Most people with an incurable Cancer will go through both good and bad periods. I quite liked a quote by a fellow patient who described that as the ‘ebb and flow’ of living with cancer and said the flow would always return at some point. I also liked a quote from a fellow blogger whose blog catchphrase is “Having a bad day shouldn’t mean having a bad life”.
When I wrote my blog “Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer – it takes guts“, that wasn’t me being one of those trendy bloggers saying the sort of things people want to hear. Nor was my article “Neuroendocrine Cancer – is normally slow growing BUT …..” an attempt to invoke some sort of ‘pity party’. Neither of those things are my style. Despite the metaphoric angle to the post title, it really does take guts to live with a life threatening condition due to many of the ‘buts’.
Despite my positive sounding blogs and my generally focused and determined nature, I sometimes have bad periods where I feel I’m not coping well living with cancer. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’d planned to do something and then put if off for various reasons. When you live with cancer or long term chronic disease, it can be really easy to become almost permanently inactive and lethargic – that is not a good outcome and I fight hard not to fall into bad routines. Fortunately, my wife Chris helps me get through some of this.
‘It’s the cancer’ – this can sometimes seem like the perfect reason to say ‘I can’t. It’s difficult, particularly if you’re not feeling well or still recovering from treatment. I find it helps if you have someone providing motivation, a partner, a friend or even just by reading an inspiring post. I’ve been contacted by many people who have simply said “I needed to hear that today”. Personally, I’m perked up when I read stories about patients trying to change or improve their outcome (reduce symptoms, increase quality of life), even simple day-to-day things that gives them a little victory, a chance to feel some normality, it all helps. For some it can be a turning point. I do long walks and climb hills just to piss my cancer off – I’m not suggesting you do it (unless you feel capable of course!) but anything which brings some normality and a better quality of life has to be better than nothing.
Sometimes there is a fine line between ‘poker face’ and ‘cancer card’.
And sometimes it’s not even about the cancer!
Thanks for reading