I’m going to let you into a little secret about how I’ve got through the majority of the year.
I stopped thinking long-term.
We like to think long-term don’t we.
We have a picture in our heads about how our lives, in general, will turn out.
We like to imagine what it will be like and work out ways of getting there.
We like to make plans.
When cancer enters your life, the life of someone who is woven into everything you ever think about, you lose control.
The long-term picture you’ve been creating since before you can remember distorts.
All the thoughts, the dreams you had about how your life would pan out, how you would grow old and grey with the person, the fabric of your family, every plan you ever made, spirals out of your hands.
Into free fall.
It’s all jeopordised.
All things become uncertain as your life enters into the unknown.
What Ifs creep in to every thought.
Two little words, stuck together.
Two little words that together can cause sleepless nights and worry.
There was a point, in the early days of Chris’ diagnosis, the days we waited for results from his chest x-ray, I didn’t know how I would cope, how I would get up each morning and be a good mummy to my kids.
It was the what ifs.
What if there are tumours on his lungs, what if this doesn’t work, what if this makes me a widow, what if I have to tell the kids, what if the kids don’t cope, what if their childhood is ruined.
I knew that I wouldn’t get through anything if the What Ifs took over.
If I started to think of every possibility.
I needed to do something to take back some control.
I needed to deal with each day as it came.
I have dealt with everyday as it has come.
I would not think past tomorrow; I would not think about what ifs, I would not think about anything long-term.
My whole energy has been focused on the day I am living.
The enormity of the situation we have found ourselves in has been broken down into manageable chunks.
I’ve not had to worry about getting through the year.
Only about doing my best through the next few hours.
Everyday is different, bringing different challenges, with different emotions attached.
Rather than trying to deal with what might happen in all of the days, I have just dealt with what is right in front of me, what is happening right now.
It has worked, it has helped me stay positive and helped me just get on with things.
Although it has sometimes left me a bit last-minute with birthday cards and appointments and other things I should really write in my diary so I don’t forget.
There have been good days that I have cherished.
There have been bad days, days when I’ve not been sure we can hold it all together, when I pray the hours hurry in the hope that tomorrow will be easier.
And there have been days that positivity has ruled.
I have got through them all.
I will get through them all.
I have looked for tiny bits of happiness in each day.
I have been thankful for good times, for laughs, for friends that send messages asking how I am.
It has reminded me that even in the darkness there is always light to hold on to.
Light that will guide us to tomorrow.
To another day.
Which I will continue to take as it comes.