I had a tough day today… Although I was thrilled not to have to go through another therapy session, I felt down, discouraged and irritated by the pain. I got angry with myself for getting tired today and I felt beaten when I couldn’t get to everything I had hoped to. I managed to find a second breath late this afternoon and finally got a little bit of grocery shopping done but for most of today, I felt off, moody and more ‘sick’ and tired than usual.
Understandably I’m rather nervous about tomorrow… It’s test day again and although I know I won’t have the results for at least a few more days, I can’t help but think about what these tests will determine. Tomorrow we go through the long, tedious process of trying to find out how this parasite that is trying take take over my body has progressed, if it has spread and how quickly it is moving through me, destroying everything it can get a hold on. Basically, to put it quite bluntly, tomorrow’s tests will determine who’s really winning at this point… Me, or cancer. That’s a scary thought isn’t it, I shudder to think of how I’ll react if I find out that I’m not the forerunner here. I’m generally a bad loser but this fight is one that I simply will not accept losing… There’s no 2nd place in this battle!
My life has changed so drastically over the last month and this journey has already taken me down so many different, completely unexpected roads. I never, not for a single second, thought that I would ever have to face a fight against cancer personally. Although the cancer awareness cause, especially for young people has been incredibly close to my heart for a much longer period of time than what I’ve spent trying to come to terms with the fact that I’ve become a part of that cause as apposed to a supporter of it, I never thought it would come quite so close to home. I never imagined how would react to this, nevermind how I would live with it.
Truth be told, I haven’t been on this journey for very long, although my case is in what they generally call the ‘final’ stage and seems to be much more advanced than any of us would like to admit at this point, my fight has just begun. That makes me think that I actually have no place writing this blog. I don’t know nearly enough about this disease or this battle to be giving any advice. Who am I to document every step of a journey that thousands of young people have travelled before me and so many more are travelling as we speak? On what authority do I represent cancer patients? These questions have plagued me for a few days now and there have been a few moments when I have actually considered deleting my blog completely.
Earlier tonight, while browsing through the newsfeed on Facebook, I came across a status update written by someone who I don’t know very well, in fact, I have only ever seen this person twice. Needless to say, I was incredibly surprised when my eyes caught sight of my name. Reading what Keith had to say about my blog and more importantly the impact my battle is having on his life left me with a rather large lump in my throat and a fresh, updated outlook on my purpose and the reason I’m writing right now. I have received such wonderful feedback and motivation from so many people, some of whom I have known for ages and others whom I am yet to meet, the comments and messages that I receive are so special and touch me so deeply. Reading Keith’s update renewed a sense of responsibility in me and reminded me of what all of the feedback, comments and messages tell me every day… Whether or not I am ‘qualified’ to write these posts, regardless of my ‘authority’ as a cancer patient, I have a duty to continue this blog. I have a responsibility to tell this story to whoever wants to hear it. And so, once again, thank you, for all the comments and messages, for following my journey and for walking with me. An extra special thank you, Keith Smith, for reminding me of what I should never have doubted.
The long and short of it is… This blog is not about advice, I don’t believe that any 2 battles are the same and what works for me may be the worst idea for someone else. I’m not here to give advice. I don’t represent cancer patients, not at all. I cannot speak for anyone else and I know so very little about the journeys of others, but I’m here, now, writing this blog as Mandy Loubser, a 27 year old woman on a mission. I’m here to tell you a story, my story, that’s it. It’s not even so much about cancer as it is about life. We all see trials, we are all faced with a journey of some sort at some point in our lives, I don’t see any reason that anyone, on any type of journey, fighting any kind of battle, can’t take something from this or any of the thousands of blogs out there. If I am able, as a result of this blog, my posts on Facebook or my support of cancer awareness and support as a cause, to inspire even a single person to make it through their own journey or keep fighting their own battle, be it cancer or anything else, I will have served my purpose, fulfilled my responsibility and given back, even if it is only in a very small way.
Never again will I doubt my reasons, my motivation or my cause! And so, my friends, I beg of you, when the ‘down’ days come, as I’m sure they will, and I have a little trouble taking it all in my stride, please, feel free to give a firm shove in the right direction and remind me of this moment.
Much love, happy thoughts and a thousand good wishes.
One Day At A Time