This Infernal Racket | my life, after cancer

A Toronto-based lifestyle blog by a 2x cancer survivor

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A Letter To My Past Self

Dear Kayla,

Hey, it's me your future self. 

I wanted to write you a letter to tell you some things that you need to know.

Well, this fucking sucks. You're 21, healthy, fit and finally happy with your life...and now you have cancer. It's going to be hard. It's going to be hard to fight, go to school, and manage your life, which is why I am going to give you some advice.

It's okay to not be okay.

I know you want to prove to yourself that you are unstoppable, and you are, but taking the time to rest and heal is more important right now. The next 8 months are going to be some of the hardest days of your life. You are going to start to spiral into depression because you keep all your feelings and emotions inside. I want to remind you that you are not okay right now, and it's okay to admit that to people and to ask for help. You think that keeping it all in makes you strong, but actually, being honest about how you feel is far braver. I want you to check in with yourself every week, reflect on how you are feeling and acknowledge those feelings.

Tell your friends what is going on, don't hide it from them. Tell yourself that your body will change, but do not become obsessed with it because there is nothing you can do right now. Yes, I know that food anxiety is something you struggle with every day, but right now you need to give your body what it needs to beat this.

You got this.

After you're done with your first year of treatment, you're going to go into beast mode and try to 'fix' everything and go back to your old self. I'm sorry to say you're never going to be 'her' again, too much has happened and you are different now, but not worse. Your fight isn't over. You're going to have to go through something else, and it'll test you in more ways than before. That black hole is going to get bigger but I don't want you to hate yourself. You are beautiful and strong, and this time around, you know what to do.

Look for support, and connect with other young adults battling cancer. I want you to care about yourself more, and talk to people who understand. I want you to cry, yell, laugh and scream: remember to be honest.

Be mindful of yourself

You'll get through the next year, a little worse for wear but stronger than ever before. The hardest part will be the 'after' when everything you suppressed will come pouring out and manifesting into negativity. You will feel worthless and undeserving of happiness. Let me set things straight: you are beautiful, kind (you will have your bitchy moments), caring and brave fuck. There are so many things you will accomplish in the following years to prove all those negative thoughts wrong.

Life is tough and it may seem like you won't get through this. I promise you will; you will come out the other side. You will need to be mindful of yourself because, yes, you are forever changed. I know you feel alone right now, but you have so many great people around you, and you have so many great things coming your way.

You are fearless. You will learn to stand your ground and stand up for yourself. Your life is important and I want you to light it up and live it.

With love,

Your future self.
October 2018.


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