I don’t know why I’m doing it to myself……I’m looking at my wedding photos. Memories are leaking from my eyes and rolling down my cheeks. I feel sad.
That day, the second of August 2014, was one of the best days of my life. Twelve weeks before, I’d been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer and our lives turned upside down. Arranging the wedding took our minds off of the illness and gave us something to focus on.
We married at the GuildHall in Windsor, our special place, with our close family and a few friends present. Once the ceremony was over, our guests walked down the hill to the pub while me and Jon walked to the gates of Windsor Castle to have some photos taken.
The photos have stirred my senses and I can easily take myself back there. We were so happy and although the day was tinged with sadness, we were able to forget about the cancer and the uncertain future we were facing.
I danced the whole night away at our reception, held in Taplow House, only breaking once to run to the loo – chemo belly!! I can tell you it’s not easy trying to go for a no.2 in a wedding dress!
Looking at the photos has made me sad. I’m sad because I didn’t get married only to be single a few months later. I’m sad because if I could do it again, I’d do it so differently and I’m sad because most of the people in these photos are now strangers to me.
I may have been the one to call it a day but I have never felt so alone as I do now. Yes I have my friends but I miss that close knit family that I was once a part of. I miss having someone to lean on. I miss the companionship.
I’m not the same Emma as the one in the photos. She is long gone.
I’m not sure I’m anybody anymore. I’m just existing.
I’ve just arranged my funeral cover. Weird. I also feel really relieved too, like a weight has been lifted. Good.
It’s something I wish I’d done sooner but I didn’t really know where to start. A few of the YBCN ladies have also signed up to the same company – no questions asked, pre-existing conditions included. All I have to do is stay alive for the next 12 months!!
Haha that does make me chuckle – only someone in the same boat as me, with the same warped sense of humour regarding death, will understand that. Let the countdown begin!!
Funerals are apparently expensive shindigs, one that I’m pretty gutted to be missing if I’m honest – well I suppose I will be there……kind of………!!
Anyway, it’s something that has been playing on my mind for a while now. Not just the cost but also how I want it to go. I’ve got a page of ‘notes’ on my iPhone (just in case) and I’m very specific with the smaller details.
It’s not an easy conversation to have, especially when those around you struggle at the slight mention of the ‘C’ word! But it’s something that I need to plan, to arrange and to sort while I can. It’s something else I can tick off in my brain knowing that’s it’ll be exactly how I want it. Not how someone who doesn’t really know me, thinks I want it.
I want it to be as easy as possible for those I’ll leave behind. It’s going to be hard enough as it is without the added worry. I can rest easy knowing that they aren’t faced with the stress of arranging it all.
My funeral. That’s some weird shit!
So today is my 3rd cancerversary. When I was first diagnosed I couldn’t even see this far ahead. The first thought that goes through your head is ‘I’m going to die’. Some might say that’s a little dramatic, but it’s true. You’re suddenly faced with the mammoth task of staying alive, living.
The enormity of the task in hand has recently surfaced and it’s both angered and scared me in equal measures.
I’m angry because it’s unfair – why me? I’m angry because its unfair for my children. I’m angry because no one will do as good a job as me. I’m angry because I want to be here to see them grow up and I’m angry because I want to be the one they run to when they need something.
I’m scared too. Scared because I don’t want to get ill again. Scared because I don’t want to be weak. Scared because I can’t help but think of how the children will cope. Scared that they won’t cope. Scared that they’ll forget everything we’ve done. Scared that they’ll forget me.
These emotions, thoughts, feelings, have been going around and around in my head for 3 years. It’s exhausting. And frustratingly, there seems no end to it, it’s like a vicious circle. I’m not sure I can even put it into words – it’s all just a big jumble of ‘things’. Things I want to plan. It’s a difficult conversation but I want to plan for the inevitable, taking some comfort in knowing what will happen when ‘it’ happens. I want to be organised. I need people on board and that’s proving the most difficult!
I know where to start but I don’t if that makes sense. Maybe it’s an avoidance thing? Who knows?! But, as always I will deal with it, shove it back in its box and carry on regardless.
Sad, angry, scared, frustrated, alone.
Strong, determined, brave, hopeful, thankful.