You would have thought that I would emerge from the clutches of Cancer with a new 'laisez-faire' attitude, a relaxed lifestyle and a commitment to practicing mindfulness. Well the truth is, I'm still the same Amanda that turns up early for everything, prepares for every little eventuality and can't leave 'til tomorrow what I can do today. And by 'today', I mean 'now', or more specifically 'right now'.
So, I felt compelled to comment on some of the clichés that Cancer 'survivors' (a slightly uncomfortable phrase which makes me feel like I'm in an exclusive club that I don't deserve membership of) are expected to observe.
Be in the moment
Well, yes. I am. But before I know it, I'm in the next one, and to be quite honest, it's difficult to be in the moment when you're thinking that you should be in the moment.
Every morning is a fresh beginning
Is it though? What about last night's washing up (who am I kidding? It's Dean that does all that), what about my 'to do' list? Every morning is less of a fresh beginning and more of a new quest to tame my hair after the sleep fairy has made it not really 'just stepped out of a salon' but actually 'just stepped out of a wind tunnel'.
Time heals all wounds
Ermm...maybe. But I still have a whopper of a scar across the back of my head through which my two brain tumours were artfully extracted, one on my breast and one under my arm. And this is nothing compared to my Cancer comrades who have lost their entire breasts or other parts of their body and have had to take lots of confidence knocks and face daily practical challenges.
There's light at the end of the tunnel
OK, that's a good sentiment where I'm standing. I'm nearly three years past my 'expiry date' and am giddily thankful to God, my brilliant oncologist and neuro-surgeon, my husband, my Dad and my amazing friends. But if you're still in the middle of harrowing Cancer treatments, that light seems like a long way away. And when you emerge (and hopefully you will) a little of the dark can follow you around.
Hope springs eternal
Whatever happens to a Cancer sufferer there is always hope, and its siblings, faith and joy. Hope for recovery, hope for a long life and hope that you never have to suffer a recurrence. For me, it's hope that whatever happens in this life, I have been given a no-strings attached (wholly undeserved) place in Heaven through God's grace and the death of his son, Jesus.