My working life before cancer, was almost perfect. Apart from doing too many hours, it had everything that I wanted. Good pay, benefits, travel, contact with many different people around the world, and it involved buying and selling, which were things that I realised I was good at. The main thing for me was variety. You never knew from day to day what would be happening and who you would be talking to. Busy, quiet, good or bad, every day was different.
Then came cancer, to put a spoke in my working wheel! Regular treatment and appointments followed by resting at home. To top it off I spent months in isolation trying to recover from various complications. Not only did I feel very sick, I felt fed up with the routine of things. Physically, my body was coping but mentally it was tough. Being woken at the same time every day, meals, drugs and treatment, all part of a regimented routine.It was fine for my body, but I felt I was going crazy.
They say to be careful what you wish for, and the idea of some time away from work did have a certain appeal, but not for long.My mind started playing tricks on me, and I really believed that I could return to work, quickly, and be the person I was. No way! The reality is, I now struggle to cut the front and back lawn in the same day.Although my brain tells me that I can run the world, my body struggles at a keyboard.
But the good news! Despite the recent years of pain and boredom, I have been able to get involved doing lot’s of different things associated with my illness. I work with several charities, and have numerous small projects going on.I also now spend a lot of time writing. Either for my own blog or other articles, when I get asked.
In a different way, the variety of my working life has returned.From not being known by anyone in the cancer sector, I am now contacted by a wide variety of people, from all walks of life. If I’m lucky I get to talk to some famous people, but also some very senior members of the medical profession, writers from around the world, and people like me affected by cancer.I never know what the next email or phone call will bring.
Currently, I am excited by things that are happening in my working life, as the phone and emails get busier.So many lovely people, are beginning to find me, from all around the world, and I have some exciting things happening in 2013. Many of which, I would never have imagined. In the last few years I have experienced so many positive things, and still continue to.
Which prompted me to think about, how the curse of cancer struck me, took away a lot of my hopes and dreams, and some of those of my family. My future is just day to day, but I now have back, that variety, for which I craved. Yes, I have worked like crazy for some of those things to happen, but they have. I can deal much better with my health issues if my mind is busy, and I am fully occupied.
The feedback I receive, fuels my desire to do more, until my body lets me know to take a break.I have been shown talents I never knew I had, and am able to help enrich the lives of others in a small way.I am mentally re energised. The ironic thing is that none of this would have happened if I had not got sick.All the people that are now a major part of my life, I would never even have met!
The people are very much my blessing, but the curse never feels far away.
There are so many parallels between our lives Chris. I’m lucky to be free of cancer physically now, but the spectre is always looming and my current physical state as a consequence of my most recent surgery makes for an extremely challenging time, probably more mentally than physically.
I occasionally see people saying the having cancer was a blessing, but can’t agree. It’s horrible, it kind of takes over your whole being like an addiction. But yeah, many positives come from facing death in the face before you’re ready.
I was 29 when I got diagnosed, just a youth really. Since then I’ve really matured emotionally. I was rally selfish, arrogant etc and now I’d like to think that I treat people and the universe with much more respect. I’d never have gotten into the fantastic world of fundraising without having faced my own mortality, for which I”m thankful, but if I could go back and change it so I avoided cancer altogether I’d do it tomorrow. The positives are good but they’d need to be amazing before I’d consider the whole experience to be a ‘blessing’, even if it was a master of disguise.
Thanks for taking the time to comment.It’s great this social media thing isn’t it? How we found each other, and the things we have in common.I agree entirely, I could never consider cancer as a blessing, but like you, I have heard people say that.
For me, the blessing is all the stuff and people that I discovered because of it. My curse is that it even wants to spoil what it has given me!!
I have had to create a whole new life, but I have always had the total support of my family. Unfortunately I have been unable to work since all this happened,which was a massive blow, both financially and mentally, and still is in many ways.
But I have learned,(not overnight I hasten to add!)not to waste energy on what you can’t control, but try and focus on what you can.I have regular treament, and although my disease is incurable I am still miraculously in remission. Nature will decide my fate, not me. I have chosen to take up the path of using my experience to help others.Hopefully for a bit longer.
You were young, when you were diagnosed. I think I would have been all the things you were at that age if I hadn’t married early! Responsibility, certainly seems to fast track maturity!
Your writing also shows a certain ‘swagger’ which is great.Your individuality shines through.The comment you make about your surgery is a valid one. The emotional scars will take longer to heal than the physical ones, but in the short time that we have been aquainted, you haven’t struck me as a shy guy.
You know very well now my experience, and if there is anything that you think I might be able to help with just drop me a ‘Tweet’
Look forward to welcoming you back soon. Your experience is very valuable to our readers, and many thanks for sharing.