I’ve been unwell for 11 days now. This cold or flu or viral infection or whatever it is seems to like me. I’m quite disappointed in my body.
I treat my body quite well. Sure, I indulge in a few beers or a glass of wine every now and then and I love a good piece of chocolate cake but come on; I’d rank high on a list of the most health conscious people who I know. But for a second day in a row, I’m taking Panadol just to keep myself out of bed. Just when my chest is feeling better and I’m not coughing up a lung, the body aches decide to set up house.
And this post of unhealth comes exactly a year after my 53-year-old sister was diagnosed with cancer. And her body failed her BIG TIME. She went from seemingly well to dead in less than 5 weeks. How does that happen?
How does a good person who spent their whole life doing everything right, suffer such an invasive, disturbing, shit-storm of a fate? It makes me wonder why I even bother to always eat right, exercise, tell the truth, pay my bills…all that “good person” stuff, if anyone can be struck down in a month.
She didn’t even know what killed her. She died thinking that she had bowel cancer that spread to her liver, then lungs; rapidly. She knew there was nothing that doctors could do for her.
What she had was a very rare type of cancer called, NEUROENDOCRINE CARCINOMA. Although it is possible that she had the malignant cells in her bowel for up to 8 years prior to diagnosis, it was the aggressive nature of this rare form that raced through her body in the last weeks of life.
It was hard to accept that this was happening at the time and then when she died, I fell into a muddy pool of grief and regret.
Regret for choosing not to go home to Canada to see her and the grief was more for those left behind: her husband, her children, our parents, siblings, friends and co-workers. But I didn’t allow myself to get lost in it.
I knew stopping my life in the name of mourning was not going to do me any good and it certainly wouldn’t bring her back. I did turn to food.
There is probably even a post about me force-feeding myself lamington cake during fits of tears and stifled wailing. I do know it was during this time that I started this blog.
Now, I can remember her with love and a clear mind and not get too caught up in grief and regret; and without the need for cake.
I know not everyone is able to move on so quickly or so definitely. There are other family members who are still struggling with her death and it’s almost a year on. I guess it is their journey and time will heal but that’s a moot point to someone stuck in that space.
I may not be grieving for my sister the way I did just after she died but that does not mean that I don’t wish things were different. Her battle has made me more aware of health issues but ultimately, I believe that everything happens for a reason.
Why my body is resisting the goodness I’m giving it, I do not know the reason. But it’s times like this when it is easiest to take note and decipher the message that is coming through. My body obviously needs rest, nutrition and love…..things that I can give it myself, but is it enough? I’m sure my next post will be filled with how great I feel!!
Look after yourselves.