Over the past month, my family has abandoned me, sort of! For a long time, I was so completely taken care of. I was asked constantly, through the day, how I was feeling, whether I was in pain. At that time, I was a bit flustered by the over-attention, and wished it would stop. I was used to being very independent, and doing my own thing. Then, as my cancer progressed, I needed to be cared for. There were days when I could barely get out of bed. Days when the simplest chore of getting up the stairs, or getting a glass of water took a heroic effort. I learnt to ask for help and was gracious when it was offered. After a while I started to enjoy being cared for and looked after. Sad to say, I loved being the centre of my family’s love and attention.
And then it stopped! As I started to get stronger and started work, my family started treating me like they did pre-cancer – – normally! They assumed that I would do my share of the household responsibilities and take over everything I managed to do in the past. It’s taken me two weeks to rise to that challenge. Two weeks of doubting myself. Two weeks of testing my boundaries. Two weeks to prove to myself that I am ready to resume normal life. With God’s grace, my energy is back almost at full force. Perhaps it’s because my stem cell transplant was more than five months ago and my body is starting to recover. Whatever the reason, I’ll take it!
With no imminent cure for Multiple Myeloma, I know that the cancer can show up and visit at any time — in a few months, a few years or more. I can’t worry about that. So I focus on appreciating every day that I feel so good, so healthy. I hope I have many, many more days like this.
I had not realized how my family had put their lives on hold for me. I am starting to see how they are now making plans for their own future, knowing that I’m as okay as can be expected. The best comment I heard last week was when my son said, “Mommy, your cancer is so rear-view!”
Every once in a while, I have to stop my family when I need a little bit of help. Mostly, it is a hand – literally – to help me stand after I’ve been sitting. When I think of how far I’ve come in a year, I just want to shout and dance and love and celebrate and live. I am so happy to be alive!