Denial

From Brenda’s blog 19th November 2016

It’s 23 days since my Exec Health check where I registered the best results I have ever had in terms of my overall level of fitness, 19 days since an ultrasound to check a slightly enlarged uterus revealed a ‘mass’, 9 days since the word ‘Cancer’ was first suggested and 2 days since it was confirmed. I have woken up the past two mornings with a sense of Brexit and Trump nightmare horror on steroids. How is it possible to be the best shape I’ve been in a very long time, regularly recognising all of the things I’m grateful for in my Gratitude App, while at the same time having to deal with something evil and incredibly rare that I can’t even pronounce that has somehow developed in my stomach? I feel like it’s something that I am reading about someone else. If I don’t follow up with the surgeon next week and ignore it, will it go away? Over the past two and half weeks I have run through every scenario in my mind, have started mentally planning for all possibilities and have been rehearsing my lines for telling my mum and my children that I have a very rare cancer called Pseudomyxoma peritonei but that it will be okay as I don’t intend to let it slow me down for long. I am a fighter and a survivor and this is not part of my plan. I WILL see my children married, I WILL organise amazing family get-togethers and holidays for our extended family and I WILL be an amazing grandmother! At the moment I am in limbo. I have had the results and have been referred on to the leading specialist in the country, but I haven’t yet got an appointment with him. I am registered with my local GP but don’t have a relationship with a doctor, as I’m never ill and don’t go the GP! I want to go and camp outside the specialist’s door and make him see me Monday morning. I want him to admit me straight away and take out whatever he needs to take from my abdomen and then chemo the hell out of it so that I can get better and get on with my life. I am a control freak and a planner and I feel like I can’t plan beyond the next couple of days at the moment. It’s driving me mad. However, I will continue to focus on the positives – I have an amazing family, wonderfully supportive friends, and I’m in good health. I’m really well-placed to fight this. I’m going to deal with it in the only way I know how – I’ve got a fresh Moleskin notebook and a nice pen to make notes, I’m researching on the Internet and creating a folder in Dropbox for information, and I’m keeping busy, eating well, doing exercise, spending time with family and friends, playing great music and dancing, and practicing mindfulness whenever possible. In the immortal words of Tom Petty:

Well, I won’t back down

No I won’t back down

You can stand me up at the gates of hell

But I won’t back down

No I’ll stand my ground

Won’t be turned around

And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down

Gonna stand my ground

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