I went to my GP last week to get my little girl checked. After everything we went through last year, I am not sure she has got over mummy loosing her hair (she still askes me when my hair is going to grow long) and mummy not being well.
Valentina was 4 when I got diagnosed with Stage 3 Bowel Cancer, she is now 5. We read her books and explained that mummy was going to get strong medicine to make mummy better.
We were open about my treatment and kept everything at her level of maturity so she could understand everything that was going on. We would always ask her if she had any questions.
She is a very inquisitive girl and recently she has been asking my husband lots of questions about death (when are you and mummy going to die? Where are you going to go when you die? I don’t like that I don’t know when you and mummy are going to die) so I thought maybe we should take her to see a psychologist.
When I spoke to my GP – who is amazing by the way – about it, she asked me “Have you told Valentina you are cured?”
That statement took me by surprise. My GP told me “Right now your prognostic is really good and as far as I am concerned, you are cured unless somebody else told you otherwise”.
And no, nobody had told me that I wasn’t cured.
I then realised that we hadn’t told the kids these words :”Mummy is cured”, “The treatment worked and mummy is fine now.”
I left my GP office and realised that even I didn’t believe I was cured. Cancer is such a frightening word that it is hard to let go of that little voice inside you “what if?”, “What if the cancer comes back?”, “When could the cancer come back?”, “Will I have a cancer recurrence?”…
Living life after cancer is a daily challenge and I am constantly reminding myself that it is not all about cancer anymore…you can live a life after cancer…you are looking after yourself not because you had cancer but because you love yourself… you eat healthily not because you are scared the cancer can come back but because you want to eat a healing diet and the list goes on….
If you have gone through cancer treatment and you are ok now, have you told yourself you are cured? Have you told your love ones, you are cancer free now?