The path to self-confidence

This is something I wrote in my journal in October 2016.
I have been getting on with my life and having a perfectly normal one at that. I had another scan in August which thankfully was clear. My back continues to give me trouble but as long as no metastases are present I can live with that.
What surprised me pleasantly was that even though I did experience anxiety and a few sleepless nights whilst waiting for the results, I felt quietly confident about it all. I did keep myself very busy during the day but I realised that compared to last year I am definitely stronger physically. The fatigue is still there but manageable. Either I am resigned to it at this stage or else I have developed ways of coping with it. Finally!
I remember a few years after I was diagnosed initially, I had a health scare where it was suspected the cancer had returned elsewhere. I don’t know whether it was denial or what but I was so confident that it wasn’t. Even when the doctor was preparing me for the worst possible outcome, I told him that I felt too well for it to be cancer. It was either naivety or complete denial that propelled me through that period. Needless to say the outcome was good. It made me ponder at the time, how do you know? How do you know if the cancer is back?

How do you know? I can’t answer that unfortunately. Six months before I was diagnosed I didn’t feel right but could not identify anything tangible to tell my Oncologist. All the minor ailments I was experiencing would not suggest a diagnosis of cancer, even when compounded by fatigue, I convinced myself I was a busy working mother . The denial was so great that I felt blindsided second time around, right up to when I was sitting in the doctor’s office. I had myself convinced that it was only fibrous tissue.  However, I read the doctor’s body language and instinctively knew that day, even though it was a further two weeks before I got official confirmation of a recurrence. The only difference this time was that it was quite small.
Only last week I noticed my glands were enlarged under my jaw and near my ear. There was a virus in the house and we were all coughing. I managed to convince myself during the day that it was only a reaction to the virus but at 3am it was a different story altogether. My mantra always is to wait two weeks before I do anything about it and sure enough this week it is gone! Even though my confidence is returning it is still rather fragile and needs loads of care and attention. I would love to be that person again who felt so well and was so confident that time. It is a slow process but hopefully I am getting there.


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