It would be an understatement to say that my cancer treatment the first time around was not a whole lot of fun.
I was so traumatised, both from the birth and the cancer experience, that I felt like I was living in a state of continuous PTSD for much of my treatment.
The level of exhaustion that accompanies having a baby who doesn’t sleep and the intensity of my medical demands also really took it out of my husband.
There were moments of joy. But on the whole, the experience was not a particularly happy one.
When I received my new diagnosis, one of the things that went through my head was ‘I can’t go through this again.’
What I meant by that wasn’t even the treatment – it was how I felt about having the treatment.
It was the perpetual slog of low-level irritation.
It was the overwhelming sensation of feeling I was falling behind in everything.
It was the isolation of feeling guilty for being so ill, that could not be alleviated no matter how many visitors I had.
Yes, I might be heading back to the chemo suite. But there was no way I was heading back into that emotional maelstrom. My heart just can’t take it.
And that’s how I stumbled across my treatment motto: “More fun this time.”
I can’t change that parts of this are going to suck. But I don’t want my life to be awful. With a new sense of uncertainty hanging in the balance, I simply can’t afford to waste time being miserable.
After this popped into my head, I turned to Zach and said, ‘Hey, I know what our motto should be…’
He loved it.
So at each turn, each decision point, and each bump in the road, I’m trying to pause to ask myself ‘how can this be more fun than last time?’
The good news is, there is almost always a way.
Note: This image was created for me by a very kind stranger named Rachel Tripp. I will be forever grateful.