This is not going to be an easy post to write. Had I written it on Saturday, I would be in floods of tears right now, the fear overwhelming me. But yesterday, through running, I managed to take control.
By feeling great and being well during my race I was able to alleviate my fears and put my worries back into the box labelled You’re 99% going to be fine (or whatever the % actually is).
My title takes inspiration from the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. For those who aren’t familiar with the book, troubled child Max, dressed in his wolf costume, is sent to bed without supper for his angry tempers and behaviour. While there he visits a land in his imagination (or his dreams) where the Wild Things live. Initially the Wild Things want to hurt and control Max, but he tames them and is made King of the Wild Things. When he returns home/wakes up in his room his supper is waiting for him and it’s still warm.
This book is about how Max manages to gain control over his anger (the Wild Things) and about how his parents still love him despite his behaviour.
My Wild Things are rooted in fear, and while they don’t outwardly cause as much destruction as anger, inwardly they are just as damaging.
In three months I hope to be able to celebrate my 4 year NED (no evidence of disease) cancer-versary. There is never going to be a certainty that my cancer is gone for good, it could recur or spread at any point in time.
The further I get from my initial diagnosis the less I think about these risks, except when something invites my Wild Things out to play.
One of breast cancer’s preferred sites for metastasising is the brain. So every time I have a medical problem that could be linked to the brain professionals get that concerned look… the one that I try to ignore…
the one that screams **PREVIOUS CANCER BE RISK AWARE**
And often my Wild Things remain asleep and oblivious, but sometimes they wake and that’s when I become overwhelmed by fear.
Fact: surgery was successful with clear margins
Fact: chemo, herceptin and tamoxifen have done/are doing their best to prevent any likelihood of recurrence
Fact: I feel well, I don’t have headaches, I don’t have blurred vision, nausea, weakness or numbness
Fact: I had a brain scan in March and it was clear
But my Wild Things don’t work on logic and fact, they thrive on uncertainty and that we can never say never. It can be extremely difficult to overwrite fear and anxiety with reason, especially when the what ifs are put in your head by concerned professionals.