I’ve found a theme running through people’s cancer reactions… flattery! ‘Ooh, you’re so brave!’ ‘I wouldn’t cope as well as you’ve done.’ ‘You’ve been so amazing and courageous!’ Seriously- even the word ‘inspirational’ is frequently banded about- it’s enough to go to a girl’s head! Warning! This can be dangerous, just the other day, I was feeling particularly low and irritable, I can’t even remember what my husband said to set me off but my reaction still makes me laugh aloud several weeks later. This is what I said…
‘God! Everyone else thinks I’m amazing you know! Why don’t you think I’m an inspiration? You don’t treat me like I’m special... where are my treats and presents?’
Yep, I hear you thinking- What a brat! The moral is people- don’t believe the hype! It’s kind of people to dish out these compliments but the truth is they would cope just as well. I don’t remember thinking to myself ‘Right, I’m no wimp, I can do this, I’m strong and will put up an amazing fight!’ but I do remember that there was no other option… at no point did I weigh up my options because there was no other option. I have a lot to live for so I will do everything in my power to lengthen my stay! When people say that they wouldn’t be as brave as me I say ‘Yes you would, what other choice is there?’
I am no more amazing than the next person but the real truth is we are all pretty amazing. It’s quite amazing how much a person can cope with and overcome- far more than I hope I’ll ever have to face. It is my strong belief that no matter how scared you might feel at the beginning there will be plenty of days you feel proud of what you’ve endured. So take those well meant compliments and bask in your own inspirational wonder- just don’t expect those closest to you to keep the compliments coming- remember you’re not going through this alone, whoever it is that makes up your support network will need support in return. So to my husband I say I very public ‘Sorry’ for the irritable days and a huge ‘Thank you’ for being my amazing inspiration! Bleugh!