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A mum of 2 trying to stay sane in an overly airbrushed world.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Death is not a Dirty Word

This is not a blog about me thinking I'm going to die from this little bit of cancer inside my breast. Its merely a musing on the change to thought process when death is a realistic side effect of your current situation.

The word 'cancer' immediately evokes panic. That's the power it possesses with all its unknown characteristics. Its so common, yet so sneaky - the big C has us all on our toes with its potentially fatal edge. The truth, albeit it a sad one is that it does mark the beginning of the end for so many.

If you follow my Instagram page you will know I'm not one for bull shit, sugar coating stuff (other than food) or any sort of faffing about. Maybe it makes me cold hearted or harsh - but I do think in this day and age I think we should all be able to call a spade a spade.

My spade is that cancer could be the cause of my death.

A lot of people around me don't like me to verbalise that...but I'm not doing it to be dramatic or morbid, surely we'd all like a heads up to what it is that will eventually mark the beginning of the end? After all, merely waking up each morning opens us up to the possibility of a lot of death scenarios - no one starts their day thinking they'll have a car accident, choke on their lunch or get knocked over by a bus do they?!

Being given a bit of notice at least gives you the time to prepare and to put things in place, something which is even more important when you have young children. At 3 and 1 I have a small chance of my eldest retaining some memories of me, but my youngest wouldn't. That is the most heart-breaking thing of this whole diagnosis - my gorgeous boys having to hear from others how much I loved them and how gorgeous I consider them to be. 
My oncologist was very honest with my prognosis (I asked her to be very blunt and tell me if this would be my cause of death) she happily informed that she thought I'd be around for at least another 30 years...which is good to hear but even the best laid plans can veer off track and considering your own mortality is a totally healthy thing to consider and reflect on!

In light of my big C diagnosis I've been trying to think of things I wish had done...but I can only come up with one sensible one:
  • Taking out critical life cover with my life insurance back when we bought our house - that extra £10 a month at the time of seemed unnecessary, but that's bitten me on the arse now!

At the other end of the spectrum facing death could make me regret certain lifestyle choices...the key word being could. I don't see the point in berating myself, i'm not going to change - life's too short for that shit (terrible pun unintended)!
This is a quick list of things off the top of my (shaved) head, backed up by a quick Google of 'Things that cause cancer':
  • That night out in the 'uni years' when I smoked 40 fags...that and all the other years Richmond Superking Menthols were a loyal friend
  • Wearing underwired bras
  • Taking the contraceptive pill for years
  • Using roll on deodorant
  • Using eye-shadow
  • Using lipstick
  • Using foundation
  • Having and using a mobile phone...
I could go on but I won't; as you can see nobody has much of a clue as to the hard and fast reasons for getting cancer - yes smoking is proven to increase your chances so I'll hold my hand up to that, but it wouldn't have made me not do it. In reality I could always have been destined to get cancer if my BRCA gene test comes back showing a fault, so living a life of deprivation would have been a waste of time.

As long as you can look back and have a short list of 'things I wish I'd done' then I think you've done well - of course there are amazing experiences, life events and outlandish acts of grandeur I could add to mine...but I'm saving them for the post I write on 'bucket lists'. 😉
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