Trigger Warning – Hospitals, operations, cancer.
March 8th – The day that I went into the hospital for my third operation. The one which was so loaded with hope on it to revise my scar, fix my confidence and happiness. It had a lot riding on it and has it worked? That answer is no, it’s all basically become a big keloid scar.
As I was sat in the hospital, it dawned on me that I felt exactly the same as the previous two times sometime three years before. In the instant that I sat down and began the wait, it was like I was transported right back to the worse moments in my life. Mentally nothing had changed and physically, nothing had changed. I had nothing to show for those two years that had passed since that first operation – still the same size, height, weight, same scars, same feelings, nothing new in my life.
Sat with the knowledge that even this operation might not even change anything. Being put to sleep and potentially risking various health issues for them to cut open my neck again with perhaps no change. Knowing that this operation could potentially “fix” my scar, change nothing or even make it worse.
I have still got my amazing family of supporters around me. Safe in the knowledge that my boyfriend is waiting to pick me up. My sister and nephew waiting at our parents’ home where I live with her dog and chocolates because she knows I’ll need a pick me up.
How is it that two years have passed and nothing has changed? Of course, things have changed. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic that has savaged the UK which also makes me entirely grateful that when I was going what I was going through, my partner and dad were allowed to appointments with me. Grateful that I didn’t have to go through everything alone, even though, I still did go through it alone.
It was 2018 that I got my diagnosis and started the various operations and treatment plans that would remove cancer from my body. I have never been told “you’re in remission” but I am, there is no cancer left in my body. But there are so many other things that have been left instead – mental illness, a calcium deficiency and the knowledge that I’ll never quite be left alone by medical staff.
I was 22 years old when I was diagnosed. I’m now 25 and just sitting in a hospital waiting room instantly propelled me back three years. Along with the mental illness that convinces me daily that I still have more cancer in my body or blood clots in my legs, has it hindered my ability to look after myself?
March 16th – The day I got my stitches out and began the journey to trying to heal this new scar as well as I possibly can. Fruits, veggies and lots of water, listening to my body, rest and changing my plasters every day. Keeping it covered for another week. No proper showers or baths, no hair washes without help, no getting the area wet for another week when it’s already been a week of difficulty and losing stitches before they were ready.
Everyone knows that healing is not linear, but what is it? I feel constantly trapped by that time three years ago and no different now to that time then – the feelings don’t go or change, they just go to the back of my mind. I’m hoping that the more time that passes will help with this.
It’s almost like I’m grieving that time in my life before all the medical things happened. A lot of my mind has blacked out.
To anyone reading this, it does get better. I’m not sure how much time has to pass for you to feel “fine” again but I’m not the person I was back then. The simple stuff doesn’t stress me out as much as it did, I honestly have nothing left to lose at this point so I’m more confident in myself as a person. Also, I’m a nice person, not that I wasn’t ever nice before but it’s important to me now. I have to be as nice and kind to people as much as possible to almost repay all the kindness that was shown to me from family, nurses, doctors… anyone that was nice to me throughout that awful time in my life.
Talking DOES help. Confide in loved ones, communicate and be selfish in what you want to do, with your body and mind but try to let others help. Time will pass and help soften what happened, it hasn’t healed me yet but maybe ask me again in another year or two.