My Canniversary…. 1 year on

Finishing my first tough mudder
Ste doing his charity boxing night
One of my amazing friends before her tri
Me on the walk. of hope. My mouth still droopy from my operation
My first grading ever!!

Thursday 16th August 2018

So it’s a year to the day I was sat in a room on my own innocently or maybe it was naively waiting for my operation results. The room was filled with a number of people their faces I can’t quite picture but I’m sure if our paths were to ever cross again I would instantly recognise them. Words were spoken which although I may not remember word for word I will never forget how they made me feel and that at that moment my life changed forever.

“I’m sorry it’s not good news, you have cancer”. These are words which given a choice no one would ever like to here said to them or someone they love.

So one year on what has happened? So much has happened I sometimes wake up or take a moment day dreaming and think shit yes that did actually happen. My body and mind has been through so much. Out of the two, I think it’s my mind that struggles to comprehend things the most and the power of the mind should never be underestimated.

I don’t think that just applies to cancer I think that goes for any issue, acheivement or traumatic experience in your life. It was my mind and positivity that has got me where I am today but it’s my mind that also unfortunately sends waves of fear of the unknowns and sadness when things all get a bit too much.

Today unfortunately is one of those days and I’m not even quite sure why. I have so much to be grateful and happy for I know but for some reason I don’t feel like celebrating and I’m struggling to hold back the tears.

So as were sat in traffic on the M6 setting of on a trip I honestly didn’t feel like going on or that I would bring much fun too I decided to make the best use of my time write down my thoughts and reflect in a bid to trick my mind into changing my mood for the sake of my husband, kids and lovely family were visiting who unfortunately have no choice but to endure my mood and ‘enjoy’ my company.

So a year on what have I to celebrate about?

  1. I’m still here and amazingly I’m fit and well. Despite the unstackable odds against me not only was I lucky to have treatment that some people would sell their house and life savings for but I had treatment that worked. It came with side effects some  pretty horrendous which the doctors had never experienced before and some which I hope will now be on the radar of other patients. Despite and inspite of those side effects it bloody well worked and less than a year from being told I had stage 4 cancer I was sat in a room to be told that they think it’s all gone and I can ‘get’ on with life. In someways it’s a miracle.
  2. I’ve raised money for charity – I walked, I wrote and people gave their well earned cash to charities which I hold close to my heart and continue to help me and so many cancer patients.
  3. I finally got a belt – so after years of fitness, some boxing and thai boxing but nothing to show for my efforts I decided to pick up my dusty gloves out of retirement and took up kickboxing with the kids. We all got our white belts and it won’t just stop there. I’ve punched my way through this cancer journey and I’ll keep fighting with my kids by my side.
  4. 1 year no beer!! Probably my most amazing achievement to date for some people is the fact I gave up drink and still socialise! Apart from the time I’ve been bearing child I don’t  think I’ve ever stopped drinking for more than a couple of weeks.  Before you call the fun police it hasn’t been that bad.  I probably talk slightly less shit, I don’t  wake up in strange locations,  I’m  a cheap date and if I do ever decide to start drinking again I reckon 2 shandy’s and I’ll be off home with a falafell kebab in hand.
  5. I learnt to write. Part of this journey has involved openly and honestly writing down my feelings hopefully in a way that can help people and also in a way that people also find entertaining.  Thankfully the feed back has been good in terms of my writing which has encouraged me to carry on.  Who knows I might put pen to paper in other forms than this blog in the future.
  6. I am a tough mudder.  So recently I finished a tough murder which for anyone who doesn’t  know is a race full of disgusting (sorry fun) obstacles.  It was only 5k but I did it.  More importantly I did it with some fantastic friends who helped me get my leg over more than just once.  Don’t  worry Ste was there to watch and help!  When I look back to the days where a walk round the block was a task as I was so weak and when jogging brought on panic attacks of emotions and tears I think it’s another obstacle I’ve overcome.I’m already thinking about the next challenge.
  7. I’ve inspired others. It feels like a strange thing to say and one I still find unbelievable that anyone would call me inspirational but people have.  Friends have said I have helped them take on challenges that they never would have done and people have said my positive attitude has inspired them. Today didn’t feel like one of those days but if there’s anything I would like to achieve in my little life then inspiring others is definitely up there.
  8. I promoted health and well-being to others and bared all to a room full of colleagues.  I was given a wake up call to make health my main priority I try to watch what I eat look after my body and mind.  I don’t want others to wait for something drastic to happen in their lives before they start to take care of themselves. Even when looking after others you need to look after yourself first. Thankfully people said they took alot from it which they will incorporate in their own lives and I can’t  ask for much better than that.

So as I’m sat here in the car on this journey which has took us over 6 hours so far it seems pretty symbolic of our lives. See our lives aren’t  always mapped out the way we planned.  Sometimes we have to take a longer road which can be bumpy and a bit scary at times.  But we have a choice we can either make it the worse ride ever or enjoy it with those that are always around us who pick us up when we’re down and make sure we get there in the end.

And like my best friend has just reminded me our journey is what we make it and I want to make it as fun and fulfilled as possible. My mood has changed since writing this as I know I have so much to be grateful for. I’m looking  forward to spending another weekend with people I love for starts.

So happy 1 year Canniversary. You’ve brought so much sadness and chaos in our lives but with that has come lots of love,  happiness, fun times with family, solid friendships and memories I might not have crammed into 1 year had this not happened.  Here’s to the next year proving I’m here for the long, fun yet sometimes bumpy ride.

X x xx

 


3 Comments

  1. Dad
    19/08/2018 / 16:39

    You are our little fighter,you might be small in stature but you are a colossus in your determination and keep us all going,we are so proud of you,keep up the fight you are our ray of sunshine xxxx
    Mum & Dad

    • Rachel
      Author
      12/09/2018 / 11:35

      Thank you Dad for all your support always love you both x x

  2. Jeanette Kenyon
    19/08/2018 / 17:02

    Oh wow Rachel…not often I am short of something to say!… your blogs are so well written…straight from the heart…made us laugh,cry and think…not bad for a young woman who likes to keep herself to herself.
    What a blooming year…but you are a real fighter…only tiny but you certainly pack a punch!!..you have met this square on….and dealt with all the chaos,trials and tribulations as they have arisen…and will continue to do so…you have the most amazing friends and family supporting you all the way….we are all so so proud of you…and love you to bits xxxxxx

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