Forged by Fire.

My journey over the cancer seas and beyond.

I touched on something with my therapist that stopped me in my tracks. I have been seeing this particular lady since before my diagnosis for the breast cancer. And all she did was remind me of how far I have come in my journey. I wonder perhaps whether this is the true gold from therapy sessions. That being the witnessing of one’s progress. Either way there was a profound realisation that awoke in me after she said it.

I’ve spent weeks elucidating upon many aspects of this story I’ve had with cancer. And to be honest I have felt so overwhelmed that I have mainly touched upon the more usual emotions. The well deep grief from the loss of myself, and my former life. The consuming fear of coming face to face with my mortality and the treatment realities and now lifetime scans. The frustration, anger, worry, anxiety, and panic that have all floored me in unexpected moments. All of which are utterly normal responses. But its interesting to note that hand in hand with all of this turmoil, there is a core of me rebuilding in a new and unique way. At times I can feel it, like when my therapist gave that acknowledgment, I could almost taste it then. It feels strange, exciting and new and so utterly unfamiliar.

I suppose its true to say that in experiencing this transformation, I am in the dissolved mush akin to the caterpillar. Do they know they will be gone forever in that form when they spin their cocoon? Or is it just an unknown compulsion? Its bloody messy in here even now, and yet there is both rhyme and reason to the stages I am traversing. True enough there may be no butterfly ending even with the present all clear. But then none of us really know what’s to come. And in some respects, as odd as this sounds, I am one of the lucky ones that will be tested until the end of my existence as Lys. And so have a better chance of things being found from this point.

Yesterday I ventured out to test my new wings at the Frost fayre market. It was a poignant moment as I sat selling the art I’d made through my treatments. For though I appeared resilient and well on the outside, amidst the madding crowds, inside I was feeling raw and vulnerable, and a little lost as to my place in it all. I can touch the edges of the more unformed me and see it set against the smelting process that is making me different. I have an understanding that I have come far. The speed at which I’m processing the changes is all at once instant and yet only momentary. Like windscreen wipers in a torrential downpour, only giving glimpses of the road ahead. That is what its like, moments of clarity, and moments of appearing well and resilient, juxtaposed with a deep well of uncertainty.

As things go on and I emerge deeper in the process, perhaps the new way of being inside me will continue to expand to the outer edges. I can’t say exactly what that will look like. Who I will look like. Who will I be? Who do I want to be? Can I take the former aspects of me along into this new world of mine? Or is it necessary to let go the past when one is forged in the fire of life? I don’t know. All I do know is that it’s a tender process,