It’s no secret that I’ve been putting myself “out there” on social media more over the last year. I love it. I love the interaction, the creativity, the people it’s led me to. I do it because I enjoy it.
And do you know what people love in return? They love to get to know you. To hear your story, interact with real life stuff.
And if you have something about you that’s a little bit out of the norm, a story a little bit different to everyone elses, the likelihood is that more people are going to listen.
If you represent something that you feel strongly about, someone, somewhere will want to find you. Searching for something that they can relate to.
I know I have a “thing”. It’s cancer. I so nearly referred to it again then as “my” cancer. I do this so often, but that’s the problem I have. Owning that cancer. I don’t want it to be my cancer. I want it to bugger off and never make me think about it ever again.
But at the end of the day, I know that it’s what sets me aside from the rest of the online world. I got Stage 4 (aka terminal) cancer at the age of 27. I’d been married for 2 years, dreaming of starting my own family one day, and imagining how the hell I was going to afford the dreamy little retirement I fancied one day.
And then (my) cancer pulled the rug well and truly out from under my feet. Everything ahead of me disappeared in a poof of smoke.
Well, guess what, I’m still bloody well here. Trying to focus on building that future I dreamed of with more determination than ever before. Chasing my ‘good life’, the term that the little gem that is Sophie Cliff coined right here.
So there it is, my thing. I’m the girl that got cancer, in the most epic of fashions, and is still here to tell the tale.
Part of me wants to shout about my story from the rooftops. LOOK WHERE THE EFF I AM NOW, CANCER!
I want to use it to help other people. My god, what I would have done to find someone in my exact position back then, when I thought my whole world was crumbling.
But I get scared. I get scared of using my cancer. Forever telling myself that someone, somewhere, is sitting there going “Oh there she is, going off again about that bloody cancer”. Or “Look at her, using the cancer card again”.
For the record, I’m not aware of anyone saying, or thinking those things, but I always beat myself up about it.
I’m also scared to shout too loudly about how absolutely bloody epicly I managed to deal with, and crash down upon that cancer, in case it decides that now is the time to pop back up again. Now I hear the cancer talking, “Ha! You thought you could tell everyone how bloody amazing you are…well guess what I’ll come back whenever I fancy it!”
So I get scared to put myself up on that pedestal. To be the “poster girl” for immunotherapy. To be recognised as the girl who dealt with cancer. To be the person that others who find themselves in that situation look up to, because what if I am pure fluke, and they won’t be as lucky?
But every now and then, I realise that it’s something I should do. Purely for the fact that it could give hope to others. Whether or not they lead as positive a path as I do from wherever their cancer journey begins, that hope could be everything they need in that moment. And if it all comes crashing down for me one day, I should be proud that I helped other people, and squeezed so much more out of life than everyone thought I would.
I want to talk about my experience to help others. To inspire others, I need to shake off the fears that hold me back so often.
But I also don’t want to be just cancer. I didn’t start my blog, or grow my instagram to be known for cancer. I want to write about all the things I love, because isn’t that what’s so great about all of this anyway? The fact that I am here and able to talk about things I love doing, general “life” things that I am able to enjoy now? The cancer should just be there, in the peripheral, making up a little bit of what makes me “me” today.
So that’s what I am going to do. I’ll “own” that cancer, not the other way around.
Thank you to Daisy London for sending me their GORGEOUS Aura Chakra necklace. I love their entire range of women’s necklaces, and the messages behind them…if you’re interested in nabbing one for yourself, have a read of the meanings. I received no payment for this feature.
Top featured is last season, Zara.