Cancer and the positive pragmatist

I was going to start this blog with: “It’s an odd thing to write this knowing that I have had cancer 4 times” but as I read it back it occurred to me it’s not actually odd, it’s not even improbable, in fact in my heart of hearts I knew I’d have cancer again, not immediately but at some point after my third I knew.

That’s not to say I laid awake worrying or letting it get in the way of life but there was and is an acceptance, just like there is now after my fourth. With that acceptance comes relief and freedom it allows me to enjoy every moment, to suffer no fools, to give my all to and to not waste time.

12 years I’ve been living with cancer and after the tears, anguish, treatment, hopes, setbacks, luck, medical treatment, love and therapy I am the most content I have ever been. I have lots of things to worry about in my life but I’ll be fucked if one of them is going to be something I can’t change. That’s not to say I don’t pray that I’ll never be ill again but if I am then I’ll play that hand when it’s dealt and I’m sure as hell not getting up from the table.

This view has evolved over the last decade and was cemented in 2013 after my third diagnosis. This was the hardest for me to deal with, the first was met with despair, the second shock and after that in 2007 I started to have hope that it would never happen again and when that hope was smashed it gave rise to something else and the positive pragmatist was born.

“It’s not the despair, I can take the despair it’s the hope I can’t stand.”

Whilst the optimist and the pessimist debate the glass and what’s in it, I’m drinking it because that’s my glass and I’m thirsty. I had cancer, I needed treatment, I wanted to get better, I trust my doctors so let’s just fucking do it, I’m not getting better by myself and if I am ill again, the same will apply.

I’m positive but not optimistic, I don’t have rose-tinted glasses and my unicorns don’t shit rainbows but I’m not negative. I am realistic enough to know that sometimes life is shit and nothing I can do will change that however being prepared and accepting of this is liberating. It means I can look for the bright side without expecting it and in my life I am generally never disappointed.

That’s my glass and I’m drinking it.

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