My corrective surgery takes place in September, which means I have some time to get back to normal life and that means getting back to work. Theoretically, I’ve been back at work ‘properly’ since the beginning of April and I’m fortunate that I’ve managed to earn ‘just enough’ for the past few months to keep the fang-toothed wolf from the door. However, as we enter June and I face a whole summer without any hospital appointments, sitting at my desk looks less and less appealing.
Firstly, I’m exhausted. I don’t know why as I spent days, weeks and months not doing much bar eating out with friends. But this cancer lark takes its toll on the brain matter. I’m exhausted from thinking, overthinking, worrying and steeling myself for so many of the horrible things my body’s had to put up with (how many needles?).
Secondly, my confidence has taken a battering. When I emerged from treatment with a sieve-like new bladder, fat from steroids with thinning, grey hair, I didn’t feel great. Yes, I felt lucky to be alive but it was as if I’d been on a thunderous hot spin for nine months that left me limp and bedraggled.
Now, 10lbs down, with newly-dyed, thicker hair, I feel better than I did but I wonder when I’ll regain that chutzpah that self-employed journalists need to magic up ideas, pitch stories and take it on the chin when they’re ignored. Oh and the anxiety! I don’t like driving as I think I’m going to crash. Any pan on the hob must be watched in case it erupts in flames. I went dancing, felt tired and frantically Googled the symptoms of M.E. I’m fortunate to have two main clients who know me and my situation. Can I handle pitching to someone new? Will they like my work? Will they want endless rewrites? The very idea makes me want to curl up in a ball.
Thirdly, I think I deserve a break. The summer looks great. A week away to celebrate a big family birthday; parties; barbeques; Euro 2016; my birthday and al fresco lunches but all this ends in September when I have my op followed by a CT scan to see if the cancer’s returned. Do I really want to spend those hot days at my desk? Obviously needs must and I actually love my work. I just love my life more and right now, I feel I’ve got it back and I want to enjoy it.