Cancer. Stage 4.

There’s some things you can’t ever expect. Some things that make you feel like you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole and you’re living someone else’s life. I remember that feeling hitting me a few hours after Mackenzie died. Late at night, carrying her wee body into the mortuary in the hospital, as I felt my legs threaten to buckle beneath me, unable to put one foot in front of the other I felt like I must have been transported to a parallel universe and was living someone else’s life. This happens to other people. It never happens to you.

I’ve felt similar feelings of disbelief and denial since Friday. I told the nurses in the hospital after surgery that I thought that after Mackenzie died, I should have been set up for an easy life. I’d had my shitty luck – now I was deserving of an easy run. The thought of something like cancer affecting me in the near future just didn’t seem possible. Let alone stage 4.

I don’t like uncertainty or unknowns. Now it seems I’ve got no option but to confront that in a most immediate fashion. My prognosis is uncertain. Is it 5, 10, 15 years? There’s a chance it doesn’t come back with treatment. I had discussion with my gynaecological oncologist and was advised to try and make the most of my time. The name I chose for my Instagram – joy in the small things – suddenly takes on an even more immediate meaning. I originally meant it as trying to enjoy the simple, small moments with the girls after Mackenzie passed. Now, it’s even more important.

For now, I’m being referred to a medical oncologist, a psychologist, an endocrinologist, a dietician. I’m going to start making lists and time lines of things I want to do. I’m going to do them soon, instead of ‘someday’. I wanted to study again, but now – is there any point? I’m lucky that this isn’t definitely terminal.

Now to try and figure out how to maximise the now, while planning for an uncertain future.

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