Cancer was supposed to change my life..

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lydiamay

Hey so a little backstory (I plan to put up my whole story when the link for 'shared stories' comes back online) but I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in January 2014 and underwent the 6 months of chemo and have been in remission ever since.

I kept a small blog on google + when I was going through treatment and was thinking about making an update now that I'm almost 1.5 years out, but thought maybe I'll try putting it up here instead. It's just going to be some inner thoughts and ramblings because sometimes when I do actually reflect (which I don't usually like doing), I need to write it down to get it out.

Basically, when I went through treatment I put all my energy into being this positive, independent, inspirational version of myself that was going to tackle the world and become this whole new wonderful person. I ate healthy, looked after my body, stressed less, looked at situations in a different light etc.. I was determined to turn this shockingly horrible situation into something beneficial for myself.

But I found myself in this place now where I'm constantly stressed, every little stupid thing is such a stressful big problem/issue for me (like when someone doesn't fill up the napkins draw at work grrr - how stupid though to stress about this!) & I'm not looking after my body the way I should be. Except now instead of just being stressed about my problems, I get even more stressed about the fact that I'm stressed about my problems, because I know it's not good for me. I haven't been eating properly or exercising and I find myself right back into the same unhealthy patterns as I was before being diagnosed. I just wonder what happened to that whole big magical idea I had that cancer was going to change my life for the better.

Don't get me wrong, it definitely helped me grow up a lot when I needed to and put a lot of things into perspective and there have been so many positive great things to have come out it, especially a lot relating to Canteen! But I just don't know where I went wrong, how I let myself slip.. like what I went through wasn't scary or bad enough for me to have changed my life for the better? I have a feeling that it probably has something to do with not living in 'peace' or 'co-existence' with or accepting my journey for what it was.

I do this thing where I downplay my situation a lot because I feel like a) really there are so many more worse situations I could have faced or gone through and b) I fear that people also think this about me and my situation. So after so long of convincing myself and others that I had it really easy and didn't need any sympathy or help.. I think I kind of started to like distance myself from my own situation and how I felt about it all. Lately I've found myself having memories or I stumble upon an old post (that facebook memories thing) and it's a reminder of all the things I'd actually gone through that I'd made myself forget about. So now looking back at my journey I can see what was wrong with it, how difficult it was and how much of a toll it took on me.

I guess I just got exhausted and caved into that whole healing myself thing instead of bettering myself and maybe because I distanced myself so much from it all I found it hard to stay motivated and remember why I needed to let cancer change my life in the first place. But then again, cancer isn't known to be this wonderful enlightening experience is it? It's okay if it's bad, it's meant to be. It's okay if it didn't change my life for the better, it wasn't meant to. So I guess I also need to work on forgiving myself for not sticking to the original plan.. because I don't think you ever can stick to a plan when it comes to cancer.

I did have a moment of enlightenment at work the other week when I was madly rushing around the restaurant with a scowl on my face, moving the chairs around so they were actually in proper order (OCD tendencies), getting angry and stressed that I'm the only one who does this. I realised honestly is this worth my health? I made an announcement to everyone I was working with that I was done stressing about these little things and if they wanted it done they'd have to do it themselves. I'm no longer going to stress about these stupid things because I really can't afford to. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest in that moment, just simply stating out loud that I. Will. Not. Stress. Any. Longer! Of course it's a lot more difficult to put into practice but at least now I'm pulling myself up and slowing down each time I realise I'm getting worked up. I've also got a plan to work on my health but this time I'll be my own motivation instead of that nasty little thing called cancer.

I guess in the end I just needed to heal and I didn't realise it until now. It was probably more unhealthy to place all this pressure onto myself to be so amazing and 'okay' so soon after such an ordeal anyway and I hadn't realised until now. I guess if you want to take anything away from my ramblings it would be that it's okay not to be okay, it's okay to take time to heal  and it's okay if cancer didn't change your life for the better, because even when I thought that it had.. it really hadn't, only I/you have the power to do that and only when you're ready to :)