As the days turned to weeks and months and I responded well to the treatment I was given, my health improved and my focus moved on from just considering that morning, that day or tomorrow, to think about what to do with myself. I struggled in many ways to relate to others as they went about their usual days – work, exercise, new life projects. I saw a lot of things go on that I felt I could no longer participate in. My energy levels, and intermittent times of feeling ill, meant that many of the things I had taken for granted were no longer options for me… 12-mile hill walks, taking on exciting new work projects, travelling, even staying out late!
There was a distinct feeling of a lack of control or choice. As a secondary cancer patient, much of your life revolves around treatments, scans and side effects. I battled against the feeling and tried to be as I had been before. I knew I was struggling and looked around for help and guidance as to how I could take control of certain aspects of my life and deal with the situation I was in. Sad to say, other than people sharing their experiences online or in support groups, others suggesting counselling or me travelling great distances to one of the few specialist holistic centres, there seemed to be very little help available. I gradually worked my way towards a life more focused upon doing the things that were important to me – time with special friends and family, holidays, theatre and music trips, walking by the river and being with my partner. Work was also still in there, just less than before – as well as the money being handy it also seems to give you a place in the world, if that is the world you have been part of.