This Thursday will be my last chemotherapy session. “Hooray!” says everybody and I definitely agree. But, weirdly, a small part of me is not joining in the celebrations.
I have so much to look forward to. Nick will be arriving in less than two weeks. Then I’m going home to Australia for a long stretch in the sun. So why do I feel conflicted?
My guess is that I am afraid. Of the future. Soon I will be resuming my normal life (whatever that is), but as a cancer survivor. I don’t even know what that means in practical terms. But, psychologically, it’s a label I shy away from. I don’t want to identify myself as ‘Lily – cancer survivor’. I want to be ‘Lily – a fabulous friend’, ‘Lily – chic chick’ and ‘Lily – sexy girlfriend’ and ‘Lily – creative blogging goddess’.
So far, I have been looked after every step of the way on this life-defining cancer journey. I’m flattered to have all those eminent doctors taking an interest in me. Above all, I have had the constant care of the wonderful nurses. I will miss them. I don’t know how to make sense of all these mixed feelings.
I Skype Nick: “Darling you’ve just become a tiny bit institutionalised,” he informs me, “you’ll be like one of those people who goes out and commits burglaries so that they can get back into prison.” “Except I will have to deliberately contract cancer in order to be readmitted.” I reply. I wonder if I might go down the road of developing full-blown Münchausen Syndrome. “I could always take up smoking again?” I suggest, with a hopeful lilt.