Time is a huge part of life – scratch that actually and replace it with ‘time is life’! We check our watches a few times a day to know what the time is. There is something about knowing the time that nudges us towards the next action we’ve got planned. Sometimes we say we lost track of time and other times we ask the question “where did the TIME go?” In the same vein, when end of life issues are being discussed, you hear phrases like “they haven’t got much TIME left”. Life is all about time, a reality you know too well when you’ve got a terminal disease.
January 16th 2010 was the day I heard that I had breast cancer for the first time; the day life as I knew it changed forever. I wrote a great piece last year celebrating the 5th anniversary since I got the cancer diagnosis. I believed (at the time) that making it to five years made me invincible to cancer. As you all know, that proved to be wrong as I found out less than three months later that the cancer was back and this time, it is considered incurable.
Time goes by so slowly but yet, days roll into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. The time slowly rolled into what would have been a big celebration of my 6th year ‘cancerversary’ two days ago. I couldn’t bring myself to post about it on the day as I had a few emotions running riot in my mind. I realized that I have lived with cancer for 18% of my life! That means countless pills, scans, hospital appointments, tears, anxiety and a whole lot of fear.
As part of thinking of time especially in the context of cancer, I think about all I have lost – the chance to have another child, the flawless beauty (yup, you read that right) that used to be my body, the luxury of making plans a year in advance, a life without hospital appointments, a life in which I could dream of growing old with my husband and watching my daughter graduate from college and get married without the fear of not being here taking over, a life in which I could be a grandmother, a life in which I could take time for granted!
I met a lovely young lady (she’s only 30) yesterday and that would be the first time I would meet anyone living with stage IV cancer. We got along so well and it was refreshing to meet someone who knew exactly what I was going through. We had a few good laughs and we talked about everything from diagnosis to treatments to side effects to our hopes of being here for many years to come. We share the same oncologist and she’s registered to one of the doctors (our very good friend) that work with my husband!
Time was a huge part of our conversation; we talked about the time between appointments, the time since the initial diagnosis, the time since the cancer recurred and a lot of our conversations centered around time.
I had my three month scan on Friday and we talked about the difficult time between having a scan and getting the results.
I think of time and how to make the most of it and I am going to make a list of what I want to do this year. I struggle with procrastination so wish me luck with making the list and actually ticking off what’s on it. One thing that will take priority on the list will be to focus on only the things and people that make me happy.
I want to laugh even more than I did last year and the first step towards that would be to get good news at my appointment on Thursday – wish me luck!