Content warning: suicide, cancer.
This week is the year anniversary of my last hysteroscopy follow up, when we already knew the results weren’t positive so thankfully we were prepared and we made the decision for me to get a hysterectomy. I have my 1 year post-cancer follow up next week (a month early but that’s okay!).
Going through it all last year I was focused on getting through. As Winston Churchill said, “if you’re going through hell, keep going.” So I kept going. I’ve kept going since my op, too. Not because I’m going through hell, but because I want to keep going.
This month is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month, which covers a few different cancers including the endometrial (womb) cancer that I had. It’s also Suicide Prevention Month and yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day. But you may notice I’m not really talking about any of those things this year anywhere.
I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my behaviour but I wanted to write about why I’m not doing much on those fronts this year because I think it’s a side of the story that is just as important as raising awareness and sharing this side of it is just as helpful, especially for those of you out there who could be feeling guilty for going through it and not speaking out – it’s okay if you don’t.
The simple answer for me is I’m taking care of myself and trying to move away from the circumstances and situations that make me feel less than joyful about my life right now. It’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the last year and a half – don’t waste time on things that don’t make you happy and your life better. I’m so tired of fighting and standing up for things right now – it can be exhausting – so I’m having a much needed rest from carrying the torch of banging on about these things that aren’t pleasant and personally, are only a small part of who I really am overall.
Cancer is something I had and I refuse to let it take over every bit of my life like … well, a cancer! 😉 (I can joke about it, it’s not all doom and gloom!) It changed me and the plans we had, of course, but the only way I’m going to create a life I’m proud of is if I put myself first. So I’m putting cancer and suicide awareness aside this month and letting others fight while I take a break from it all.
Truth be told, the last few weeks haven’t been great mentally. There’s been a lot of stress at work, juxtaposed by joyous occasions outside of work, and a day last week where I literally fell apart emotionally missing a dear friend who died by suicide years ago. This week is hard personally, because of the decision that was made a year ago. So I’m actively choosing not to be bombarded with things that trigger my depression, which is especially difficult this week when most of my social media feeds are full of cancer and mental health posts.
Instead I’m trying to look at all the positive things going on and the new plans we have. We went for a beautiful hike at the weekend. I’m trying to do more yoga, enjoying work (although it’s very busy!), spending time with family and friends, and next month we’re going on holiday and I’m getting a new tattoo! I’m rediscovering World of Warcraft and old favourite songs and being HAPPY.
This is just where I am, and remember if you’re not able to focus on being happy yet that’s completely okay too.
Follow your heart, it won’t lead you astray. ❤