Learning To Let It Go

All my friends know how organised I like to be, I love a plan, and don’t like going into situations without having a clear picture of what to expect. My work often revolves around waiting for people to get back to me before I can spring into action. Having as much information as humanly possible makes me feel like I have done my part, It’s a way of my being in control of a situation. Having cancer has meant that I am seriously lacking control and plans can change at the drop of a hat. I often joke that I am borderline OCD, however this means I can get stressed easily, and it feels as if I am going around in circles most of the time. The thought of disease spreading throughout my body, and of having no control over it makes me feel physically sick and anxious. When people ask how I am, I’ll say I’m ok 90% of the time, because it’s too difficult to articulate my true feelings over brunch or a quick text catch-up.

Cancer is lonely and even with incredible amounts of support from family and friends it is still a huge challenge. I don’t want to be the friend that nobody wants to hang out with because they are always feeling negative, so I have tried to keep some things to myself over the past few weeks, in the hope I will help myself and others around me. I want to enjoy time with friends focussed on other subjects, the ones that ordinary twenty-somethings talk about.

Dealing with such a bad diagnosis out of the blue has taught me so much about others, seeing both the positive and the negative. I have learnt from my initial Stage 4 diagnosis back in 2010 that some people will be there no matter what, they will show you what it means to be a true friend. The good eggs will laugh and cry with you, and be there for you even if it means that they have to listen to the same story 100 times (we all know I love a story). They will let you rant and rave about life first, even if they have something really important to say. They will make you four different types of tea just to make sure you have the one you want, they will sponsor your 10k charity race, run it with you, or cheer you on in the cold at the finish line. They will travel from far and wide to see you even when you tell them not to bother, and remember when you have your hospital appointments, even when they are living in another time zone. I am forever in debt to these friends. I have no idea how I would react if I was on the flip side, so this is a shout out to my awesome friends both near and far. Thank you!

A couple of weeks ago I received results from my latest PET CT scan, and luckily everything is currently stable. I didn’t tell many people that I was having the scan, as I was trying not to talk about it so much in order to focus on other things. Yay for Pembrolizumab! For now I keep going on the same drug regime and I will have another scan in around three months time.

Somehow, I am going to learn to let go of what I can’t control, and focus on all the positive aspects of my life. I am still here aren’t I? I’m still alive, and by all accounts doing really well.

4 thoughts on “Learning To Let It Go

  1. Thank you for your words,
    I am stage 3C, though I think I am a 4 now, just didn’t ask.
    Even though in my 50’s, your words for melanoma patient speak true. I am , like other close melanoma friends
    scared that this disease can go anywhere and everywhere, when it wants.
    Living 3 months at a time, one day at a time. I haven’t had a good break since it started in my lymph node , 2 years ago. Even radiation, finished in Nov. and in Feb I had a reaction from the radiation, a necrotic hole (wound) in my groin, that they were radiating. Now 2 months in wound care, maybe more. I go to hyperbaric oxygen therapy every day, except weekends.
    For 30-40 days.
    Thanks , I needed to let that out. I miss people so much. I wish they’d visit.


    • Thanks for reading Jean! It’s interesting to hear other similar stories, and somewhat comforting to know I am not alone. I hope you are doing well. Keep your chin up! X


  2. Hey Jolene. I hope you’re doing ok.

    I don’t know if Amy mentioned it but a girl I used to work with who is about the same age as you is going through something similar. It had really struck me on your blog how isolated you sometimes feel and how it’s hard that you don’t have people to talk to who are going through similar things and are also at the same stage of their lives as you, which is very honest and brave of you to talk about. I wondered if it might be worth putting the two of you in touch with each other, though I’ve not spoken to her yet. What do you think? She lives in Bristol and is a super lovely and amazingly strong woman!

    Sophie x


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