Today, after 6 months of caring for me during the worst period of my life, my parents are heading back to Wales. The complexity of what I’m feeling, and the urge to look back over the last six months and see just how damn far we’ve come, has me itching to write again for the first time since January.
It’s bittersweet for us all; glad that the crisis part of my diagnosis is over, aware that there’s still much to face, relieved that they will finally be able to go home and rejoin their community, but sad that we will be apart once more.
They truly uprooted their lives in order to help save mine. If anything has been a silver lining to having cancer (!) then spending more time with these two certainly qualifies.
They have shown me the true meaning of unconditional love, boundless patience and unwavering strength. Helped me to keep smiling and laughing throughout the ordeal, whilst reiterating that it’s okay to not be okay – and let me cry, scream and mope without judgement. Accompanied me to every single chemotherapy, to appointments and procedures. Cleaned the house, from top to bottom every day, to try and avoid my getting sepsis. Assisted me financially, kept me fed, active and sane. Let me know that I was loved, even when I could not love myself.
Remission is complicated and bloody difficult (something I plan to write about at length) but I owe it to everyone that helped me, not just my parents but the rest of my family, my partner, my friends, my colleagues, the NHS staff and more, to do my best to look after myself, body and mind. It’s going to be a learning process.
For now, here’s to you Mum and Dad. I love you.