When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was overcome with the realisation that I might be forced to leave my children, twins Jane and Matt who were in Grade 6.
No matter how hard you try to rationalise the connotations the word cancer brings to mind once diagnosed with this disease the battle lines are firmly drawn in your own mind! There seemed to be this internal battle going on inside my head with one side telling me that I was going to die, while the other side being more positive telling me that this wasn't going to happen.
I remember vividly my husband holding me all night long, talking into the early hours of the morning until exhausted he finally fell asleep. I came to the realisation then that this was a battle that I had to deal with and had to be strong enough to cope with whatever the course was. My one wish was to be around until the kids reached the magical age of 18.
I look back now and wonder why I was fixated on this age, probably because I thought they could deal with my loss better and cope without their mum! We didn't tell Jane and Matt that I had cancer when I went in for surgery to protect them. As it was it had spread into lymph nodes and I had to have radiotherapy so it was time to tell them. Not an easy task and both were very quiet, but Jane became very angry and was upset that we hadn't told her. You think you are doing the right thing, but in hindsight maybe I was protecting me more.
I had thirty treatments of radiotherapy and they weren't as bad as I had anticipated, although I marked every one off on the appointment cards and was glad when the treatment was finally over. After that the inevitable concern that the cancer would come back stayed around for quite a while and I have problems which have been caused through having the radiotherapy treatment, one shortly after treatment ended was a fracture of the pelvis due to the radiotherapy, which was painful to say the least.