For Jacob, my world!
Last year I talked about not having a choice about being strong, I used a story about climbing a mountain. The climb continues but in a very different way!
So it's a year on from the last Race for Life and I'm starting to regain control over life.
What I want to share this year is the difficulties faced when 'treatment ends'.
I finished active treatment in June last year but the fact is that its effects last much longer as do the effects of treatment I need for the next 10 years. This is often unseen or unnoticed.
People come to expect you to bounce back and be the 'old' you and for the most part I try very hard to do that. But.... I'm not the 'old' me but I'm not 'new' either.. The word 'new' suggests something shiny and in great condition - this is not me. I'm now more tired than I have ever been, my body is different and still not my own, my self-confidence is low and I'm anxious and terrified of what the future holds. But mostly I'm scared for Jacob. My little man who needs me. This time has been hard on him. It's taken a long time for him to feel settled again, secure and less anxious and I get very defensive of him when I feel his experience is not valued as it should be. He is my absolute world! He's the reason I get up and I carry on. He's the reason I smile and nod when expectations of his mummy are too high because there's a clear lack of understanding of what post treatment entails! He's the reason I carry guilt when I can't be the mummy I want to be because I'm so fatigued or in pain.
But he's also the reason I smile and laugh. He's the reason my house is a mess and my washing pile is miles high - you know... Normal stuff, like before!
He's the reason I'm doing this event again! He's a trouper, a strong willed little inspiration I'm proud to still be here to see grow and challenge me.
We need to raise money for essential research so that all the other 'little men and Little ladies' get to keep their mums, nans, sisters and aunts. So those mums, sisters, nans and aunts get to see them grow too. I'm hoping to draw attention to the need for support not just during treatment but after too.
So again, I'm not strong. I have no choice. I'm still fighting.