Buck the Trend

Yesterday was the first time in four and a half months that I have seen my mother cry. I finally heard the news we had all been dreaming of: I am in remission.

On the 8th April at approximately 3.30pm I was told I had a tumour. The following week I was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive type of cervical cancer. I am the 19th recorded case of it’s kind. I was told I had to ‘buck the trend’. The journey that has since followed has been an emotional roller coaster where I have celebrated the highest highs and endured the lowest lows.

Upon hearing my results this week I have received literally hundreds of messages from friends and family to say how happy they are for me. As you can imagine I am relieved. Upon arriving at the hospital on Wednesday I had tried to prepare myself for every possible scenario: more treatment, losing my hair, I had even began to contemplate my funeral. So here I am with the best possible outcome and how do I feel? Physically exhausted, emotionally drained and more vulnerable than ever before. It possibly sounds ungrateful but in all honesty I wouldn’t say the feeling I have right now is happiness. I simply feel angry. I feel so excluded from what I used to call my life I don’t know where to start.

Breaking the news of my diagnosis to my family and friends was one of the worst things I had to do. Trying to cushion the blow and await their reaction led me tears. It quickly highlights the ones who were there for me. Some people would say the wrong thing but the worst were those who said nothing. I heard someone excuse this with ‘I just find the whole cancer thing a bit awkward!’ —–> really?!

Two months on from completing treatment and I am still recovering. The fatigue is an ongoing fixture in everyday life which is a massive source of frustration. A large part of my social life revolved around being physically active and as the new hockey season starts I am beyond jealous to be missing out. For the first time in years I am without a team.

I am adapting to life with menopause and learning to accept what that means for the Funny Boy and I. The picture I had painted for myself has changed. When the time comes for the Funny Boy and I to start a family we will be looking into adoption. I had always imagined myself being pregnant and fantasised about everything that comes with it. Sharing the news with my friends and family, feeling a life grow inside me, watching my belly take shape and that amazing day when we get to meet mini Huffer for the first time. Pregnancy has always been a miracle to me. However the Funny Boy and I will have our own miracle one day which will be equally special – it’ll just have a different route. Losing the opportunity to be a mother is a price I have had to pay in order to save my life.

I imagine as a reader you must think I am very ungrateful and there are 10000s of people wishing they received the news I did this week. Perhaps if you had been in my shoes then you would understand. I have always said I want this blog to be an honest journal of my journey with cancer so here it is. Unfortunately the news of remission does not automatically bring back my old life. Life is different now and my perception of the world has changed. What I am grateful for are the key people who have helped me on my journey so far. You know who you are. The chapter of treatment is complete but the one ahead is focusing on how I recover and rebuild my life. For now I will just celebrate the relief:

Hev 1 – Cancer 0

#FUCancer

3 thoughts on “Buck the Trend

  1. Not ungrateful at all Heather – you have done incredibly well and although yes you do have a lot to be thankful for, no one will blame you for the anger that you feel. Things that should have been have been taken away from you. However, you also have lots to look forward to, and although things have changed and you need to do it in a slightly different way this is still your life and you can make it what you want to an extent, just as we all have limitations sadly so do you.
    Don’t let this make you negative, your positive outlook is an inspiration (sorry for the cliche) and this blog has been incredible. I can only imagine the relief others must feel reading your eloquent blog knowing someone else is feeling the same and experiencing the same horrible side effects.
    Stay positive and happy Heather, your smile makes others around you smile, and heaven knows we don’t want to lose that. Sorry this is such a soppy message so early on a Friday but I felt it needed saying!! Xxx

  2. Hi Heather!
    I am not sure if remember me, but I am one of Gareth’s friends in Toronto. I met you at the Provincial Rugby Game in Kingston. I remember you looking at me and saying how boring Kingston was and I agreed with you. Gareth shared your blog with me. I appreciate your honesty from the time that you were diagnosed. You don’t ever need to justify your emotions. I admire your courage and wish you all of the best.

    Claudine

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