I had an overwhelming feeling to write about feeling lucky today. Not lucky for winning anything, having anything, achieving anything in particular or being anyone special – just lucky.
I’ve written before, about the little ‘chat’ I had to myself , lying outside the operating room, pre surgery. I made a promise to myself I would cherish living in a whole new way if I made it through. There are times I forget about this and then there are times, when I am reminded and give myself an extremely large kick in the butt for forgetting!
I’ve been watching a show on Netflix called Chasing Life and as sad as it’s main plot is, (the lead character has Leukemia) it has some really powerful messages – which I really relate to. It’s helped remind me of all the incredible things I have learnt about myself as a result of being a survivor and how lucky I am.
I’m nearly 5 years post surgery and I know I am EXTREMELY lucky for this. I’m also at a time of the year where I await my ‘check-up’ date and this used to fill me with fear. We call it ‘scanorexia’ in the brain tumour community – it does truly suck to be fair! But this year I feel different about it. I feel more relaxed about the results – and I think it’s because I’ve really learned to feel lucky for the small things in life and live in the present more. I’ve learned to feel grateful.
Survival gave me confidence, strength and pride – in my body and in my mind. They conquered their toughest task yet and as a result, changed my life for the better. It was also the biggest gift I could ever receive and one I need to be seriously thankful for. I no longer look at getting a brain tumour as a negative – it’s just a part of me and the strength I’ve gained needs to be something I let other people share.
I have experienced some dark periods over the years, where I was just sad, angry and full of hatred for what my body had done to me. I felt punished. I’ve looked after my body all my life, so for it to give me the serious finger at the age of 34 and throw me the curve ball of a brain tumour – that came with no explanation – felt like the ultimate betrayal.
But I’ve stopped looking backwards and also stopped looking too far forward as well, to be honest. I want to have no regrets and focus on soaking up everything around me now and loving the little things that make up my days. Sharing time with people I care about and creating wonderful memories. Learning , laughing, loving and moving – things I might have taken for granted before. I want to make a difference to other peoples lives as a result of my experiences – that makes me happy.
Trying new things, having new adventures and not being afraid of things not ‘going to plan’ is incredibly important to me at the moment – in both my personal and professional life.
One of the episodes in the show highlights how we assess ‘worst case scenarios’ when something might not go to plan. Our fear of failure often stops us from trying something new or telling someone how we feel about them. We assess a new challenge based on the chance of a negative outcome. But why?
After fighting a disease where the worst case scenario was losing my life – all of a sudden it puts things into perspective!!! No other worst case scenario is ever gonna compete with that – so bugger it – dive in and try!
If you like someone – let them know. If you love someone – tell them. If you want to try something new – do it. If you crave a change – make it. If you’ve set yourself a challenge – grab it by the balls!!! If the worst case scenario isn’t kicking the bucket – you’re quids in!!!
Watching the show has brought back perspective. It’s sort of made me feel a bit ‘fearless’ again. It’s so weird – but I spent nearly 10 years in total fear of my illness and then once I survived the surgery, I went through a period of utter ‘fearlessness’. Like I could do anything I wanted to do, cos I’d won the biggest challenge I could ever have imagined. Then real life crept back in and I let fear of challenges SOOOO much smaller affect my daily life. The show has reminded me how futile this is and to push restart!
I AM LUCKY!
I’m lucky for my beautiful daughter, lucky for my incredible friends, lucky that my body allows me to move and be moved, lucky for my memories (not gonna go as far as saying for my ‘memory’ as that’s pretty bloody awful!! 😂🤦🏻♀️) and lucky I can make new ones.
I don’t want to have fears anymore of what the future might bring. Gratitude for what I have now can help me overcome this.
That which does not kill us, makes us stronger …and seriously fu**ing lucky!!!