I have been thinking about the word ‘anniversary’ lately as it’s coming up to the time when I was knocked sideways by Leukaemia and my life would never be the same again. When I think of ‘anniversary’ to me used to represent happy events however, I’ve come to realise that for many, not just people like me, it is not always something to celebrate. Often it is the day when their life was turned upside down, a diagnosis, death or life changing event.
The dictionary definition states that anniversary means ‘the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event’. We have come to think of this word as a happy one and the date something to be proud of and celebrate.
Last year on the 20th April I was rushed into hospital and given the diagnosis the next day! This is actually my niece’s birthday, she will be 10, we will all be happy on this day but, behind our smiles, I know what everyone will be thinking too.
I have been looking at photos on my mobile phone that I took near to this time and the chilling thing is that I do not look ill. I look into the eyes of that person and feel overwhelmingly sad, the old me could not have imagined in a million years what was about to happen. I find myself staring at these pictures in disbelief with feelings of fear and panic rising up from where I have buried them. I don’t feel like that person anymore, it’s like I am looking at someone else, I cannot reach that person anymore.
|I took this picture about two weeks before I was rushed into hospital!|
Those who have had stem cell transplants call the day they had their procedure their re-birthday and I love this, it’s a happy event! Perhaps I need to come up with a different word as from now on a lot more ‘anniversary’ reminders are coming up! I have a lot of ‘This time last year this happened…’ moments coming up. Remembrance day feels more appropriate as it will be a day for reflection, being thankful that I am still here but sad for what I have lost too.
As I have been writing this feelings of fear and anxiety have come flooding back! Hopefully, it will help me process these memories and understand them so that I can continue to look forward.
Losing my old life is like a bereavement and I am still grieving for it, that person feels like a stranger to me. It’s like I have lived three lives, one before Leukaemia, one during and one after! I have a new life now and try to be positive about what I have gained, all the great things that are happening for me, this really helps…most of the time!
|This was taken on the 3rd April when Thomas from Collabro and his family popped
in for a catch up! Collabro have been very supportive during my illness.
|This was taken a month before, a girlie night away! I cannot get my head
around it all when I look at myself here!