Survivor: Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
I am a Survivor
My 3 Year ReflectionJune 13th, 2017
So today marks 3 years to the day that I was diagnosed with cancer. It's something that now, 1 and half years after going into remission, I try not to talk about much simply because I don't want to become 'that guy' (although I acknowledge I don't do too good of a job at that sometimes!). However at the time its something that I would write about daily, multiple times, often with pictures and diagrams, a few times with a pie chart and a slideshow... you get the idea! It may have seemed strange or attention seeking to do so, I still have people making comments today about me 'posting my life on Facebook' but in reality I was using it at a coping mechanism. No matter how horrible the biopsy, how bad the results or how wide the camera they would insert (lol) I would make sure I royally took the piss out of myself and the situation because if everybody was smiling at what was happening, then so could I.
Cancer can be funny, some of my funniest life memories involve poo samples, people drawing on my face, broken wheel chairs and excess fluid. I now know how true it is that laughter is the best medicine, although chemotherapy comes a close second. But its also life changing, I was extremely lucky to be one of the 50% that survives but it has still changed my life, nobody comes out the same person. Not a night goes by that I don't struggle to get to sleep because I suddenly remember memories that I had hidden, not one of my dreams goes by where half way through I'm suddenly told I have weeks to live and then wake up with vivid memories that effect my mood for that day. Every time I get an ache or a pain, a stomach ache or a head ache or get dizzy from standing up to quickly I start googling; 'Coffins with pictures of Kermit the Frog on them'. (They don't exist (yet)).
But I am, as I said, extremely lucky. So many of us have lost somebody to cancer and to them there is nothing funny about it. I chose to see it as a one of them annoying friends, the one that you cant wait to move away but at the same time you learn a lot from them. But for to many its something else, a vicious thing that cruelly takes a part of their life away from them without reason or justification.
Its for that reason that I chose now to love my life, because I still have one. 3 years on the world seems so different to me, so much brighter and bigger and the people in it so much more valuable. You really don't know what's going to happen tomorrow but that's not something to be scared of, its something amazing! I now jump where before I would have been too scared, I leave things that no longer make me happy and I embrace more the things that do make me happy and I try my hardest to make deeper impacts so I'm never forgotten. I have without a doubt lived more in the past 1 and a half years than I have done my entire life.
I hate what happened to me, I hate cancer and I hate what it is doing to other people and there lives, but I do love where it has taken me and thats a strange feeling and one thats impossible to describe. My point is, and yes there has been a point within all this nonsense, is don't let a shitty situation be the reason you wake up. Don't be me; don't hold you career above your friendships, don't go on holiday without actually looking at the world around you, don't watch something amazing thats happening in front of you through your mobile phone screen, don't save for something that may never happen at the expense of not living today and don't say no when you want to say yes. Make sure you live your life exactly how you would want to see it flashed before you eyes in your last breath. Be the best you and live the best life because you chose to do so and not because you're frightened not to do so.