Pride

Oh my. This has taken quite a beating. There’s the blindingly obvious loss of femininity that underpins this whole experience. Of course there is. I’ve not explored that topic in depth in this blog as it feels too lazy, although clearly I reserve the right to clutch at the low hanging fruit at a future date. But the loss of fitness? That is something I’ve harped on about as it really hurt me in every which way. It took a great big pair of bollocks to go back to yoga post operatively not once, but twice, and to have to return to the beginner’s class, too, when I had been going to the advanced ones was its own form of humiliation. But ironically, I was incredibly proud of myself for fronting up to those classes, especially when the gremlins were saying “Why bother?” I knew it’d be hard and confronting, but still went anyway. There’s pride right there.

Envy

I’ve noticed people feel awkward sharing their woes with me and if they do it’s often prefaced by ‘it’s nothing compared to what you’re going through’ but I can honestly say I’ve very rarely wanted to respond with a ‘you’re right, that is nothing, I wish that’s all I had to worry about.’ I don’t envy other’s health, rather I am nostalgic for mine. I’ve been envious of all the natural cleavages I’ve seen this summer but again, don’t begrudge others. I just hope they appreciate them.

Lust

In my experience, the human libido is a remarkably robust thing. And because I know my brothers and in laws are reading, I’m going to leave that there.

Wrath

Yeah, been there done that, I was mad as a cut snake for a long time. Once I’d adjusted to my reality, this dissipated. I’ve come to believe anger is fuelled by resistance to reality. Perhaps all those years of mum saying “Life’s not fair.” have helped as has the fact I am a pragmatist and optimist. I feel flashes of anger now but they can be seen off by a good sleep and/or a good laugh. Life’s not fair. But it’s still good.

Sloth

I was suffering with inertia before my diagnosis, however cancer saw that on its merry way. I’ve gone a bit manic, if anything. There isn’t a moment to lose! Which means I’ve become quite good at saying no, even when it’s uncomfortable. Hello boundaries! Where have you been all my life?

Greed & gluttony

I thought I was a relatively healthy person before my diagnosis, and in the wake of it I’ve found it confronting to consider where lifestyle changes ought to be made. Should I become a vegan? Eat only organic food? Give up alcohol and caffeine? I don’t want to do any of these things. Enter intermittent fasting, which is supposed to have long term health benefits. Here’s what Dr. Google says:

Between 2008 and 2013 there have been a number of research studies suggesting fasting can have significant beneficial effects with people trying to beat cancer, halting cancer progression, improving survival, reducing the side-effects of drugs and radiotherapy and even causing tumours to disappear.

Those are quite some claims, huh? So for the last two months, one day a week I eat 500 calories of protein-rich food, and then for the rest of the week I return to my normal diet. It’s not a highlight of the week, but it’s entirely doable, and ticks the Lifestyle change box. Ted does it with me, bless his heart, although he spends the day moping around like a teenager. Here are some other facts about fasting:

Average number of arguments per week: 3 Percentage of arguments that occur on fast day: 250% Kilograms lost collectively: 5

How long this will go on for? Who knows, although publicly declaring you’ve lost weight is a big call. You know when they say pride comes, right?