The Emotional Pain and The Physical Pain of Cancer

Upon reflection of the past 3 years, from finding the lump in the shower on my right breast, to having it totally removed with my lymph nodes too. Two months later I started six months worth of Chemotherapy which then followed 3 weeks (daily visits) of radiotherapy to the inoperable areas around my right breast, collar bone, ribs etc. From there nine months later I had breast reconstruction, basically a tummy tuck. The skin, fat and blood vessels from my tummy reshaped to make a breast. Six months later (Oct 2015) I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, basically the cancer has spread to other areas of my body. more radiotherapy. Two weeks later I had a total Hysterectomy. Four months later I had 1.7ltrs of fluid in my pericardium (the sack in which my heart sits) this was an emergency removal of the fluid. I then had 5 rounds of chemotherapy as cancer cells were shown in the fluid, which means cancer has spread further.
So, basically that is what has happened to me in the past three years.

The emotional pain of all that has happened is such a big load, thankfully I have seen a therapist the past 18 months to off load to. It is all starting to sink in and its starting to feel real. I think now that I am unable to do as much as I used too. I do push myself at the weekends when the children are home with me as I cant have a snooze to recharge these worn out batteries.

I have in the past few days been listening in on the children chatting and playing (on the whole) and how lovely it is. I stopped and listened to them, such precious moments.
It breaks my heart to think I am nearly a year later from my second diagnosis, how much longer do I have? how many more conversations am I able to listen in on?  Is this emotional pain I feel comparable to the physical pain I am in? Yes, I think sometimes it actually is.

I am mourning for my death before I have even died, how can I miss the future that I wont experience.

Before I was told I had cancer the second time, I always had a ‘niggle/fear/worry’ at the back of my mind that it would return. Any ache, or pain, any headache… was it back? for anyone who is in that situation, my heart totally is with you.

I know there wont be a day in my life where I am not thinking about cancer or the destruction its causing/ it will cause amongst my family.

When I see/hear how much fun the children have when they are with Paul and Becca it reminds me how inadequate I am now to them. I am truly grateful I can give them the kisses, cuddles and story times. Its a different kind of fun. I will never be able to thank the amazing new family who look after us, even now.

The physical pain I have is in my knees, spine, chest, feet and sometimes in my hands and ribs, I am on a good cocktail of drugs to keep me mobile, since the children have returned to school I am trying to walk everyday. it does exhaust me but the exercise does me good. I cant cram activities continually/consistently in the six hours that the children are at school anymore. I know that and have accepted that I cant and I only do one activity in the day to enable me to rest or I pay for it.

I try my best everyday to see the positives in everything,
I try my best to think positively about myself and that I have woken into another day. One of my biggest fears is not waking one morning and the children finding me. I really cant think about that for too long.
I do find waking in the morning very, very difficult. Waking/being woken before my body is ready is something I find increasingly difficult. I have to motivate myself, I really do try and I do get there in the end. I am much slower in the mornings and find things, taking a shower and doing the school packed lunches too time consuming now, so they are done the night before.

If I think too much about what the future holds for us I will crumble, then I’m no use to anyone. so that part of it is locked away in a box somewhere in my head.

sleep well and thank you so much for reading.

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Join the conversation
  • Sam Memmott - September 25, 2016 reply

    You are very brave and very honest. I wish you the best of times with your children X

  • Sadie GRIGG - September 27, 2016 reply

    All I can do is send love to you and keep you close to my heart each and everyday …

  • jo - September 28, 2016 reply

    Hayley i have been following your journey with you. YOU are a brave, incredible strong lady and a amazing credit/mum to your 3 beautiful children. Thinking of you and sending loads of love and hugs xxxxxxxxxxxx

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