On September the 23rd I had a biopsy taken, because the specialist I’d been seeing said it was probably normal, but they needed to check it “just in case”. I’d been expecting the appointment to be a quick two minutes – you know, look at the area, say “yeah, cool that’s good”, then leave type of deal, so when she said this I was slightly annoyed that I’d have to have part of me hole-punched (I hate needles), but I wasn’t particularly afraid of any test results or anything.
During my biopsy appointment, I was told I’d get the results by post, and would probably be referred back to my doctor because it was nothing. I didn’t. Instead, I got a letter detailing another appointment with the specialist. When I rang the hospital, all they could tell me was that my appointment had been recommended by a doctor who specialised in young adults with cancer. When I asked them what that meant they said they weren’t allowed to give any further information on the phone, and that I’d just have to wait until my appointment.
Obviously, my mind quickly jumped from being okay, to worrying about all the things that could be wrong. I spent a lot of time during those few weeks researching what illnesses I might have and crying because it could be serious. I realise, it’s silly to do this and I should have just waited for my results, but the mention of oncology really panicked me and I became convinced that I wasn’t okay.
As it turns out, I’m fine. I have to see a specialist again, but it’s nothing serious, thankfully.
However, those three weeks of not knowing made me think about a lot of stuff. It made me think about all the things I’d missed out on because I was scared I’d get car sick, or get rejected or make a fool of myself. It made me think about all the times I’d been stubborn, angry and upset, and all those hours wasted over silly little things that didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
It also made me take some chances. I invited people to my birthday who I hadn’t spoken to in years. I went on car journeys, despite being terrified of getting car sick. I bought a selfie stick and silly face mats and used them in public. I know these don’t sound like major things, but to me they were huge. They were me ignoring my fears and doing what I wanted to do. And I’m so happy I did. I got to re-connect with friends, had some great days out and had such a laugh.
It’s sad that it took a scare like this to push me to do the things I wanted to do. Why does fear stop people from doing things? Why is someone saying ‘no’ so scary? I mean, a few months ago, I didn’t want to invite some old friends to my birthday because I was scared they’d reject me. And that’s ridiculous. It’s just one person, saying one word. One person who I hadn’t spoken to in years anyway. What difference would asking make?
You can’t let fear rule your life.
You really can’t. Because, when it comes down to it, all those times you failed, got rejected, or embarrassed yourself won’t mean a thing. It sounds cliched, but it’s the things you don’t do that you regret (by which I mean fun things, nothing illegal or evil, guys).
It may have taken a health-scare to get me there, but from now on I’m going to try, to “live life to the full” (as cheesy as that sounds). I’m going to try and be more positive, take advantage of every opportunity and make more time for the things I enjoy. I’m going to spend less time scrolling through social media, and more time reading, writing and having fun. Because life and health are so valuable, and we shouldn’t just waste that.
And yes, “living life to the full” does mean I get to have as many mince pies as I like this weekend!
I hope that all of you are doing okay, and I wish you every bit of happiness over the festive period. Eat, drink and be merry!