You know your life is a bit odd when managing to stab yourself for the first time without assistance is a huge victory – but here we are. Yes, that’s right folks, ol’ ‘needle-phobia McGee’ over here faced one of her biggest fears this morning and gave herself a GCS-F injection all on her bloody own.
The public cheered and wiped tears from their eyes, the heavenly clouds parted, and a ray of divine sunshine bounced blessedly upon my polished, perfect skull. Bards up and down the land are working tirelessly as you read this to immortalise the moment in lyrical form. It was magnificent.
Well, maybe magnificent isn’t quite the word.
I sat bleary-eyed and hunched in bed, teeth unbrushed and wearing the same clothes I’ve had on for the last three days, singing a demented version of nursery rhymes at the top of my voice as a distraction. But I got it done. Yes I bloody well did.
It might seem like a small victory, but I’m learning that small victories are immensely powerful and transformative when you’re facing a long-term battle. Bite-sized wins to perk you up and push you on, whereas the ‘big picture’ right now can simply feel too overwhelming to deal with.
So, on that note, here’s some of my latest tiny triumphs:
- Obviously, the daring feat of giving myself an injection at home. At no point in my ‘before’ life would you have been able to convince me that I’d be able to look at a needle, let alone plunge on into my own belly.
- Seeing my friends and going for a 3k wander yesterday, because I’ve not been able to socialise much (what with the compromised immune system) nor do much in the way of moving my body, as the cancer is so thoroughly embedded in my pelvis, lower spine and right hip.
- Having open and constructive conversations with loved ones, especially after having written that blog post about ‘people management‘. I decided to practice what I screech (!), and trust that my amazing family will take it in their stride. Of course, they did, and I had some brilliant chats about how certain things were affecting me and my emotions.
- Producing a plethora of baked goods, which is remarkable considering that before my diagnosis I’d barely touched a whisk! I even managed to bake and deliver a surprise birthday cake and accompanying mini-cupcakes to my best friend’s birthday bash, which helped me feel involved even though I wasn’t able to attend.
- Writing a magazine article for publishing. Some of you might know that I’m a columnist for “the nation’s best-selling lesbian and bisexual magazine“, DIVA magazine, and that I take great pleasure in penning a monthly contribution. With my diagnosis, and the flurry of medical appointments, chemotherapy and side effects, I’ve been worried that I might not be ‘up to it’, but this month I’ve submitted a piece as usual. Boom.
- Listening to my body more consistently has been another ongoing achievement, but one of which I’m very proud. Feeling stressed? Time to take a long shower. Feeling overcrowded? Not gonna respond to anyone on social media today, and I’m going to spend the afternoon in my room. Feeling tired? Sleep! Hungry? Eat!
- Writing this blog post, in fact. I love talking to you all, hearing your personal stories, getting advice and generally word-vomiting in your direction (thank you for letting me).
So, yeah, winning. Small winning, but winning nonetheless. How about you, what minor victories can you over-enthuse unashamedly about this month? I want to hear all about them so that we can share gratuitous gifs together.