so the link above is a video my friend sam made about our story for church. There is also an extended interview there at kings church.eu/rachel (oh yeah i have a page!! wohoo!)
i have been meaning to blog for a while but wasn’t sure if anyone would want to read it anymore or if anyone would find it helpful, but seeing as most people in ebo know our story pretty well by now i thought i’d just post for the greater cancer community out there in the hope that someone identifying with the situation may find it helpful. so firstly, and i have NO idea how these things work so pj, correct me if need be, to help you find media search engines etc, if you are searching for any of these things you are in the right place!
“pregnancy after lymphoma”
“pregnancy after stem cell bone marrow transplant BEAM autograft SCT BMT”
“after SCT ”
that should do it. as i said, no idea how these things work so feel free to call me out as a total IT dumbass if need be!
the first thing id like to put out there is that even though life post cancer is ALWAYS a blessing, an unexpected treat, a bonus, the legacy of the dreaded C does tend to hang over you, a bit like a sword ready to drop and mess everything up at any time. I’m not saying i live in constant fear of it coming back but i still have moments where i’ll be poorly in a way that makes me think of hodgkins and treatment, or an itch or a cough, and i’m right back there in a second. the brain has a horrible habit of keeping old wiring in place and much as i would love to say i haven’t looked back, i frequently do, and often in a way i don’t want to.
that being said, there is value in reflection because it makes us all the more grateful for what we have. at the risk of sounding a bit schmaltzy, it really is taking the time to be thankful for the little things (as well as the big things of course) that puts me back on track and gets things in perspective. things like waking up in your own bed, fresh air, a walk in the woods, evening strolls by the sea, making noah laugh, seeing wilf smile, finding jo amusing, family meals, treasured friends, birthdays and christmasses (ok so I’m getting in to big things territory here) but staying grounded whichever way you can is an essential mechanism to survive survival. which can in itself be quite the challenge at times. my body just isn’t what it was in terms of strength and resilience – my pregnancy with wilf was far from rosy despite being miraculous, and i developed pre ecplampsia as a secondary complication of having had haematological disease. he has had trouble feeding and i was devastated to have to switch to bottle feeding rather than breastfeeding as i did with noah. i still take a while to recover from bugs and struggle with tiredness when sleep deprived. i do know that I’ve come a long way from the days of needing to nap every day just to be able to function, and up until maternity leave was working part time and walking to and from work and the school run. so if you’re in recovery now and wondering if you will ever be able to do normal things again, don’t worry, it takes time, but you’ll get there. 🙂
anyway this has got more rambly than i meant it to be. what i wanted to do was a bit of a then and now comparison. i think the best way to do it with words is to read back any of my old blogs where life was pretty dark, and compare it with now and its a pretty stark contrast! another way i like to reflect is with pictures. thankfully there aren’t too manyphotos of me then, but here are a few to jog the memory..
so am looking pretty crap there..
so heres now.
so with all the words, thoughts, feelings and experiences i can try and articulate in this blog, sometimes all you need are pictures.
big love to whoever is out there 🙂