My PMA mind-set
My PMA mind-set
By Debra Parry
For my daughter and I, 2013 ended on a high note - David Tennant in Richard II at The Barbican, London, late December. We were so hoping it wouldn't be his night off and it seems dreams can come true. Following on from that enjoyable evening, we are now booked to see Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre, London, in March: another evening we are very much looking forward to.
There's no denying that I've come into 2014 feeling happier and healthier than I've felt for several years. It's three and a half years since I went through major surgery for womb cancer and I attribute my mind-set to what a friend of mine calls PMA: Positive Mental Attitude - or what I call 'F*ck it!'
When diagnosed with womb cancer in 2010 I made up my mind to try always to look for the positives. It's not been all plain sailing, but during difficult times since the surgery I've found solace in writing. I'm no Shakespeare and nor will I ever be appointed Poet Laureate, but by voicing my thoughts and feelings I've come to realise that others have been similarly affected by their own experiences with cancer. I most definitely am not alone.
Cancer no longer rules my life - or at least my thoughts and feelings. I'm officially still a cancer patient, but it's a label I've finally learned not to let worry me. I'm not down-playing the negatives as the thoughts and strong emotions can be horrendously overwhelming when they hit, but nor can I ignore the fact that I've been incredibly lucky. My sister-in-law died of womb cancer, as have several friends. They're not here to write about their life after cancer, they don't have that luxury as they didn't make it through.
Writing became a diversion for me, a focus away from negative thoughts, 'what ifs?' and worries. I don't deny that cancer is difficult, I don't deny that there are side effects and losses - I've lost loved ones to various forms of cancer - but there's no way I'm letting it get the better of me. It's a privilege to have this second chance and I'm determined to enjoy my hard won peace of mind.
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