Acceptance

One of the many things I have learned about life and myself over the last two years is that accepting the facts, frees you to be back in the driving seat. Those of you who read my blogs regularly will say, ‘but you never give in or give up or accept a situation’. Well actually that is not true. Giving up and giving in are different from acceptance. In order to accept I need to push the boundaries – its in my DNA and my upbringing. I do not accept things on face value, I interrogate the situation to challenge and then find out the facts, the parameters, what are the restrictions that we have to work within. I accept those real facts (quickly), I then make a plan to go around them or find a different route to the same or similar outcome.

Being angry, frustrated or taking the role of the victim does not help you or anyone around you. Never has the phrase ‘we are where we are’ been truer.

Yes I am going to be beyond devastated if they cancel my treatment or travel to London or if they have no staff in the hospitals. I finally have a treatment that is working – once again Covid-19 in this situation would be plot line that lacked believability – but here we are. I will do everything in my power to get treatment on Friday and then two out of every three weeks for the foreseeable future or this cancer will get me and that really will be that.

I did not accept – ‘wait until next week for treatment to see if your bloods come back up’. I asked what my neutrophils had to be to treat me, and how we got them there in the fastest time. I asked what else we can do and if we can have treatment earlier than a week’s delay. The team appreciate (most of the time) my can do/will do attitude and my challenges to the limits. They also are very clear with me about the facts. I know when I have got to the real facts. I then accept and move on to make a new plan.

If I had had chemo yesterday I would not have been able to use the time to plan for the inevitable home schooling. If Johnson hadn’t called it yesterday we probably would have had to. In May 2018 when I was hit by the blow of an advanced cancer diagnosis I thought I’d be taking 6-9 months out my life and then back to normal. It became viserally apparent that was not going to be the case. I would be lucky to see my kids out of primary school and cancer was my new normal, here forever, treatable, but not curable. I accept this situation because I know cancer will rob me and my loved ones of so much future, I refuse to let then rob me of the now. I’m not giving it that power. And Covid-19 can do one too.

Here’s two desks I prepared earlier!

So one minute I’m worrying about seeing my kids through primary school and now I am planning to run one in my kitchen. I accepted that I was going to have to fit home schooling in around chemo/immuno and recovery earlier this week. It was inevitable. Yes, like the rest of the nation we could all do without this. Our lives have been turned upside down.

Perversely, I’m looking forward to it. When Corona-19 hit I thought – well at least I don’t have to worry about catching a common cold and ending up in an ambulance in the middle of the night. Finally the nation is washing its hands. My chances of being febrile neutropenic are smaller and neutropenic sepsis more unlikely too. That said Covid-19 would give my body and its defences a run for its money so I’m not licking the tube yet. Especially now I’m neutropenic.

I think the other reason I feel strangely calm (aside from the fact that I haven’t yet had to home school and spend 24hrs straight with my kids (and my husband) indefinitely), is I feel like the rest of the nation have stepped into the same crazy, uncertain world I’ve been navigating for two years and its great to have the company.

Come on in – it ain’t so bad.

It’s also great to have some intellectual purpose for my days – even if at 47 I am going to have to finally learn my times tables and how to spell. However, cursive handwriting might be a push too far (sorry Mum – it will continue to disappoint and annoy you).

So I say don’t give up and say you’ll be crap at home schooling, at cooking like you are on an episode of ‘Ready Steady Cook’, at giving your kids what they need.

Accept that this is happening.

NOW.

The surreal just got real.

Take a breath, get on board, learn something about your kids and yourself, get the wider family involved and have some fun. This really is an opportunity of a lifetime. A challenge we never thought we’d have to deal with, but we are. A carved out space to create memories you would never have had the energy, time or commitment to do.

Oh, and accept that sometimes you are going to F**k up too.

19th March 2020

6 thoughts on “Acceptance

  1. Brilliant Claire. Inspirational words today. Good luck with home schooling. I have ended up shouting 80% of today. Must improve! Could try harder!

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  2. I asked a friend whose little girl is undergoing chemo treatment at the moment how she was feeling about the fresh new plot twist of 2020 and her response was very similar “This is no more stress for me, we where already at peak, it’s just great to have some other people on board questioning mortality and values and the impact of all our decisions and choices on our future and the decisions and choices that are not ours”.

    I feel the zen tightrope in my mind too right now. Wobble too far off it and you risk dropping down a deep old hole. I am trying very hard to keep myself upright and balanced and looking just two steps ahead of me not worrying about the end of the rope. That’s the focus for now.

    These posts are very comforting Claire, Thank you xx

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  3. Sound advice! You are absolutely right – this is an opportunity for us all. Not relishing the thought of being Maths teacher but as you say, we might learn something!! Xx

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  4. As always, so well written Claire. Your posts really make me stop in my tracks and reflect on life. Good luck with homeschooling. I am quietly looking forward to giving it a go too x

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  5. Hi Claire, so good to read your words and tube licker sounds like a good insult ha ha. You may have coined a new slur! Have fun with the home schooling and best of luck for each treatment x Becky x

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