Better believe it

Something amazing has happened. I went into hospital today and it was okay. Really okay.

For the first time since the big operation I walked through the entrance and didn’t feel like I was about to collapse.

I was able to stand up straight and I didn’t need to hold onto someone’s arm. I felt bright and alert like I was starting a day at work, rather than just finishing a tiring night shift.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not well. I need a fist full of tablets every few hours and even that doesn’t quite get rid of all the pain. I still can’t walk fast or very far.

But I’m much better than I’ve been in a long time. It seems like the cloud of exhaustion is starting to lift.

Perhaps more importantly I’m now starting to believe that I’ve actually got rid of the cancer.

I know that technically I don’t have any lumps left of the evil disease. The surgeons made sure of that. For the moment let’s forget about the possibility of teeny tiny cancer cells that may be lurking inside me.

This morning as I wandered past the hospital cafe along the pale blue corridor towards my appointment I realised that I no longer saw myself as someone who belonged there.

Up until recently I’ve been so focused on my recovery that I haven’t had much energy left over for anything else. Also I felt too ill to be able to convince myself that I’d really beaten it. Now that’s changed.

I’m able to say I had cancer, not I have cancer. And really mean it.

Of course that’s brilliant. But before I get carried away, those teeny tiny cancer cells that may or may not exist still have to be sorted out. It’s the potential danger they pose that had brought me back to hospital today.

I needed more tests to determine if and when I’m able to start chemo. I so desperately want it to be soon.

Last night Mum asked me how I was feeling. For a moment I couldn’t work out why she’d just said that. Then I remembered.

I should find out next week whether I’m well enough for chemo.

Until then I’ll be trying to forget that I’m in the middle of treatment for cancer. I’m just going to enjoy feeling normal.

15 thoughts on “Better believe it

  1. It is so good to read your post Helen and hear that you are making such great steps in the total right direction, I think of you often specially when I turn on the news in the morning, by the sounds of it it won’t be too long till I see you back on there. Sending you huge positive vibes that you start that chemo soon. Keep those posts coming. Mandy SW xxx

  2. Helen – Although we have never met…. I want to give you a MASSIVE hug. Seeing yourself in a new light is wonderful. I hope this sounds ok but I want you have have chemo next week (although you and I know how ill it will make you feel) but to have chemo your bloods will have been checked and that will be another indicator that you slowly stronger. Phil x

  3. Hi Helen,

    Congratulations on that fantastic moment you experienced. It’s a load off the shoulders to have it all OUT. Many of the ladies at our site talk about recurrence fears, but none of them have let that slow them down. I think it’s a considerable monkey on the back, however it sounds like you are on the right path. Love your attitude!

    Good luck and great health.

  4. Small but definite yay! This must mean your system is on the up, your underlying health is kicking in, in other words all that netball is paying off. I love it that you got mistaken for a consultant – that’s a good sign as well, not just of how you look but how you act, the vibes you were giving off. I’m sure that the surgery itself – any surgery of that length – accounts for the majority of how crap you felt at first. In other words, My bog-standard ops left me feeling unbelievably knackered, so I think it’s mostly the anaesthetic, physical stress & repair. Best of luck with the chemo, don’t forget to look after yourself even more once it starts. Brilliant to read that first line!

  5. hi helen, glad the after effects of the op are wearing off. I just remembered the marvellous aloe vera mouthwash that holland and barratt do – i used buckets of it and it got rid of mouth ulcers and i never got any after i started using it – a tip from another chemo warrior that came to me so i thought i would pass it down the line in case you don’t know about it!
    Also, have you heard of breast cancer haven in fulham – you can go and get lots of lovely complementary therapies there, I had reflexology which definitely seemed to help with some of the side effects. It’s also just a nice place to be if you want to be around others going through the same thing.
    xxx

    • oh and in terms of the haven, I am pretty sure they are not “exclusive”, so there will definitely be some support you can get there, if you want it. Of course the comments on this blog show you already have stacks of it. Such a good idea.
      xxx

  6. Fantastic news Helen.. and you even sound much brighter. I do hope you get a date soon to start chemo. Thinking of you as always. Sarah x

  7. It must be such a relief to feel like you are emerging back into the daylight. Great to hear you so upbeat. Keep up the good work! Richard x

  8. What a brilliant step forward Helen. So great to be able to measure the way you feel now compared to stepping through those doors before. Stronger by the day. Good luck x

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