Having stage 4 cancer is extremely different from having stage 3 or being in remission in many ways.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may remember that I said being diagnosed again with secondaries was less frightening than being in remission and living with the worry it could return at any moment.
During the years and months I remained “disease free” I was pretty much a mess, stuck in the mud unable to move. Yes I enjoyed life when I could but I never felt like it left my mind, and I was very fragile and even angry at times. Angry because of what happened to me and angry because that was the only way I was able to deal with the fear. It’s only now I’m incurable I can look back and see how unhappy I was and how wondering most days if cancer was going to come back was ruining my life sucking out every droplet of joy from my body.
I have to say now, I fully regret many of those years. I was angry at others and cancer yes, but mostly I was angry at myself when I should have been being kind and nurturing towards myself.
I try and tell people in remission to live their life and try not to worry excessively as most people don’t become stage 4 thankfully. I’m aware that my advice may come across as patronising or impossible to follow, but I don’t want others to go down the dark road that I did. I have perspective now, but I never forget how hard it was to stop worrying about every little ache, or the panic I felt when someone had a recurrence, so, I’m totally empathetic and not one of those idiots that tell you you might be hit by a bus tomorrow. I suppose what I’m saying is cancer hurts us all so deeply and I just want people who have a chance, to be happy because if I could go back I would choose happy.
I’ve definitely adjusted to this new-normal though. It’s been 15 months now. Who’d have thought one could adjust to living with a terminal illness? I did and many other ladies are doing the same as me. We are living fairly normal lives and much of the time our cancers are invisible to the outside, nobody knows we are ill.
After a real shitter of a year I’m delighted to share with you my CT results- much of my cancer has shrunk or gone away after 5 cycles of Kadcyla. I couldn’t be happier, and that feels a million miles away from how I felt 3 years ago… x