Not to spoil the surprise but I’m getting married next year – all the girly details on the proposal will follow, I promise. Anyway, today I sent off for ‘save the date’ cards. June 2012. As it came to clicking the ‘purchase’ I paused, hovering over the button that would deduct the money from my bank account. A thousand thoughts ran through my head but they all lead to one big question, will I be here for that date?
Three months ago Current Consultant couldn’t even guarantee I’d be around for six months, here I am planning a wedding scheduled for a full 13 months after that prognosis. Taking a deep breath, in an act of defiance I double clicked the mouse and I bought the cards.
A cancer diagnosis in your 20’s gets you thinking about things that you shouldn’t even consider. It sounds pretty gloomy but often when I’m listening to my iPod a song might come on and I wonder whether it would make a good funeral song. Most women who are planning a wedding would be thinking about possible first dance tracks, but instead, despite myself, my first thought on hearing a slow or moving song is; could this be played at my funeral?
During my morning routine I’ll catch myself looking at how much moisturiser is left in its pot or how heavy the shampoo bottle feels. Will I need to replenish the products or will they ‘outlive’ me? It sounds silly really, hardly the most major of concerns; hoping the half tub of body moisturiser won’t be your last.
Then there are the things I think I might miss out on. On holiday recently I spotted a small scar on Tom’s arm that I’d never noticed before, how had I not seen this before? What else hadn’t I noticed about him? What might I miss out on?
Last night as we were kissing I held his face in my hands and was lost in the moment, but then a cancer rudely interrupts and I think how many kisses do we have left? Is there a predetermined number we won’t get past?
If I die I want nothing more than Tom, my family and my friends to heal and move on but I have to admit something I’m a little ashamed to put into words. It upsets me to think of my loved ones living on without me; the people I care so much about getting on with life, and me becoming a memory. It is so incredibly selfish but it hurts to think of being gotten over.
Cancer has forced me to contemplate the consequences of my death at a young age but while I have to process these thoughts and fears, I know that the most important thing is to get on with living.