The Woman Who God Threw Back Twice
“This is the woman who God threw back twice,” – that’s how the Consultant Registrar described me to her students who had come to observe me. They respectfully stood in the doorway to my hospital room, aware I was beyond exhausted. “We’ll leave her to rest,” she added as she shepherded her students away.
This tired scrap of a woman lying in a hospital bed was far from the image of the successful woman I had been before. Happily married with a lovely son, daughter-in-law and two wonderful grandchildren I had been a practicing psychologist. I’d risen through the ranks to be a director of a training company. I’d travelled around Europe as president of the psychotherapy model I was trained in. I used to spend my weekends and holidays in England and abroad, exploring interesting places with my husband.
Intensive Care, Facing Death. Twice.
The first time was when I was diagnosed with a grade 4 cancer and I’d been admitted to hospital to have the growth removed. I was also told that I needed chemotherapy for six months. It was certainly not a good time at all. The only thing that cheered me were the many flowers, plants, and cards I received – the ward was overrun with them.
The second time ‘God threw me back’ was when I was intensive care due to the severity of the first round of chemotherapy. I had told the Oncologist that it was too strong for me as I’d never taken drugs of any kind. She eventually agreed to lower the dosage on my second round. Unfortunately, before the lower dosage happened, my colon burst and I developed septicemia. I spent two weeks unconscious, only aware of the precariousness of my life when I came around. My family filled me in.
All I knew of the experience was the exhaustion. No big lights, tunnels or revelations. Two weeks of nothingness. No power in my limbs, a tracheotomy and only 40% chance of survival. Again, I didn’t know anything of the life threatening experience until afterwards. It was a horrendous time for my family.
Don’t speak too much
It took a long time for me to recover and when I was well enough, I felt I didn’t want to speak too much about my cancer. I decided to keep it quiet unless someone mentioned or asked me directly. I considered, rightly or wrongly, that it was wrong to shout about my experience as so many others had died of cancer.
There are enough people who speak, write and show how they have survived cancer or trauma of any kind. I just felt I didn’t want to be one of them using a story of recovery. I simply put a comment on my website or brought it up if conversation went that way.
For such a long time I was vulnerable and afraid it would come back regardless of all the different healing treatments I had. Every ache, pain or feeling out-of-sorts caused me to fear that my cancer was …read more
Source: Steven Aitchison