That Time of Year
It’s exactly 4 years since I was whisked off to hospital and discovered I had kidney cancer. It’s a weird one because as anniversaries go it’s not a particularly pleasant one but at the same time it’s unforgettable and stops me in my tracks. It should be the time of year when I’d be having my annual scan but due to my haphazard hospital record, scans have been missed, forgotten and therefore later each time. I received a letter telling me my next appointment would be April 24th, I’ve had this date for several months. It occurred to me recently though that a scan date hadn’t come through so I phoned to check it out. I was told that the April date was a mistake and the consultant hadn’t asked for me to be scanned until June and so my appointment will be moved back until the results are in. This is totally understandable and really not an issue, I mean scans aren’t something to look forward to anyway. Why then, when I put down the phone did my tears come? I think it’s the need to know that everything is ok. Four years is good going and so close to that 5 year goal that I don’t want it to drag on, I want my reassurance at around the same time I have that anniversary. It’s the time I can’t avoid thinking about it so it’d be good to get the scan and annual check up over and done with. On that fateful day 4 years ago I was blissfully unaware of the tumour lurking in my kidney and my wardrobe held very little by way of comfortable clothing – ever the fashionista. I can laugh now about my poor husband frantically searching for something suitable to put me in as I flat refused to go to hospital in my jimjams. The only trousers he could find with an elasticated waist also had a lining – Gwen Stefani obviously didn’t design them with emergency department urgency in mind. As John attempted to ease me into them I was sliding around the laminate floor in agony, oh the memories… Fast forward and I not only possess a large quantity of lycra clothing but I’ve also diversified from alternative fashion to designing and making active wear and I love it. In keeping with my new comfort driven wardrobe I’ve been doing yoga for the past 3 years, I run whenever I can and eat more healthily than I’ve ever done. For me this is proof that cancer, although being an almighty bastard that sneaks up and takes the legs from under you, can sometimes lead to more positive life changes. I readily admit that I’m one of the lucky ones, although still on the radar awaiting the 4 year all clear I’ll only have 12 more months left till the 5 year goal. It’s also steered me to another passion, writing. Early ambitions of becoming a journalist never materialised and I’d more or less given up until I became ill. The need to keep a diary led to this blog which in turn I’m now putting into book format. To help with this process I joined a writing group and have been churning out short stories and poems ever since, who’d have thought?! Cancer in a bizarre twist has given me a new lease of life, one where I’m finding real purpose in my work and being able to express myself through writing. It’s also failed to take away my sense of humour and to mark this auspicious anniversary I chose those Gwen Stefani trousers to wear today. We’ve come a long way together and I reckon I’m prepared for anything now.