Monday, 4 April 2016

I Can't do it Again

As a society we are conditioned to believe that the best companion when dealing with trauma is alcohol.

When I was going through the whole cancer thing, I was constantly told, by doctors and nurses, to 'go and have a stiff drink.'

If only they knew.

In fact, I learned that dealing with trauma is actually much, much easier without booze. Especially if you are responsible for children, and protecting them from the impact of whatever you're going through.

Alcohol makes coping with fear and grief a very selfish process.

I wrote a post about this when I was right in the middle of it, called When Life Throws You Lemons (click here).

I do, honestly, believe that doing the whole thing sober was what kept the wheels from falling off, kept me sane, and my family secure.

But, here's the thing, I don't think I could do it again.

And tomorrow I have a (routine) ultrasound exam.

I know, logically, that it's highly unlikely to show anything nasty. The chances of anything surviving the onslaught of surgery and radiation just a few months ago are extremely slim, and there's not really been enough time for anything new to crop up (I hope).

But I'm still feeling sick.

You spend months trying to forget the whole thing, then - just as life's returning to normal - you have to go back to the scene of the crime.

And my record is not good. I've only had one breast ultrasound and it was terrible. 

There's that awful moment when you catch sight of a black mass on the screen, and the friendly, chatty sonographer goes quiet.

Then they start measuring it, just like they measured your foetus's head and spine when you were pregnant, but less jolly. Because it's not going to grow into a gorgeous, squirming baby - it's going to kill you.

I don't even want to remember it, let alone go back there. And I certainly don't want to have to redo the whole cancer thing.

I couldn't do it again. And I definitely couldn't do it sober.

Everyone has their limits, and I think that's mine.

Fingers crossed, hey?

Love SM x

P.S. On a much cheerier note, HUGE CONGRATS to my lovely e-mail friend, P, who is celebrating her first SOVERVERSARY today. Well done P - you rock!


  1. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Annie x

  2. From someone who is on day 3... Baby steps. Try not to set yourself up for a fall. You are stronger than you think.

  3. You will DEFINITELY be in my thoughts and prayers! I know how scary it is. 11 years later, I still go every 6 months for tests, and while nowhere near the anxiety level of the early years, it still stresses me out! My husband says I'm very crabby days before an appt. and I don't even realize it! BUT. The first check after your cancer treatment is done is SO SCARY!! Make a plan to go shopping or for a good meal (or both!) afterwards....visualize what you would like to buy or what that great meal is. while it won't take your mind off your tests, it will take the edge off! Big hugs to you SM! I wish I could take away your fear! Been there, done that and it totally SUCKS! Fuck Cancer!!!

  4. The checkup is horrible and nerve racking and there's no getting round it (like the bear hunt) But. It will probably be clear and even if it isn't it is better to know early. You WILL cope like you have with everything else. I will be thinking about you and crossing all fingers and toes and possibly eyes as well. Xx

  5. Just think of all the work you did to get to this point, you don't want to go through all that again. In my home AA group,there is one who's had cancer twice and stayed sober through it, and another one w cancer now, also staying sober, and there are so many others. You can get through whatever comes your way and stay sober. Praying for you.

  6. There are a lot of us out here thinking of you .

  7. Thinking of you SM x also agree with Sober at 53, fuck Cancer!!!

    1. You know, Claire, I hardly ever swear. I generally think it's lazy, and there are far more interesting ways to express emotion, but - in this case - FUCK FUCK FUCK IT. And it can FUCK RIGHT OFF.

      There. I feel better now. Thank you. Xxx

    2. Hurrah, I felt v. Naughty dropping the f bomb on your lovely blog but YASS GIRL!!

    3. There you go, chimp loose and bouncing off the walls and then safely back under control. Clearly no scientific basis but you'll be OK. Be strong, "Tough times never last, tough people do" (Robert Schuller). You're tough SM.

  8. Sending good thoughts and a big hug!

  9. SM, You've proven to us and yourself that you can go through ANYTHING sober - and that after years of alcohol use. So while I hope you don't have to - know that you are powerful and strong and that alcohol only saps that power. Hugs - E

  10. Sending positive vibes from across the river!! xxx

  11. Sending good vibes your way!

  12. A hurdle you will climb and jump over! Like climbing over Everest. You will do this and be stronger then you were the day before! You have proven this to yourself!
    Think every crazy thought! You are allowed, your human! Just don't pick up!
    Hugs and love, seriously!!!!
    Boston Strong, Boston Sober

  13. Lots of love and positivity on every front xx

  14. Sending lots of love your way SM! Big hugs! Xxx

  15. Sending positive healthy vibes your way.

  16. Thinking of you m'lovely. Loads of love x