So I’ve wrote a lot about this in my blogs, but each time I do, I feel it never does it justice.
I feel like no matter how much you describe what it’s like to non-oncology families, you can never quite get it right.
So I will try again.
Imagine a skydive. But without choice. You’re a forced to do it.
So you’ve been signed up. You know in a million years you would never do it voluntarily and actually it’s probably everyone’s worst nightmare. But you don’t have a choice.
Your name is down and the days are rolling.
You research silly articles of how someone died because their parachute failed to open. God. It gives you shivers.
But of course, there is always that small niggle in the back of your mind saying “that won’t happen to me”.
You research statistics and justify a reason for feeling scared. Or indeed, use it to contain your fears because actually the odds are for you.
One day you will feel brave.
One day you won’t.
One day you’ll wake up thinking “what have I got myself into”
From the minute you are told your name is on the list is when it starts.
On the day you are petrified. You can’t eat. You can’t sleep. You worry about every possible thing that could go wrong.
When you’re going up in the plane you go numb. You’re on autopilot. You know your body is there, but your mind never is. You feel like you’re floating.
Then comes the jump.
The leap of faith.
Except…. it’s not really a jump at all.
You are strapped to a stranger, your whole life is in their hands.
You are pushed.
And the only control you have is to buckle up, do as you are told and hope you make it to the bottom.
Adrenaline gushes through your whole body, making you feel so sick.
You don’t dare let yourself feel proud, because it’s still not over.
Then it is.
Just like that.
It’s all over.
You are greeted by people cheering and celebrating. Congratulating you on it being over and how brave you were.
After all, they couldn’t do it.
But you don’t feel happy.
You still feel sick to the stomach.
You are on the ground, yes. But it’s not the same as before.
You somehow have to navigate through to the changing room to get changed.
You get your certificate and pose for a fake photo to say ‘well done’ and you get in the car and go home.
All the way home you are trying to regulate your stomach. Trying to process what on earth has just happened.
This is where it differs though.
For a skydive, you make it home.
You are safe.
Butt for oncology families, you are forever stuck in that home journey.
Never knowing when you will make it, that’s if you will.
And that’s where I am.
I have a constant knot in my stomach that tells me things aren’t OK.
No matter how many times we are told ‘he’s in remission’ or ‘X-ray is clear’ to me I can’t celebrate it.
To me, it just means it’s back at the start of the 8 week wait until the next one.
See the thing is, hair grows back.
Life goes on.
But I would do anything to forget. To move on.
And I don’t know how to get myself home.