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Entering survivorship

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The new term for finishing major therapies for cancer and moving back into life is ‘survivorship’.  I am part of a research project conducted through Griffith uni and have just filled in the questionnaire they sent – one of the questions was something like: ‘Think about who you are. To what extent are you now defined by your cancer?’ I found myself marking very heavily the ‘Not at all’ box.  I also realised from my responses about joining support groups that I was ambivalent about being hit with negative stories as well as positive ones from fellow ‘survivors’ but that I was keen to talk to a psychologist about fear of recurrence.  I guess that’s where I am at. I saw the ongologist this week and after I listed all the side effects that I still struggle with she smiled benignly and said: ‘ that is about right for this stage of the process’. Time and patience and the belief in the cleverness of the body is all I need it would appear! I’m fine to go there. I amused her by saying that I was ordering new business cards (my name, mobile phone and email are all I am sure of but it feels good to make an investment in a future!)  and by checking how long before I could get a tattoo. It was the first time she had been asked that question. She agreed 6 months should do it and asked to see the results! Went back to line dancing on Friday morning, unsure if one leg would go after the other. I managed a dance or two then a rest for two! As the class clown I sang the chorus of the first number out very loudly: ‘You aint woman enough t0 take my man!’ then squealed with delight at the end of it to think I could actually dance with numb feet and spasmy legs! The Woodgate Bootscooters squealed with me and told me I had been sorely missed and must never go away again!


About pipsky

A creative, generous 64 year old with a PhD in Performance Studies trying to grow old disgracefully while working like mad in regional Queensland, squeezing the juice out of every day & still trying to find the balance that will maintain the quiet mind that makes her useful to others and nice to live with.

5 responses »

  1. Judy you are a WONDER! I love it – tattoo, boot scooting, business cards. How fun and life affirming. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to be labelled or defined by others, either. Except that on my business card I had Dreamer. My husband always told me that’s what I was and so I decided to empower that part of me. More power to you Jude. Love and hugs

  2. Nigel Lavender

    Hi Jude
    Just thought of you and found this blog. Fantastic you are doing so well! Great to hear you are so positive, keep on keeping on!

  3. Great to hear you’re now in the “survivorship” phase and approaching it with such wonderful positivity. Go girl!

  4. Judy, love that you’re dancing.


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