Today was (hopefully) my last day to ride the bus. Don had to attend a meeting this morning and so was not available to take me. As there was about a 40 minute wait for the bus, and then a further wait for treatment I had couple of final conversations with other cancer patients. Both are in worse situations than myself and I wished I could have offered them some comfort. Sometimes there just are no words. It gave me cause to reflect over the recent months and what I’ve learned. Last evening, over dinner with friends, I once again said, if I had to choose to not have had cancer, and forego the experiences it has led me through, I would still choose the path I have gone down.
I have learned:
-some cancer is no worse than other conditions or diseases, and it should not be feared just because it is cancer.
-it is possible to have a good time while going through a bad thing
-I am loved and supported more than I ever knew
-institutional living frustrates, if not suffocates, the individual
-I am truly blessed with a wonderful husband and daughter (ok so I knew this one already, but it’s nice to say again and again)
-to accept my whole self, introvert tendencies, lousy sense of direction, wonky boobs and all!
-to stay open to every situation, we never know how things will play out
-support often comes from places you don’t expect
-I have reserves of strength and wisdom I never realised
-most of us have an overriding need to feel normal, not pitied. We want compassion and acceptance but not pity.
-My surgeon, Dr. B, and her all female surgical team, was awesome.
-hospital coffee can be excellent!
-Breast Care Nurses are amazing
-The Alan Walker Centre in Darwin is the best, and the people are even better.
The learning isn’t over yet. I have no doubt I will be learning and building on this experience for years to come.