The year is coming to an end and, naturally, I have been pondering over everything that has happened to me in the past 12 months. Surely, the majority of 2012 has been consumed by my medical checks, and all to do with cancer treatment. However, what made this year exceptionally challenging was the context in which I learnt about the cancer and this is the thing, I feel, that often gets overlooked, or ignored in the cancer treatment or approach to cancer patients. It is the circumstances surrounding being diagnosed with cancer that can make it easier or much harder to swallow.
I am sure I am not the only one that can say, I realized I had cancer just when I thought life couldn’t get more complicated… Last year, after years of trying to work on my marriage, inviting counsellor after counsellor, pastor after pastor, trying to work things through with my husband, I realized things were going nowhere between us and the kids were only getting more and more confused. So, I filed for divorce early this year, which started a tsunami of angry ourbursts and hostile attitudes of my ex-husband. He refused to work on the relationship and now he also refused to accept the divorce petition without challenging it…. So, to cut the long story short, I was facing living under the same roof with now officially estranged husband, refusing to move out and promising to make it as hard as possible for me to get the divorce and custody of the children (who he had hardly evern looked after). It felt very lonely to be in this place, especially that I had never wanted it to end this way.
Also at the beginning of this year I fell ill with a chest infection and for a few months, being on different antibiotics I could not get better. I might well have been to do with the nasty, aggresive carcinoma already growing in me, of which I had no clue then. Anyway, as ill as I felt I took my younger son for a short holiday in Poland where we stayed at a good friend of mine and that was the best time for me this year. Phisically, I felt completely knocked out, but at least both of us were relaxing in a friendly, family like atmosphere, far away from hostility, rows, and the like. It was a good time for my son too. This year he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. This is another challenge I have been dealing with this year. It was good for him to experience new places and see new people in Poland.
Finally, I beat the infection at the end of April.and kept on doing my job whenever I got a booking and there weren’t many of them, which was another crisis to think about. I kept on indulging in my passion, which is photography and started doing a course to become a professional photographer. A full time single mum to be, interpreter, photographer …. life was busy and I was feeling worse and worse…. The tiredness and stress I felt I thought were connected purely with all the family and work challenges I was facing, until this one day when I spotted a bloody discharge from my left breast…. and started examining myself. To my great worry I felt that lump and decided to see a doctor asap. The doctor referred me for all the necessary tests and within two weeks from that time I was diagnosed with the malignant breast carcinoma….. I had not time to be scared really. I was just so totally worried about my children….. and bearing in mind all that happened up to that point this year, a serious illness was really the last thing I needed, nobody needs it, but I ended up facing this problem having no family support and two young kids to depend on me…. and guess what? I took the challenge! I decided to trust God to carry me through all this and He has been faithful so far! 🙂 I celebrated Jesus’ birthday lumpless, after all, didn’t I? 🙂
Family breakdown, professional stand still, poor health, children’s challenging behaviours, identity issues, a criminal case (during the summer holidays my oldest son had a close encounter with a pedophile….:/), life and death battle with the cancer, accomodation problems and finally being deceived by someone I trusted and thought was my close friend – yes, 2012 has been a ‘cataclysmic year’ and I AM STILL ALIVE and my spirit is NOT broken. 🙂 I am very tired and sad about how some people have let me down and yes, I will need another surgery, as the sentinel biopsy of the lymph nodes came positive – there are traces of cancer in the node and so all the glands in my left arm pit have to be removed. It’s another scary procedure and I will have to be put under again, but I have survived all the shaking, challenges and pain of this year and do not intend to give up! 🙂 I trust everything happens for a reason and God knows what He’s doing and something good will come out of it all surely.
ps. a broken heart hurts much more than all the cancer treatment put together…. so, let me ask whoever reads this, if anyone – do not ever play with people’s feelings…. please… pretty please!