Although I try hard to portray an image of strength and resilience, I do have my moments of disappear and heartache. It’s during these times that the dreaded “what if’s” play on my mind. These times generally rear their ugly head during the week after my chemo treatment, when I’m feeling lousy and can barely remove myself from my bed. It’s these times that I look back at the past and wonder what I could have done differently and what I had done to cause my cancer.
What if I had continued playing sports when I was a teenager. Would I have adopted a healthier lifestyle? Would I have been more in tune with my body and well being, would I have undertaken more regular physical examinations? What if I had dedicated myself to further studies, rather than deciding to join the work force? Would I have been better educated on health issues that concerned me? What if I drank less alcohol in my early 20’s, didn’t take up smoking in my late teens or didn’t take on one of the most stressful activities one can undertake; running my own business. There is a lot of what if’s. These what if’s gnaw away at me when I am feeling at my worst. They make me regret life choices and send me into daydreams of how life could have been.
One the other hand, if I had chosen other life paths, I would never have met the people I have met, made the friends I’ve made or experienced some truly amazing things. I would never have met my soul mate, found my love of the environment or found a peacefulness within my life that I now feel. So much would have been lost. I would not be sitting in this very spot at this point in time, looking out of my living room window to the hills in the distance.
Yes, I have cancer, yes, it will probably kill me. But I have decided to harbour no regrets, I wouldn’t change any of my life choices. I have found a calm presence within myself that will allow me to continue my journey in peace and with strength. I’m sure I will still have my “what if” days, but as I look around, I have far too many things to be grateful for that will help me on my journey.