The last post I wrote was written in exasperation because of the daunting thought of them doing yet more tests to check whether my latest aches and pains are another recurrence.
There were two other occurences this week that I found questioned my levels of exasperation vs aspiration. I saw our GP (family doctor ) ‘BC’ on Monday for the first time in quite a few months and he heard for the first time that I was going to Uni full-time this year. He has been my GP since I first moved to this town when I was 19 and he was just starting out in his Dads family practise as a GP so we have known each other for close to 30 years now and he has seen me through all my pregnancies and has seen me when I was my most stressed out when YD was continually sick etc when she was younger. His attitude was one of disbelief that I wouldn’t be using this time with YD having left home and myself being in remission to just relax. I had exactly the same reaction to the news I was at uni from a local shopkeeper whose shop I have frequented and that I have become friendly with for about the same length of time the following day. These two people have seen me at my most down, most stressed over the past 20-30 years and can’t believe that I want to put my energy into continuing to help others by doing a Bachelor of Social Work (majoring in Health Social Work).
I didn’t have time to explain it to the shopkeeper as he had other customers waiting but I did go into it with more depth with ‘BC’ and he did see my point of view. I want to do what I did with other parents on a more informal basis in the past and apply it to the wider health field especially now I have had my own health issues and have seen other people in hospital overwhelmed by the professional jargon and navigating the ‘system’ etc and I see that is where my strength lies as a Social Worker.
The other side of me studying is that in fact I am doing something for myself in doing it, it gives me a focus, an aspiration, a feeling that I am doing something worthwhile instead of just sitting around waiting for the cancer to come back. That if I get through the next few years without another recurrence I will come out of my degree with something useful that I can then go on to use in my life because if the cancer doesn’t come back in the next few years the chances of it ever coming back rapidly diminish again so I can get on with having a Social Work career. Even if the cancer does come back and I need to have regular treatment, it doesn’t necessarily mean I am going to die of it anytime soon and I could be in and out of treatment managing cancer as a more chronic condition for 15-20 years. I cannot spend all that time just being a ‘cancer patient’.
I have had the good news today that 3 other woman with IBC , two just out of initial treatment, one with a recurrence after 3 years have reached the land of remission (or NED as they call it in the States – No Evidence of Disease) so despite my exasperation I think I’ll stick with my aspirations.
I ASPIRE TO DREAM, I ASPIRE TO HOPE, I ASPIRE TO LIVE !!