The Cancer has gone but life will never be the same

Three years ago today our life changed. Cancer became a part of everything we did. It ruled our calendar, it ruled our bank balance and it ruled our lives. Living with Cancer in our family was a huge upheaval and so much changed. We gave up our jobs, we became proficient in using big medical words and we learnt how to use IV machines, feeding tubes and how to apply dressings to hickman lines. 

Over time things got easier and it almost seems as though those worst moments in our past didn’t even happen to us. Elizabeth is a beautiful seven year old girl with shoulder length hair, chubby cheeks and a defiant attitude.  

She has hardly any recollection of the horrors that she went through, the surgerys, the x rays, the mri scans, the lumbar punctures and the blood transfusions. She remembers the hand wiggles (cannulas) the most as they were always the worst thing for her and each time she confronts something she is scared off or she gets hurt she says “A hand wiggle is worse”. She has scars across her body that will always be there and side effects from the chemotherapy that are still very evident but I am glad to see that her mental scars are not as bad as I once feared. 

My mental scars however seem to have lived through the cancer and the years that have past. Each temperature, each illness and each time she looks a little too pale and my heart beats faster and my brain starts to say things that I don’t want it to say. I worry that I will get cancer, or Hubby or Alison. It seems that now we have held Cancer so close to our hearts that it can come again uninvited to any of us. It doesn’t care if you are young or old, it doesn’t care if you smoke, drink, eat meat or if you exercise. I suppose the scariest thing is that we just don’t know how cancer starts. Is it something I did? Something she ate? The place we live? I mean if it was any of those things then surely Elizabeth is at risk of relapse and Alison is at risk too?  

You see even now when all the treatment has finished and cancer isnt at the forefront of our minds it is still there creeping around ready to pounce when I least expect it. 

Cancer hasn’t just affected the way I think, it has changed the way we live. It has given me a different outlook on life that means that we try and fill our lives with amazing experiences that create awesome memories. There are not many things that I can thank Cancer for but making me see what is more important in life has definitely been one of them. 

I look back on the last three years and I don’t see the hell we went through anymore instead I see the many amazing memories, the holidays, the days out, the days we just spent lounging around in our pyjamas watching films. In fact when I look back on the last three years all I do is smile because yes life can be shit at times but if you can look past the shit you can always find something to smile about.

Here are some of the photos of Elizabeth from the last three years that make me smile.  

Remember you can choose the moments that matter so choose the ones you want to cherish, not the ones you want to forget.

The Cancer may have gone but our lives will never be the same. That is not such a bad thing though…