12 Ways having Cancer is a bit like being Pregnant
Yes I know, it sounds weird to say that having cancer is a bit like being pregnant but bear with me and all will become clear.
I’m tackling my breast cancer diagnosis with humour and positivity and this little post gave me a laugh to write and might give you a bit of an insight into how I’m feeling about it all. It is in no way meant to laugh off or minimise cancer or those diagnosed with cancer in any way – it’s just what’s going on in my crazy head right now!
So as you know, as much as I love my two babies dearly and am so grateful to have been blessed in having them, overall, I just was not a fan of being pregnant. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad and there were some parts of it I did love.
I have no plans to ever (ever, ever) have any more children so being pregnant again was never going to happen to me.
So why do I think Cancer is a bit like being pregnant? Here’s why:
1. A Bump
2. Unsolicited Advice
But unlike the kind of unwanted advice I got during pregnancy, I’m all ears on this one! Know a way to minimise the effects of chemo? Ideas on how to fight cancer? I’m up for hearing ALL the tips so feel free to share :)
3. Horror Stories
You can keep these to yourself though thank you very much. During pregnancy I stopped anyone in their tracks before they could tell me about the traumatic birth their neighbour’s sister’s cat’s best friend’s mum went though in having their baby. But I’m well up for hearing about everyone’s survivor stories so thank you for those.
4. Symptoms – Fake and Real
Both times I was trying to conceive I’d analyse and over-analyse every tiny change in my body and mind – clearly in the hope it was an early pregnancy symptom. Whether I was in labour or not had a similar effect and I spent way too many hours googling lists of possible symptoms.
The cancer diagnosis had a similar effect – after the news had sunk in I spent the best part of 2 days googling ‘cancer symptoms’ to see if I had any more. One of them is ‘tiredness’. Ahem, anyone else tired?
I finally conceded that it was a pointless mission and doing me no good. I moved on to online shopping.
5. You have a Big Secret
Ah remember in the first 3 months of pregnancy where no-one really knows you’re pregnant but you know and you wonder if they might know but no-one is saying anything? It’s a bit like that! I found myself looking at passers by thinking “I wonder if they can tell I have cancer?”.
Nuts! But there you go, that’s what I felt.
6. You Gain New Friends
Since I made my strange little ‘cancer announcement’ I’ve been absolutely blown away by the amount of family, friends, ex-colleagues, friends of friends and readers who have contacted me to wish me well. Honestly I’m so so grateful and it’s been wonderful to hear from some friends I haven’t spoken to in a number of years too.
7. You Lose some Old Friends
Just as some friends drift away when you become a parent and are no longer on the social circuit as much, I’ve felt a little bit sad that some haven’t been in touch after they heard about my diagnosis. Perhaps they don’t know the ‘right’ thing to say, I don’t know.
One thing that is a bit odd is how me announcing that I have breast cancer on social media (which I know in itself it a bit unusual) has played out. Some people ‘liked’ the status and I’ve heard nothing from them. Do they ‘like’ that I have cancer?! I’m kidding, FB particularly is a bit weird like that though, isn’t it?
8. You Join a new Club
This is a wonderful one :) I’ve raved in the past about the love and support I’ve had from the wonderful Mum’s group I joined after having my first baby.
Similarly, I’ve joined some amazing Cancer support groups in the past couple of weeks and the help, advice and encouragement I’ve received already is just amazing.
It’s a club I’m sure none of us want a reason to join but I’m so grateful it exists.
9. Everyone’s experience is unique to them
As with pregnancy, our bodies and minds react to a cancer diagnosis in many different ways I’m sure.
I’m at the very beginning of my journey to beat cancer but I’m doing everything I can to remain positive and focussed on the end goal.
10. It feels never-ending at times
That said, when will the end be? Time will tell :)
11. Testing Testing
I really thought (and hoped) that my hospital days were done with. After the blood tests, scans and measurements of two pregnancies, I thought that was it for me.
No no, I’ve spent the last few weeks being scanned head to toe numerous times and enough injections to rival a pin cushion. But there’s more to come with chemo and radiotherapy so best not complain about that at this early stage!
12. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting
I’m so tired, my sleep is almost nonexistent and recovery from my surgery is a bit harder than I bargained for.
However, as with pregnancy, the end goal is to be here for my family, to remain positive and strong and to just get through it.
As I said earlier, I’ll do that with humour where I can, it’s my way.
That and the support from my amazing support network and if you’re reading this, that probably includes you – so thank you :)