The Fault in Our Stars

So Saturday was a sliding doors experience, but not in the way I’d envisaged.
Instead I found myself taking the boys to their usual Saturday morning swimming lesson, and chatting to another Mum there about school, and moving into the next stage of our parenting journeys (her youngest is Toby’s age, so she’s a little ahead of me).  Something that I know wouldn’t have happened if I’d had a newborn baby in a sling.

Then at lunch time I dropped Chris at work, and on my way back home had an even bigger sliding doors moment, when I stopped at a red light at a pedestrian crossing and saw one a guy I recognised from The Infusion Bay (where I have my IVIg).  I sat opposite him at my last treatment.  He crossed in front of my car- in his electric wheelchair, while I waited, behind the wheel of my car, with full use of my limbs.
I got home and the boys started to play this really involved game of make believe that mostly involved spreading their toys across the entire living room floor to make “the sea” (also making it pretty much impossible to cross the room without potentially breaking a bone) so I picked up one of my library books…
Don’t worry, I’m not going to give away any spoilers.  But I’m not kidding when I say, that aside from breaking to feed/water/clean my children and tuck them into their beds, I could not tear my eyes away from the pages of this thing until I finished it that evening.  I laughed, and cried and would probably have turned back to the first page and read it right through immediately after finishing had I not vowed to return it to the library because someone else had reserved it.
A book about cancer, when you have just lost someone to cancer, and have other people you love battling cancer, may not sound like an ideal read, but this book is different.  It’s not even a book about cancer.  It’s a book about people, and they just so happen to have cancer.  And that is what makes it different.  It is also what gave me my biggest ‘sliding doors’ moment of the day.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about the outcome of my molar pregnancy, or it’s due date, right up until I felt it on Saturday and here it is…an emotion you’d probably never expect to hear in relation to miscarriage: relieved.
Molar pregnancy is a form of gestational trophoblastic tumour, you don’t need to understand the first two words to appreciate the impact of the last one.
The letter I received in November, informing me of my histology results told me there was a 1 in 10 chance that remaining tissue in my uterus would become cancerous and potentially spread to other parts of my body, requiring chemotherapy.  1 in 10 is of course still 9 in 10 it wouldn’t, and that’s what I kept telling myself.  But that same day I took a photo of my hair, my ridiculously unruly, curly-but-not-in-a-good-way hair that I normally hate, just in case I was about to lose it.
But I didn’t, did I?  There was no remaining tissue, my HCG levels fell steadily, I didn’t need any follow up treatment, my hair remains long and a source of constant annoyance.
I’ve always known how lucky that makes me, but on Saturday, after reading The Fault in our Stars, I actually really felt it.
There are a lot of brilliant quotes I could take from that book, but “The world is not a wish-granting factory” has to be my absolute favourite.  I am thinking of getting it tattooed somewhere on myself as a reminder, so that when I  start to feel like “It’s not fair” I can look at it and tell myself to STFU.
Life owes us nothing.  We owe it to ourselves to make the most of the life we get. (My words, not John Green’s!)
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2 thoughts on “The Fault in Our Stars

  1. Beth 17/05/2014 / 11:57 am

    John Green is exceptional – he writes some truly wonderful stuff. In Bloom by Matthew Crow is a little like a UK version of TFIOS and I think I might have loved it a little more than TFIOS if that's even possible 🙂

  2. Rebecca Holland 01/06/2014 / 5:25 pm

    Wow, really?! I'll definitely have to check it out then! My book jar is starting to get impatient though, so maybe not right away…;)

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