Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The New Year

Well thank goodness. That’s Christmas and New Year out of the way for another twelve months!

I could sit here and merrily type about what a hideous year we had, and go on about all the crap that has been thrown our way and wallow in a pit of self pity and doom and gloom but that would be a bit false, because we don’t feel like that particularly...well, we have our moments, but tbh, not very often at all.
Personally, I like to think of life as one big learning curve. I think we are meant to learn lots of things on this earthly life, to prepare us for the next one in spirit....hmm, actually, I wont go on about that cos I might get carried away....some people think I should have been ages ago....carried away, that is...

Anyway, I have learnt lots about people and life over the last year.
I remember a while back,I wrote about our thoughts about cancer as a family, and I wrote about how it irritated and upset me when people ignored us. I really thought that it was mainly because they didn’t care, and couldn’t be bothered to use up emotional energy, but now, I realise that it really is because they just don’t know what to say.
If I think about it deep enough, in a way, I actually feel sorry for them, because they haven’t learnt enough in their life to know how  to deal with that sort of situation. So now, if I find someone ignoring me, I  run through in my brain the last conversation I had with them to check I hadn’t pissed them off unknowingly and if I am confident that I haven’t, then I go and talk to them. They are usually pretty relieved and we have nice chats about it all. Hopefully, they will then feel more at ease when they come across the next person affected by cancer.
Very few ignore us these days though I have to say, apart from those who dislike us or really don’t give a shit. Cancer generally doesn’t change people’s like or dislike of either like someone or you don’t. Simple.

Throughout the year, we have made some amazing friends. People who we have never met have really humbled us by the kindness they have shown. Friends who we didn’t think would be ‘there’ for us, have been in a massive way, and people who we thought we would be able to rely on, haven’t really been. I don’t think we have actually lost any friends, but we have made loads!

Families are no different in their behaviour actually. Ady and I come from large families. Ady has five brothers and a sister and I have six sisters and two brothers. Some of them, we don’t  hear from, from one month to the next (but I am sure they are ‘there’ for us before any family member is reading this thinking ‘ God, does she mean me?!?!’) and some of them are in contact all the time.
I spose it’s what makes the world go around and it would be very boring if we are all the same!
Everybody has their own lives to be getting on with, and their own woes to deal with. Talking of woes, that has reminded me. Another thing I have learnt is that a lot of people will talk about their problems, and then immediately feel bad, or embarrassed and say something like “Oh,I know it’s nothing compared to what you are going through”. Well, the way I see it, is that everyone has their own lives to live, and with that come its own set of problems, and they have to deal with those problems. Just because someone appears to have worse problems than yourself, doesn’t mean your problems are insignificant. All our coping mechanisms are different too.
Some people can’t cope with getting out of bed in the mornings and some people can’t cope with normal day to day activities. Some people wouldn’t be able to cope with cancer in the family, or a diagnosis themselves.
For me personally, I really struggled to cope with the whole benefits saga, much more so than the cancer. Other people would have found that a breeze. Or perhaps the whole benefits thing has sidetracked the cancer problems and the reality of it....time will tell I spose.

One thing I have never really been good at, is reading people face to face. I am not one for guessing games. I am one for saying it as it is and I find it most strange when people say one thing but mean another...what the bloody hell is that all about?
Or when people don’t quite give you the whole story...for gawds sake just say what you mean!
This last year has taught me to read people better, but of course now my problem is, that usually, if I don’t think they are saying what they mean, then I have to ask people outright what it is exactly, that they do mean. I usually tell people that their body language is disagreeing with their voice...

I think that people are also beginning to understand me and our family. They are getting our sense of humour and aren’t quite so horrified when we come out with outrageous things. I hope that for some people, it is teaching them not to be so judgmental and to accept that people deal with things differently. There is no right or wrong way. The right way is the way that is best for you and your family.
I have also learnt that Ady is much stronger that I have ever given him credit for. Yes, he has his doom and gloom days, of course he does, but I think a lot of people would have collapsed in a heap with two cancer diagnoses.
I don’t want to be too nice about him, cos that’s a bit gushy, but when I look back at what that man has been through over the last 12/18 months, I am a bit humbled to be honest.
There is no way I would put up with having someone shoving a bloody long tube up and around my colon, snipping bits off, and then having an operation to chop some of my colon out, millions of blood tests, then more tubes shoved up my arse, along with fingers up it, then bits snipped from my prostate (if  I had one), then my prostate chopped out and left with pissing problems, erection problems, unable to father any more children, and then sitting, waiting for the next set of treatments and wondering if I am going to sail through it, piss myself some more, shit myself or both. PLUS, he has to have a Brazilian for both surgeries!
Bless Ady, he has put up with all of that and more, very stoically. I haven’t even mentioned all of his other ailments or how the world tumbles down around you at the mere mention of cancer!

And then I think about our girls. Ady and I are so very proud of them both. The way they handle the whole situation is just so....I can’t think of a word, but you know what I mean. Mature, is the closest I can get to.
They are the most thoughtful, polite, well mannered girls. Dont get me wrong, they are right little shits at times, but there is this unselfishness about them.
Because of the range of emotions they have felt over the last year or so, they have really learnt empathy and how to see the other side of things. They are no pushovers either and will stand up for what they think is right.
Without my realising, the girls have been watching me battle with hospitals and governments and getting there in the end, and they have seen Ady getting on with it as best he can, and I think they have picked up that whatever happens, you just battle on, and it will be OK in the end.
Those girls have a much more adult approach to things than some adults. I don’t think their childhood has been robbed though, they have just had it a bit tougher than some children and instead of being hard done by about it, they are learning from it and will go out into the world much better, and well adjusted adults.

Our girls fill both me and Ady with such pride.

Right, that’s it for the moment. I will do another blog soon, but at the moment, I am so behind with my washing and ironing, I am being forced to wear my nicer posh clothes cos I have run out of everything else and people keep asking me if I am going out anywhere nice, or they will say “Oh where have you been, you look smart”..cheeky buggers!

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