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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2013 When Time Stood Still

At this time of year I hear so many people comment on how quickly time has flown. For me it paused in March and from then on life continued as if in a dream where time is of no relevance. People came in and out of my life, things started and stopped, days came and went but life itself was on pause. I had cancer.
Fortunately this experience started suddenly with no time to prepare, no appointments to make or results to wait for. My cancer - although having been inside me for a while, decided to introduce itself on March 13th with a grand gesture by hemorraghing. My subsequent ambulance rides, scans and hospital admission were super swift and there it was, kidney cancer.
Once in hospital I was embolised (scroll back - it's all in the blog) and thereafter had a nephrectomy (yes my medical vocabulary has grown) to remove the tumor in my left kidney.
It was the days, weeks and months that followed that stood me still. 
As many cancer patients will know, you don't often know you have cancer until it's discovered and you need surgery to remove it. There's not usually an introduction, it's not phased in so you can get used to the idea, once you know it's there you really don't want it to hang around and get familiar.
In my case the tumor was encapsulated inside my kidney and so thankfully hadn't started to have a look around any other organs and move in. Once it was removed I was on the 'watch and wait' (to which can be added 'hope and pray') that no cells have made the move elsewhere. This was when time began the stop starty thing.
Once back home and recovering I was unable to do most of the day to day things I was used to; walking the dogs, cleaning the house, shopping and of course work. You would imagine that time would drag with so much of the day spent resting and recuperating but it didn't. During this period of rest I felt almost removed from my former life in such a way that I could look at it from a distance and decide which parts I missed and what I could do without. Rather like New Years Eve when you can reflect and make resolutions, I spent time putting my life in order. Believe me there's nothing like a tumor inside a major organ to stop you in your tracks and shake some sense into you (not that I'd recommend it...)
Fast forward 9 months to this New Year 2014 and I have woken up more hopeful and less anxious about what the coming months will hold than I have for several years. It's as if cancer has given me a right of passage, I can say 'Ok, do your worst, I've survived cancer'. I feel I have made a transition from uncertainty and hesitance to confidence and acceptance.
I start 2014 minus a vital organ and less the tumor it housed but with the knowledge that I am a survivor and as such I'm here for a reason.
Time to press Play

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