Anyone who knows me at all will know three things about me:
1. I put the pro in procrastination.
2. I’m not an overly sociable person.
3. I had cancer when I was sixteen.
Those who have never had, or loved someone who has had cancer, will look at those three things and see a habit, a disposition, and a fact. They’ll take them at face value; probably go, “Oh that’s awful,” to the latter, and ask, “But you’re okay now though, right?” And when you internally roll your eyes and sigh, and reply, “Sure, it was a while ago now,” – because you know they’re not actually asking if you’re okay, but whether you’re ‘all-clear’ – they’ll go ahead and move on with their life.
Those who have, however, will see a habit, a disposition and a reason.
Treatment for cancer is no fun, whichever way you do it, but it’s not by any means the hardest part. I only ever had chemotherapy, so I can’t comment on what other types of treatment are like, but it’s just something you know you have to do. There’s no alternative, if you want to survive it, so you put your game face on and get through it by whatever means necessary.
The hardest part is in fact coping with the impact it has on you. Not just the emotions – not just the obvious stuff that loved ones know to look out for, like fear over what might happen, or not knowing what to expect. There’s a whole labyrinth of walls to run headlong into – everybody’s different and some of them may not apply to all; some don’t develop until long after the physical battle is over, and without the right kind of support it can have massive repercussions on your personality, relationships, lifestyle, mental health, and general long-term happiness.
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