Every year, as Chinese New Year approaches, I will be reminded that it was the week before CNY of 2018 that I was diagnosed with cancer. This year, it was no different.
‘What a silly thing’, you say, to dwell on it. ‘It’s already over, don’t think about it!’ Others would advise. I don’t really wait for the day to come or anticipate it, but a little mild depression follows me around on the anniversary I have been diagnosed with endometrial cancer.
I try to suppress that sadness that tries to engulf me whenever the date draws near. But I recognize it for what it was – it’s my body’s own physical memory of the trauma, the shock, the Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy op which turned out to be the longest six hours wait ever for my hubby. It’s my body’s way of reminding me why I am daily suffering the side effects of surgical menopause which I have given up explaining to healthy folks who think it’s the same as the menopauses their mums and aunts go through.
I remember those fear-struck nights before my op and the painful recovery immediately after. I am immensely grateful for these past two cancer-free years. I give thanks daily with my children, and try not to let the thistles of life rob me of my joy of being alive, which is tough, because I am already inordinately grateful.
Still…I don’t wish to die (young). I don’t obsess about it, but it would be a lie if I said I never thought about a cancer relapse. I try not to be afraid and wonder whether I could be as graceful as other cancer patients when it’s my turn to bid goodbye. People always say I am strong, but deep within, I crumble. I didn’t ask to be strong. I just want to grow old with my husband and be there to witness my children’s graduation, marriage and childbirth.
I try not to judge myself for feeling this way – gloomy, dark and weepy. This 2nd cancerversary, instead of trying to pretend it was just a blight in my health records, I will do something kind for myself. Go for a long walk. Order a box of nice macarons. I’ll recollect all the friends who have buoyed me up in my times of uncertainty and try to keep cancer in its proper place, the past!
P.S. A cancerversary is the anniversary of a specific time, date or event in the life of a person touched by cancer.