I read an article the other day about a lady who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She said that when she and her husband were told, they did not cry but were filled with ‘unspeakable terror’. When I read this, I felt very sorry for them. I mean, terror? Why? I felt sad and shocked when I found out about my cancer, but that was about the worst of it. I did then start to worry for how my family would take the news, especially my son. But there was no terror involved.
I know that having chemo and then surgery will make me feel ill and very tired and mean that I won’t be able to carry on my life as normal for months. I know that I will feel sorry for myself and be grumpy and teary sometimes. I hate being ill and dependent on others. But – it is only for a few months, hopefully not longer than a year. And I can get through a year of pretty much anything, knowing that I should be better at the end of it.
We have the brilliant NHS in this country, and I know that the doctors and nurses will all do the best job that they can do, while remaining professional and kind. I have amazing family and friends who are already supporting me so well (thank you for all the messages, cards, gifts, prayers and practical help.) I know that God loves me and is looking after me and my family.
So I am certainly not terrified. I’m not really even afraid, just a little anxious sometimes at the thought of possibly dying young. But this is not anxiety for myself – I know that when I die I will be in Heaven, chilling out with Jesus and my grandparents and little baby. I really don’t want my children to lose their mother when they are still young; or Mike to be widowed any time soon; or for my parents and brother and sister to have to say goodbye just yet.
If that does happen, I know that friends and family will offer love, friendship, and practical support for my family. Please continue to be their friends; to make time to chat to them; to offer help like meals and housework. Take the kids to the park, and tell them about their Mummy.
It is better to live a short, full, happy life than a long, miserable, empty one. And my life is full and happy – I am so blessed to have wonderful friends and family; a home; good food to eat every day; education; to be able to look out of the window and see trees and hear birds singing; to live in a politically stable country where I don’t fear for my life. So many people around the world can never take even one of these for granted.
I could recover from this cancer and then live for 30 more years, but you may be hit by a bus tomorrow. I mean, you do know that none of us is immortal, right? I have always known that I will die one day, so my body’s illness comes as no massive surprise.
It’s no use worrying what might or might not happen. Just live, and be grateful for the life that you have been given. Don’t be afraid of dying, and if you are, ask God to give you his peace that passes understanding.
If you need to forgive someone, do it. If you need to say sorry, do it. If you need to tell someone that you love them, do it. Don’t wait until you are ill or lose a loved one to be the person that you always wanted to be – start now.