinking about my business and how I would continue to grow it when I was better. What I have been through is ginormous and maybe it will take years to fully take stock and get my head around what happened. But for now, I will attempt to look back in order to grow forward.
The short version: I’ve lost and gained friends, I’ve fallen out with and made up with close ones, had a bout of depression, felt lost at times, started to dance again and my daughter started school.
The ‘Okay let’s put a little more effort in’ version:
I’ve settled on being a pesca-vegan – a fish eating vegan (no eggs and dairy) and currently that works for me. I had planned to become an all-out vegan but the limited eating out options are more than I can handle. Like really, I went to an event where I was literally given a dry bowl of cucumber and lettuce for lunch!
My daughter and I have a very special relationship, every day we tell one another just how much we love each other. The other day she told me that when she is older and she is married, she will make sure that we (as in me and her) share a room and her husband will have another room. She makes me smile every single day.
My visits to the hospital are far less frequent, but they still happen. In fact, I am due to have my first mammogram since my diagnosis. I don’t think about it in any detail. I have learned to take these things at a step at a time. I will think about it on the day. I suppose that’s a good thing, as I’ve learned not to worry about the negative possibilities because if or when they come, I will deal with them in that moment.
I suppose the biggest change in my life now is that I have a part-time job. This is huge for me as I have been anti-employment all my life. I have shouted from the rooftops about the joys of being self-employed. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given up my businesses, I am still very much in business but I also now have a job working in arts and criminal justice. And do you know what? I love it! Amongst other wonderful stuff, I enjoy being a part of society, having workmates, being able to go to a Christmas party, having the support of a manager and a whole organisation and having more resources to make a bigger change in the world.
My place of solace has been the gym. I have learned that my body is phenomenal. I now have a new level of super power that I didn’t know existed. I can run faster, pump harder, endure for longer. Even when I think my body is tired, she is set on completing the gruelling workout. I have grown a strange fondness to bootcamp, where tossing tyres, and dragging prison-like weights is actually enjoyable.
My body image. That’s an interesting one. I’m still learning about her but I know I love her. I find myself experimenting with clothes as I learn how to compliment my new shape. I am far from perfect but somehow this hourglass shape has come out of nowhere. I can wear tops that happily circumvent my new curves. I’m allowing myself to be braver with my choices, especially as I realise that I am in the prime of my life.
I guess this post has no flow, other than the order in which this stuff is exiting my brain and entering the screen. I suppose in a way that reflects how my life has been over the last year or so. I have just let it all happen albeit it in safe mode. What I mean by that is that I have just been functioning at a very basic level, enough for me and my daughter to get-by, just like the computer does when it is in safe mode. But I think I’m ready to move on now, I’m ready to be braver, to allow myself to dream, to permit myself to have some real fun and encourage me to celebrate this wonderful life. I’m ready to press ctrl-alt-delete and restart afresh.