By ANA FERGUSON
Most days, I get up and face my demons head on. I wake up damn well determined to MAKE MYSELF be positive, warm and fuzzy. I bounce out of bed and I try to be bouncy all day long (I should make Tigger from Winnie The Poo my new mascot).
Someone taught me years ago to “fake it till you make it.” So that is exactly what I do. I fake feeling good and some days, I actually do feel good.
But. I promised myself, when I started to write to you guys, that I would keep it real.
So here is my question: Do you have to fake it when you’re dying from cancer? Or is it OK to admit that sitting in that chemo chair is terrifying?
Ana Ferguson is 44 years old. She’s got 4 kids. And she’s dying.
She has stage four breast cancer, and she doesn’t know how long she’s got left on this planet – but she wants to spend some of that precious time writing. So this is Diary of the Dying. A place where Ana will share her fears, her days, and her astonishingly candid thoughts on life and death.
This is Ana’s fourth post for Mamamia.
Here’s my best attempt at an answer: Write the reality, get it out there onto paper, acknowledge it, own it, and then get the hell back to fairy land, quick smart!
The last few weeks, I have had a lot of very real stuff going on in terms of my cancer. This is the reality of #livingwithcancer – I live with it, as best as I possibly can, with the tools I have available to me and by using the power of choice.
The reality is also that, I have Stage 4 Breast Cancer and it’s on the move again. I have 4 new tumours in my liver and my markers are creeping up.
Last week, I started the new chemo regime – I know that my cancer responds well to this drug (Gemcitabine) as we used it in Germany, in gnostics testing (see www.savingana.com for more info on all this). Over the last 3 years, I have managed to keep coming up with options that have got me out of using systemic chemo and it has worked for me. The sitting down in the chemo chair thing, next to lots of people who look older and sicker than me, sent me into a complete panic.
Memories from my chemo 12 years ago hit me like a 20 tonne truck and every memory rolls straight back in like a tsunami of emotions and even physical nausea. My heart starts to take off, trying to push out through my chest wall. All my “I am woman, hear me roar” resolve just goes.
I swear, in that seat, I felt and acted like a trapped wild animal, (probably even bared my teeth) and as soon as the canular was put in, I was ready to pull it straight out.
My instincts were screaming at me to get out and run run run, but I knew I couldn’t. Thanks to a small outburst of unusual common sense, I actually asked my darling James to come with me, which I rarely do.
My ‘fake it till I make it’ armour received a serious beating and no matter how much ‘bounce’ I have in my tail, it was a ‘real cancer day’ with real fears, emotions and real pain.
Tomorrow, I will shine the armour up again, wrap it around myself and hop back on the campaign but for today, it’s OK to go hide under the sheets and wish the real world away.
Ana Kitson Ferguson is a Mother or 4, Wife, and jack of all trades Blogger, Wellness Advisor, Integrated Medicine Cancer Advocate, Cancer Treatment Researcher, Business Woman and has been living life to fullest with Stage 4 Breast Cancer for the last 3 years. Ana shares her story through her blog and provides cancer consulting as well as recommended products that assist her in her day to day dance. For more information go to www.savingana.com
Click here to support Ana’s cancer lifestyle program, The Life Room.