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  • Debbie Murphy

The Story So Far

The longer I leave between these blog posts, the harder it is to write and the more I forget where I left off. It’s important therefore that I remind myself of how far I’ve come. It’s now almost 20 months since my ‘Rude Awakening‘ when I collapsed suddenly with kidney cancer without warning and with no prior symptoms. Before that time I was in the process of building my business Missfit Creations which had only 2 weeks previously been featured in a local business editorial for the Tamworth Herald  When I look back over the weeks immediately following my cancer shock I recall the need for complete privacy. I went from a daily social network presence to a complete online blackout, I simply disappeared along with Missfit Creations. I wasn’t ashamed of my cancer I just didn’t want to explain it and couldn’t bear the sympathy. In order to cope with what was happening I had to shut out everything and everybody but those closest to me plus a few unavoidable ‘need to know’ people. My return from self imposed oblivion to the social network was actually more to do with my business than my personal life. I was afraid that people would think my company had gone bust and that I had failed rather than actually be concerned about my welfare. The response to my subsequent post explaining the kidney cancer shocker was incredible with so many lovely comments and messages I was completely overwhelmed. Once on the road to recovery I began to get out and about again and started to write this blog as I’d kept notes from day 1. One of the places I visited was the Sharon Fox Cancer Centre which became another milestone in my journey as the reality of what had happened suddenly hit me. I made several attempts to get back to work, having a home based business at least meant I didn’t have far to go – or so you’d think. In fact my business became for me a catalyst of my kidney cancer, I felt it carried some of the blame for what had happened. I’d shoved everything and anything to do with Missfit Creations into my workshop when I became ill and now as I took things back out the memories came too. Thankfully along this journey I found the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer as the team there gave invaluable support and advice. Not only that, it was an introduction to others who were going through the same and whose own experiences reassured me that my fears were normal. I was able to face up to the reality of kidney cancer more easily in the knowledge that I wasn’t alone. My recovery has also been hindered by ongoing back pain since surgery which has, thanks to my wonderful GP been investigated thoroughly. I am currently waiting to have physiotherapy and acupuncture to hopefully alleviate this, the cause of which is still uncertain other than it’s NOT cancer which is all that matters. I suppose one of the most important things I’ve learnt since having kidney cancer is patience. I thought that if I blocked everything and everybody out, I could decide when I’d be back to normal Wrong, that was quite a waiting game. Things won’t ever be the same as, apart from the fact I have only one kidney, I’ve been given a second chance and that’s a precious gift so I won’t try to hurry my life along again. Since having my cancer removed I’ve cut a few things out myself including alcohol, salt and those ‘elements’ of my business that were dragging me down. I’ve learnt that I don’t need to surround myself with people whether in person or online, it’s ok to take time out. While waiting for diagnosis and treatment for my back pain I have begun exercising again, I regularly cycle and have recently begun running. The latter I’ve kept quiet for a while as I needed to be sure it was right for me, now I can run a mile in under 10 minutes regularly I reckon I’ll keep it up. I’d like to summarise by saying that it’s business as usual but it isn’t. My Rude Awakening happened for a reason but I’ll never know what that was. Thanks to my cancer oblivion I have a healthier lifestyle and new business opportunities so I can close the kidney cancer chapter and start anew.

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