Today marks one year since I was diagnosed. One long, testing, amazing, roller-coaster, reflective, challenging, herculean, interminable, silver-lined year.
On 9 May last year, my mother had spent the night with my grandfather, my last surviving grandparent, as he died. I saw my dentist at 8.30am and, within an hour, knew something was wrong. Very much wrong. At 2.30 that afternoon, Darren and I went over to see Dr S, my first maxillofacial surgeon. It would be another month until we knew the tumour was worse than the worst case scenario he outlined that day.
I haven’t been here on the blog much recently. In part, that’s because I’ve been busy between three different jobs as I wend my way back into the workforce. And in part, that’s because I started seeing a psychologist.
February and March were tough. Re-entering the ‘real world’ from the cocoon of ‘being sick’ was hard. Recovery had allowed me so much time to contemplate and take my time. I could pace myself, nurture myself, and protect myself.
The real world wasn’t so kind. Where once my crutches, my wired jaw and my swelling were there for all to see, my situation stopped being front-of-mind. There’s still internal scarring of course, but only the more perceptive see or remember that. I found myself struggling in conversations that were about the trivial or that trivialised the traumatic. Compounded by the pressure of work, I wasn’t coping.
It’s not that returning to the real world was a bad thing. It just required adjustment. I decided I need help. My GP referred me to a truly lovely psychologist, Dr M, who happens to practise in my street. I saw Dr M for my sixth and final appointment today. Talking with her has meant I haven’t needed to write here as much.
So I am still around. I’m just doing well now. Really well. We are both excited to be changing jobs this month, I’m enjoying my Tuesdays with Alannah, and we’re making plans. I’m carving out time to read again. I’ve also taken up running again, in the early morning before Alannah gets up. It’s good for the soul (and the body) and a way to start the day that’s all about me. We are finding a lovely balance in our life.
It’s been one long year. But remarkable, so very remarkable.