Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Lumps, Bumps, Bruises and Being Mentally Tough

One of the hardest thing about being a cancer patient and/or survivor if the bumpyness of the human body. 

What do I mean by this? For most people, every person really, their body is filled with inconsistencies. Your left hand is not exactly like the right, same goes with legs and same goes with everything. Normally this isn't really a concern for most people. But as anyone with cancer will tell you, you get no so excited about this bumpyness sometimes.  It takes a certain level of mental toughness and always being "on" that can be hard to explain and can really wear on a person.

Personally I have had many experiences during and since completion of treatment that I fell into this hole. Many days, I would find some sort of bump or irregularity that leads me to believe that something may be wrong (so far they haven't which is great). I had cancer in my right leg. Lots of surgery, lots of radiation and lots of chemo lead to an odd system going over there. Recently, I poked around and found some oddness on my left leg. Also stressful, it is probably nothing but I don't know that. Things like this are stressful because they have probably been there for ever and when I compare to my right leg, well it doesn't feel the same.

Some days I deal with these lumps or bumps fine. Some days I poke and prod, pretending I know what I am doing, trying to figure out what it is and convince myself that it is all fine. Usually I end up bruising myself and it becoming swollen and painful. Those days I would not say I am particularly mentally tough. It can be made harder and more stressful when you hear about a friend or colleague getting cancer for the first, or second or however many times.

I am happy days where I can just shrug things off but they aren't as common as I would like, and they can make some days harder. Some days I tell myself "well I have a check up in a month I will be fine until then". I have been very good about trying to decide whether or not I need to go see a GP or my oncologist, but it can be tough some days. It is not an easy thing.

I believe almost every cancer patient or survivor goes through something like this. The fact that so many deal with it "gracefully" and can still get through their day, go to school or work, hang out relax, and take care of their families and loved ones is really a testament to how strong and mentally tough cancer survivors and patients are. Obviously, we are not all perfect on every day, but I really believe that with all the added weight on a person that adds, it is truly impressive.

So with every lump and bump I get, it seems for now at least I will continue to bruise myself. And stay as strong as I can.

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