I do recognise that I’m going through a bit of a manic phase at the moment. Running, writing, not sitting still for a minute and even though in so many ways it feels really positive not to mention a huge improvement on how things were, there is a part of me that wonders exactly what it is I’m trying to avoid…

If you were to see me you wouldn’t know I’d had cancer. Hair still short but not tellingly so, body slim but no longer skinny (damn it!) and overall physical health pretty good. Every day that passes takes me further away from diagnosis, treatment and recovery as well as the sleepless nights and abject terror that consumed me until fairly recently. So, it would seem that I’m in pretty good physical and mental shape. Hmm. Just don’t mention cancer in front of me. Don’t tell me about a friend of a friend or ask me how my health is or if I’m ‘still clear’ because right now I’m not handling any of that very well. Maybe this is a normal part of trying to move on but it’s like I want to put a million miles between myself and anything and everything that is a reminder of my experience. I react as though I’ve been given an electric shock if someone says something within ear shot that I don’t want to hear. I’ve been known to run out of the room with my fingers in my ears when an ad comes on the TV reminding us all of the importance of early detection. I’ve had my day ruined by flicking through a paper and my eyes falling on a sensationalist headline. I don’t even read the stories anymore – just need to catch one or two key words, ‘mum, cancer, battle’ and that’s enough to send me into the darkest of places. It goes without saying that this is all fear. Every time I speak to my oncologist or anyone remotely sensible I am reassured that these feelings are completely text book and that as time passes they will become easier to manage. I just wonder if I should be facing these gremlins a little more instead of (literally) attempting to run away from them. I’ve had cancer. Fact. It could come back. Fact. Now what? I don’t want to spend the rest of my (precious) life being so terrified of what might happen that I never stand still and take in what’s around me….life really is a bitch sometimes but it’s also bloody amazing. And so I’m not entirely sure what the answer is – yoga, meditation and green juice on a mountain top? Or maybe some long overdue belly laughs, drunken nights and learning to be silly again. I guess there’s room for all of it. I think I’ll start with some belly laughs on top of a mountain, wheat grass shot in one hand, glass of red in the other. Anyone care to join me?

Emma Campbell

Author Emma Campbell

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