The truth

I saw my counsellor today. It was extremely cathartic.  And I realised that I find it easier to speak the truth to a stranger than to my loved ones, easier to type it into my blog than to say it face to face.

I’ve not been feeling great since my Big Chemo day last week. The physical exhaustion has created a form of emotional exhaustion.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last few days wondering why I’m putting myself through this treatment, whether it’s all worth it. Why am I doing this, when I may very well die from the disease in any event? Why invest so much in fighting to stay with my family, when the treatment means I don’t have the energy to be with my family? I think that most of this wondering has been done subconsciously as I’ve not been dwelling on it greatly in my conscious mind. But today it all came tumbling out.

I don’t think I realised quite how down I had been feeling until I started talking about it – and then the floodgates opened.  I’m sure it is a result of feeling physically battered by the treatment rather than anything else.  I spoke about how I have been feeling but how I don’t find it easy to share it because I need to be strong, I need to not let my loved ones be sad, I need to support them. And as usual, I was given a gift by my wonderful, wonderful counsellor. She told me to let others support me. She told me to look after them by letting them look after me. She told me that I don’t have to set myself such high standards the whole time. I am allowed to be sad and fed up and to let it show. I’m allowed to think it’s all rubbish – because it is.  It’s ok to show my true feelings because it doesn’t matter if it makes people sad.  I am a strong person but that doesn’t mean I have to be strong all of the time.  If letting it out makes me feel better, helps me regain my positivity, then that is good.

So here is the truth.  The truth is that I’m shattered, physically and mentally.  The truth is that I’m tired of trying to be strong all the time.  The truth is that my choices are between dying and living as a patient – not living as me. The truth is that this sucks. The truth is that whilst I love my family and friends and my job, I don’t love my life at the moment.  The truth is that I feel strong and positive a lot of the time, but weak and sad some of the time. The truth is that fighting Genghis is the hardest thing I have ever done – and it’s certainly not a battle I would have chosen.

So please don’t tell me I’m brave or strong or inspirational or amazing.  Because the truth is that those words make it harder for me to be truthful about how I’m feeling.  They set a standard that I feel that I have to live up to.  And the truth is, it’s hard enough to live at the moment without that standard.  This is hard. This is horrid.  That’s the truth.

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17 thoughts on “The truth

  1. Thank you for sharing your truths 🙂
    My story is different but I can recognise parts of it in your truths, thank you for sharing the gift from your counsellor. I shall take it on also 🙂
    I hope that your chemo side effects ease soon,
    A hug for you x

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  2. Thank you for sharing your truths, it must be really hard to do. I have come to your blog via Martin Lewis on Facebook. Having read your post above, I would be honoured to follow you, and I won’t say “your journey” because this is your life. I am sending you hugs, virtual ones I know, but a hug nevertheless x

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  3. Thank you for sharing and particular thank for sharng that last paragraph. It totally hits the nail on the head! I have been very open about my cancer but the result has been exactly what you mention about the strong comments. People feel it is helpful but actually it makes it harder sometimes. I wish you well on your journey. We have many friends in common that pointed me towards your blog. The bit that sucks as that there is no choice. For once in your life the only choice is to fight. I think its terribly hard to live any form of normal but a friend of mine told me something at the start of my treatment, while talking about treatment and the thereafter. There is no returning to normal. There is previous normal, now normal and new normal. I say who wants to be normal – keep fighting. Never fight the need to cry or rant though. It is indeed cathartic and you need to do it.

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  4. Thank you for your honesty. Two dear friends have both been diagnosed with terminal cancer in the last few months. Such a painful time for them and their families but also friends. Sometimes people need permission to say this is incredibly crap and that they don’t have to be brave or inspirational. ..they can just be your friend who is going through the worst time and we will love them and hear them if they need to rage against the sheer unfairness of this situation. Sending love and light to you and yours xxx

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  5. My gorgeous 6’3″17 year old son was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with this horrid disease he’s due to start 6 months ofchemo next week. His prognosis is good but, hebroke down 2 days ago and said “he’s sick of trying to be brave”. It broke my heart and I told him “he doesn’t need to be brave for me”. You have given me an understanding that I needed. Thank you and I will follow your blog.

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  6. I am completely with you. Completely. I am having a little cry now as we speak. It is so hard not to think of how others are coping around me that I just can’t be honest. I have terminal brain cancer. I am frightened. I also can’t stand the words brave or amazing. I have no choice. I do just try and find some joy in every day. I am one of the lucky ones, no pain, just fatigue. This is just part of my story but I am so sad for my almost 5 year old and husband who at some point are going to have to see me die. I get to slip away, they get the aftermath of the grief. Sorry….none of that was going to come out! But like you say, easier to say to strangers. Sending you virtual hug and awkward pat on the back from a stranger. Xx

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    • Thank you helen for sharing how you feel i agree with you about family. When i was diagnosed all my thoughts were about how my boys would be x

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  7. My friend, my very dear friend posted your blog of the truth on my FB page, as I have only last week completed treatment for breast cancer. You have written very eloquently on how I feel, I neither feel brave yet have so many times I’ve been told how brave I’ve been these last 10 months. I know people don’t really know what to say or truly what can be said? It’s a horrible “thing” to go through, it sucks you in, tears you up, messes with your head and then just leaves you to get on with your life.thank you for writing down what so many of us feel. I like to think I have been open and at times honest about how I feel. I wish you well and send warm wishes. None of us are ever the person we were before our encounter with cancer, but I hope you have some really good days to come. Xxxx

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  8. My mam had terminal cancer and recently past away. Wish this was something she an I could have read then. My mam also lived up to the standards of being brave an strong and found it easier to talk to friends or strangers. It was hard either way, her being strong for us or opening up to us, so do what is best for you. But I am so proud of her. Wish you the best of luck 😘 xx

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  9. Well written and emotionally electrifying straight from the heart ! I recall going through treatmeant and experiencing many feelings like these but not feeling amazing or brave ! You do what you have to do to get to the other side of the problem ! Wishing you all the very best for the future !strenght and vigorous to carry on ! You are blessed to have have family at your side ! Wishing you all the best x

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  10. People use the bravery word because they don’t know how else to say “Oh my god, in your shoes I’d be a total mess!”. But they are not in your shoes and no-one really knows how they will feel, what they will think or do until this disease actually directly affects them. It’s a word used clumsily to say alot.
    Just a thought but you might find “Smile or die” by Barbara Ehrenreich an interesting read? Offers an interesting perspective on the “bravery” you are conflicted about. There’s no right or wrong way – only YOUR way and I hope you find it. All the very best x

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  11. I just found your blog and this resonates on the first post I read! Its so hard when people tell you that you are “brave” when inside you feel anything but 😦

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