My 5th life

We sometimes hear that we have 7 lives. Well, in fact, I’m living my 5th life.

Being 5 years old I almost died from an acute peritonitis. Then, the birth of my eldest child was quite a challenge. Without science, I could also have left this world with the birth of my third one who was born with a C section (Cesarian) as she was a breach baby.

Living a bonus

After the wake up call of Cancer, I felt that I was now living a bonus. That’s what often happens when you face death. Some people didn’t have that opportunity, and I feel that being a “survivor” comes with some responsibilities.

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I probably always had that urge in me to enjoy every single day of my life. It is a blessing to open the eyes in the morning.

Everyday, we are given an opportunity to learn, do good, love, build memories and teach what we know.

Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people. —Peter Strople

I don’t know what is my purpose in life, what could be my legacy. Nevertheless, I feel that I have no time for hater, I have no time to waste.

A psychologist would probably say that I go through a kind of Cancer post traumatic syndrome. Yep. Maybe. Surely.

Someone who never went through a live changing experience might not get it.

How Cancer increased my thirst for life?

Well, let me try to explain…

First, the Cancer diagnosis, you are told that you have a life threatening illness. Some lucky ones like me that made it through thanks to today’s medicine. It doesn’t mean that it was easy. Actually, you are caught into a race or better said, a marathon that will take every single bit of strength and energy, mentality and physically. No time to think.

Then, hopefully, you’ll be told the treatment is completed and here comes the contradictions. This is the post Cancer phase. When you should be happy but you need to watch out…. there are still risks of relapse. So Doctors tell you to live your life and not to worry. And they will check on you, regularly. And you have the stress of scan and blood test results. Every single time.

So, you wish to move on but not as easy as it seems.

Survivorship challenges

Also, comes another “problem” as highlighted recently by a friend. How to move on and leave behind the dear friends we made in the way that are still in treatment? Survivorship comes with guilt in some cases. Maybe this is one of the reason, most of us feel the need, the urge to give back to the community who helped us.

Then, for some the trauma was such that it is hard to feel part of the same groups than “before”. We belong to the Cancer community, moving on or not. The scars are there.

So, for many of us, there is a sense of urgency. To enjoy to the fullest that bonus. To honor the ones who did not make it. As a sign of gratitude. And for ourselves. Just in case.

All about Now.

.Do it. Now. The Cancer Majlis

It might sound exhausting but not really if it is not pathological. At least in my case, Cancer also taught me acceptance and the importance of living the present. If you read previous blog posts, you will remember that it was part of my chemo and treatment approach. One day at a time. It didn’t change.

I make sure I have no regret. No procrastination. That drives me insane. Let’s put that way, if I always waited to do or try something, I do. Now.

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Post Cancer

Since mid April 2018 when doctors explained me my treatment plan, I put all my energy and focus into getting through keeping my life. I didn’t want Cancer to interfere to a greater extend than the treatment would require. I did my very best to keep active socially, professionally, as a mum, as a wife, as a daughter or sister. Of course, it is a bit naive as the treatment takes some space but I welcomed it as part of my new life, not as a burden.

When I completed the chemo cycles, I got ready for radiation and was still dealing with heavy side effects. Honestly, looking back I don’t think I realized the big chunk of the treatment phase was over. Half way through radiation, I started looking a bit more ahead and projecting myself in a longer timeline that today or tomorrow. Strange enough, this period was the most difficult for me.

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I am not Sporty, but felt the urge to keep my body active

When I hear fit, I clearly imagine people in shape, running in the coolest sport outfit available. Basically, not me. I am not sporty, not in “that” shape and I would only consider running in case of fire…. In fact, the only physical activity I like is yoga and I practice it for the peace of mind it brings me.

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What to say to Cancer patients?

Cancer is taboo. Cancer is still associated to death and the fear of the illness can sometimes lead to uneasy reactions. It is a very scary diagnosis for the patient and so it is for the family, friends, colleagues and people around. The difference is that the patient has to deal with it, the others have the choice.

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Kintsugi

Accepting our mended body & soul

Some time back, in one of my google micro-moments, I landed on that inspirational image. It might be destiny, karma, luck, coincidence… never mind it resonated.

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