Chapter 3


Who I was at 16

So young, so very much in a hurry, sure of my self and driven by my convictions, I kept up an almost desperate pace in everything, working six days a week at age thirteen throughout 1974 through 1977 as well as going to school. By the time I was engaged at age fourteen I felt I had wasted the last couple of years, having taken so long looking for the perfect mate. But once we were together it was rushing towards the future at full speed, looking into mortgages at age fifteen. I never took the time to slow down enough to question what it was I was in a hurry for, if I had, I might have noticed what it was that drove me, without pushing my health to the limits first. I think it took an illness for me to make the life changes that were needed.

My parents couldn’t understand any more than I what it was that I was going through, why smart as I was, I would choose work over school at such a young age, to become consumed with furthering my finances over anything else. The year I found out I had cancer, I had just finished grade nine with what I thought was an A+ average, (it was actually a C+ average). I thought I knew it all; all I ever wanted was children and a little white house. Basically all I needed was, the right husband and a job that paid union scale. I didn’t appreciate the authority my parents and most of my teachers felt they had over me. I felt my choices were being limited; my back was up to the wall. I had to take control; I had too much to do to follow the path others saw for me.

I was the ultimate victim, wanting to be responsible for my own actions and blaming others for not letting me. I hadn’t realised yet, that it was my perceptions that were making it difficult for me; it took a life threatening illness, as well as some introspection, for me to learn that lesson. My parents opinion of my abilities was as high as my own at the time, only they saw me choosing any career I wanted, rich and successful. Instead of heeding their dreams and continuing school, we argued till I moved out of the house.

As it turned out, two weeks into grade ten, I it became impossible for me to do much of anything work or school. Suffering from blinding migraines and never one to miss making my point, I used the sudden illness as my opportunity to prove I had made correct choices between school and work when I did! I am generally gifted with this inflated high self-concept, I’m sure it was a large factor in saving my life. To see the positive aspect, to believe in oneself and one’s abilities is no small matter what the odds. It made it possible for me to have the confidence necessary in whatever treatment regiment I chose to follow at any given time. I had confidence in my support system part of which were the doctors I chose to trust, I still debated and at times disagreed with them all, though I had the confidence that they were listening to what I had to say. If they didn’t, I moved on quickly.

I had confidence that I was on this earth for a purpose, and since I hadn’t figured out, for sure, what that purpose was, yet. I held firm to my conviction that the children I hadn’t had yet, were that reason. I was the only person on earth who could have the children I was meant to have; this idea became a driving force for me. I’ll admit in having a high self-concept of myself, which, at times, made it difficult for me to be told what to do. I only heeded the advice I wanted to. I had my own ideas, my own convictions and I didn’t like to be argued with. I wasn’t truly a difficult teenager, just a bit headstrong; it might have saved my life. It might have hurried the cancer along, who knows.