I have had cancer. Twice.
When I first got sick back in 2006 I was ready to fight. Breast cancer wasn't going to get me, and I was not about to just lay down and die. I threw myself into my work, I exercised, I changed my diet. I did it all. I survived, and it made me stronger. Life went on and after years of treatments, operations and being a cancer patient, I was back to normal. I was alive, I was healthy, I had a good life.
And I got pregnant! Now, I thought, I have come full circle. Now it is no longer about death, but about creating life. She was born in a hurry, two months premature. Yet again I was a patient, with an emergency caesarean and a tiny baby in an incubator. She was so little, but such a fighter. She was the most amazing little person I had ever laid eyes on, and it didn't take her long to become strong enough for us to go home and start our new "normal" life.
Crash and burn
A couple of months before her second birthday it all fell to pieces again. I had cancer, this time in a lymph node under my arm. I tried to keep it together. I tried to go on with business as usual. I tried to be a good mother and a good wife. I tried to do my job even better than before. I tried to keep the house clean, to make the weekly dinner plans, to cook, to be creative, to be mindful, to meditate, to do yoga. I did everything, all the time, several things at once. I crashed and burned. I have never been so lost and felt so bad ever before. I didn't think I would ever get out of it, that I could ever be happy again.
But slowly I crawled my way out of it. I rebooted myself, one thing at the time. I taught myself to breathe, I taught myself to take it slow, to focus on what's important. I rewired my brain, liked and looked after myself more. I decided to have more fun, to relax and to not let my disease define me.
My story isn't about being a cancer patient - twice, but about finding myself.