The Thing Is

The thing is…
The thing is cancer. Frigging cancer. You can’t have a diagnosis and not have it on your mind frequently. Not continually, but frequently. Whether it’s doing practical stuff, or explaining, explaining, explaining to others, how you feel, and how you don’t feel, and wondering about how they feel. It’s as if it is an all consuming header of every day, every week, written in bold, font size 72.

It’s that some people hear the word and recoil, embarrassed, unsure, teary-eyed, not wanting to hear more. It’s as if some people see a corpse instead of me. Instead of me… it’s not instead of me, it’s as well as me. There’s still everything of me here, just cancer too. An uninvited guest. A squatter. A chopped, fried and chemo-sodden squatter. Something that has made me sit bolt upright and think about life in a totally different way. I no longer think of life as something that I will likely take me to my ninth or tenth decade, like my Grannies. But something that means I now appreciate simple pleasures and my friends and family, far more so than before.
Live, love and laugh: my new mantra. I’m all up for some silliness and good times and hope that the uninvited guest doesn’t cause too much of a diversion or distraction. I hope that I can be seen again as “Vicky”, not always as Vicky-plus-one. The transition from patient to person.

The thing is…
Vicky Galbraith February 2011


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