I’ve written a lot about my return to work. Well, now it’s here. Monday is the big day. I expected to be a little apprehensive about returning to work, but I didn’t expect much more. Incorrect, Kristina.
I have been surprised this week by just how emotional (yes, including teary) and anxious I’ve been. Emotional for lots of reasons. I am going back to work, my sister finished her chemo (thank God) and for the first time in a long time, it feels like the end of this most difficult journey we’ve been on this year.
As I was walking at City Beach this afternoon, I felt like I had come full circle. The day I was diagnosed my Mum and my little sister took me to Odyssea at City Beach for a drink. I’ve been to Odyssea for countless juices and coffees this year. And I’ve walked the path at City Beach more times than I can count. It’s gotten me through many tough days. Days when all I could think about was being on the other side – of chemo, of radiation, of treatment in general. Now that I’m on the other side, there’s a huge wave of emotion which has swept over me because now I just have to live my life, albeit differently to how I lived it before. Work marks the beginning of a return to normal life, which is why I think I’ve found it all so emotional. A line in the sand. Treatment behind me, life in front of me.
With living though come so many fears. They’re not logical or reasoned, but they do exist. Every headache, twitchy eye or sore body part, a fear rises inside that something sinister could be going on. Then there’s fear about whether my brain is going to work again. Will I even be able to lawyer anymore? Can I afford my life, including mortgage, working part time? Cue anxiety.
But today I decided to just let it all go. Whatever will be will be. If I’ve learnt anything this year it’s that I’m really not in control of much of what happens in my life. So, I just have to have a little faith and hope for the best. I’m sure my work skills will come back to me, even if slowly. And as for living, I intend to do just that. Lots of exercise and healthy eating in the coming months. (The plastic surgeon has put the hard word on me to get as many kilos off and get as fit as possible before surgery next year.) And of course there’s Christmas coming and my little sister’s admission. So many things to look forward to.
Cancer certainly has changed my perspective on life, but it has also fundamentally changed me. I’m not the same girl I was on 1 February. I think I’m a little kinder and a little gentler with myself. I certainly listen to my body more than I used to and I definitely put myself first a lot more now than I did before. The challenge from next week is balancing the new Kristina with Kristina’s old life. So, time to rip off the bandaid and get back to work and try.
In the meantime, I’m gearing up to attend the Super Sunday Group Fitness Class Fundraiser at Lords. Our ‘Goodbye Golden Locks’ fundraising campaign has now raised over $7,000 for the Harry Perkins Institute. We are so amazed and proud. I’m calling it, we can get to $10,000. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to everyone that has so generously donated so far. Come along on Sunday if you feel like getting sweaty!
Have a very lovely weekend.