Article by Wendy McCance
I remember when I was young wishing I had a crystal ball. I wanted to see my future. I figured it would be incredible to know what my life would be like when I was grown up. Would I be rich? Successful? Would I have a houseful of children? Would I have an incredible home or a fabulous husband? The questions I would have had for that crystal ball were endless.
Here I am, a middle-aged woman who was finally granted her wish. I got to see my future and I would give anything to forget what I have learned. You see, knowing your future is a curse. Maybe you have something great coming your way, but would you be able to be patient? Would your effort to achieve great things in life suffer if you knew you would be handed something valuable with little work like money or fame?
Well, I wasn’t lucky. Great things are not coming my way. No, for me, I was given news that destroyed me. My future outlook is dealing with the progression of cancer and all that it entails. Because I have multiple myeloma, I get to look forward to bones fracturing, possible organ involvement or failure, nerve damage, blood clotting problems and more. All very scary, all painful and all things that can shorten my life tremendously.
So, I went through a mourning period, I joined a support group when I couldn’t stop crying and I gained as much knowledge as possible to prepare myself. I then tried to get back to living a “normal” life. You see, my cancer is in the smoldering stage and I have some time before I have to start treatment.
With a timeline unknown as to when my health will get significantly worse, all I can do is accept my situation and get back to my everyday routine. I am immersing myself heavily in work and cherishing each minute with my family. I am grateful for the good times and try not to think beyond the week in front of me.
Here’s the problem, I still get scared. I have days where I hurt. It interferes enough that I can’t sleep and my only relief is a heating pad. I get strange sensations, have digestive problems and I am bruising easily. The physical symptoms are that constant reminder that all is not okay and that time is ticking away.
Each time I feel ill, I panic like a hypochondriac. My mind goes crazy. Have my symptoms progressed? Will my next blood test be the test that reveals it’s time to begin treatment? Will I be around in 5 or 10 years to see what my kids are up to? Have I planned appropriately for the kids in case I’m not around and they still need me to lean on?
I have had a few meetings recently with potential clients. I sit down and share my knowledge and seem like any normal person having a normal business meeting. I always wonder in the back of my mind what the client would think if they knew I had cancer. I seem fine. I am happy to be interacting and sharing ideas. Unless they happen to read posts like this or know a close friend or family member, they wouldn’t be aware. It’s a strange feeling.
I pride myself on being transparent. I like that people can feel comfortable knowing that what they see is really who I am. There is no hidden agenda and I truly care about the people I work with. Yet, I feel so uncomfortable like I am hiding a huge secret. I am not at ease with the feeling. I know that everyone has their health problems or personal issues and it’s okay to keep them personal as long as they don’t interfere with the job that needs to be done. Even so…
So right now it’s 1:33 am and I am feeling ill and can’t sleep a wink. My day begins at 7 am. I guess I will try to get back to bed and attempt that thing called sleep.
By the way, my advice about wanting to know the future - don’t worry about it. Enjoy the present. If you are struggling, know it is only temporary and that better times are at your disposal if you put in the effort. The future is here so quickly. Why rush it?
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]