My Emotional Thermometer

With my wedding day happening in a matter of weeks I find myself being overly aware of time. It has been nearly 10 months since I was diagnosed. On Wednesday I return to the hospital for my 6 month check up. My grasp of time is divided: on one hand I can’t believe this whole marathon (which is ongoing) has not even been a year in the making. I feel so much has happened in the short space of time. On the other hand it feels like time is going very slowly. I sense this has something to do with an over zealous ambition of wanting everything to be normal.

In the grand scheme of things I am doing great. I am fully into the swing of things at work with a new job  I enjoy. I have returned to my daily workouts which leaving me feeling energised. The wedding to do list is under control. I recently got selected for the Women in Sport Leadership Academy and I no longer feel completely out of control of my life.  Considering the year I have had – I would say I am doing pretty well. However I do have days where everything can change in the blink of an eye. When my emotional thermometer goes from a comfortable room temperature to breaking point in a matter of moments. When this happens I, once again, find myself feeling vulnerable, out of control and, much like the thermometer, at breaking point.

I am currently in the final stages of preparation for a conference I am hosting for work which brings its own stresses. Couple that with my impending nuptials and a 6 month check up at my oncologist then it is no surprise that the past fortnight has left my feeling a little stressed. Someone once told me the definition of stress is fear of something not getting done. Until recently I probably would have continued to believe that but not anymore. The conference and wedding bring pressure but they do not cause stress. I know that all the deadlines for the organisation and planning will be met and ultimately will result in a well orchestrated event. Stress for me is fear of the unknown. Fear of the uncontrollable. There is literally nothing within my power I can do to secure a good result on Wednesday. That is what causes me stress. However I am beginning to learn ways to control it. Exercise is a massive ali of mine and being able to talk openly helps. I doubt there is anyone who knows me who is unaware of what I have been through and the lasting effects it has brought. I know it makes some people feel uncomfortable but I have come to accept that it is their issue. Cancer, much like mental health, is a taboo subject and this is something I am keen to challenge. Furthermore, I think it is important that people around me know that although I am doing the normal things, for me life is still far from it.

For example, this week I found myself working at an event targeting children and young people in care. My infertility is a grieving process which I am still going through. As much as I loved working at the event and meeting the children and their carers, I found myself feeling emotional on the drive home. In my ‘normal life’ I knew that if the Funny Boy and I wanted to have children it would simply involve us taking our clothes off and having a good time. Now, I have no idea where to start. That makes me frustrated. What hurts even more is the prospect that the fact I have had cancer could prevent me ever being a mother. I have read horror stories online where adoption agencies have used it against people who are looking to adopt. Is it possible that Cancer could deny me ever being a mum?

I do my best to stay positive. I try to focus on the facts and ignore any negative thoughts. With the stress of my 6 month check up slowly mounting I set my attention to areas within my control. As it is the weekend, I had planned to do some training for the half marathon I am doing in March and tick a few errands off the wedding to do list. At 9am this morning I could be found in the midst of a nine mile run at the top of Arthur Seat. The sun was shining above me, Edinburgh was looking beautiful below me and I was feeling fit. As far as Saturday mornings go – this was picture perfect. I met the Funny Boy and Parsnip at Portobello beach where we stopped for a well-earned breakfast which was intended to fuel us for wedding tasks. Unfortunately the happy mood was not set to last. A phone call to our travel agents to enquire about our honeymoon led me to breaking point. Bad customer service, a broken promise and an additional uncontrollable stress led me to tears. My emotional thermometer had reached breaking point and once again, I found myself feeling unable to cope.

It may seem like an over exaggeration but this is what my new normal is like. My life is now measured in three-monthly increments. As each date draws nearer I find myself hoping, wishing and praying that all is ok. On one hand I welcome any appointment so I can breathe a sigh of relief. On the other the prospect of another three months vacant from doctors, nurses and tests is a treat because at least ignorance is bliss. Regardless this is the new norm that I am growing accustomed to. I refuse to let Cancer deny me the good things in life. It may have left me with a set of redundant ovaries and a faulty emotional thermometer but I am stronger. In light of my fascination of time I have plenty to look forward to:

2 weeks til my Hen Weekend

5 weeks til my Hen Night

6 weeks til my holiday with the Iceberg

8 weeks til I say I do….


Emotional Thermometer

One thought on “My Emotional Thermometer

  1. I love when you walk through the doors…always so positive and you shame everyone else by your always public positive attitude and happy outlook. It’s not easy, I’m sure….always there for you if you want to unload – thinking of you xxx

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