This week seems like a good a week as any to channel Kate Bush (sorry SP). Running up that hill, Pray God you can cope, Don’t give up, I was taught to fight, You’re not beaten yet, and so on…
The last time I wrote, I felt like it was harder to find hope. Then an amazing thing happened and an old friend of mine wrote me a beautiful poem. Which apart from being a very generous and special thing to do, reminded me that sometimes you just got to put your big girl pants on and get on with it. I’m sharing it here because I want to remind everybody how the big things, the little things and everything in between, matter. I’m not crediting the author, because he prefers to be anonymous, but please know I am very grateful.
Hope It eternally springs in us mostly benign, Our futures feel free of turmoil inclined, Until suddenly, somewhere the news gets through, That rules have just changed, so we Channel our Pooh. In friends that we've trusted, we gather the strength, In long lost acquaintances who look unto self, The problems of ages, of heartache and pain, However it's given we feel it the same. Torment, deceit, misfortune, a hole, We just want to rid it, be sick in a bowl. At times when we feel down we struggle to fly, We start to feel inwards, watch the world pass us by. In times of such sadness with perspective laid bare, Nature around us helps see what's to share. With greatness of will, with sweetness of soul, Hope springs eternal, it's our rock and roll. Whatever your thoughts on this trouble and strife, You've shown me the way to appreciate life. So, Abi, your blogs may be words on a page, But to injured and damaged, they mentally wave. Your spirit and joy to the world in true colour, To Health and our family we always aspire, To give and to love and to smile every day, I'm one that has learnt the Abigail way.
I have not had any treatment in the last few weeks. I mean apart from the daily drugs cocktails. I haven’t been at the treatment centre to be jabbed and poked. I have however, been to my least favourite of cancer hospitals: Mount Vernon. My hatred of this place is probably entirely unfair and a figment of my own prejudice. I’m sure it does wonderful things and the staff there are super incredible. But I hate it. I approach it with a building fear, knotted stomach and literally from the moment I arrive, can not wait to get out again. Maybe I am projecting my anger at my cancer at that building. Which is probably a little unwarranted. Maybe I should stop attempting to auto-analyse and give us all a break. I’ve never even had treatment there. I go there for the occasional consultation but mostly I go for the MRI machine, which is The Prof’s machine venue of choice. And we know how much I hate the MRI. I keep thinking I have to make friends with it, but I have to do the full 60 minute full body scan. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse. It’s such a small tunnel that my knuckles scrape on the sides every time I whizz up and down. I am strapped down in a cage and my head is covered in some sort of cage helmet. There is no moving to be done. I tried to describe the noise and discomfort to a friend yesterday, and the closest I can get is imagine being stuck in a sewage pipe under a stretch of tarmac and somebody is trying to get you out by using a pneumatic drill above your head. That’s the best I got. Two days later I am sitting here, and I still have a headache.
After the scan comes the waiting. Obviously, the purpose of the scan is to see what is going on with the various tumours and we hope they are still responding to treatment. I was due to see The Prof on Monday but unfortunately that had to be cancelled. So I wait, for an indeterminate period of time, to hear what is going on. I’m finding it quite easy to carry on “as normal” and get the hell on with things whilst I’m not regularly at the cancer centre. For weeks I can almost pretend everything is OK. And then the scan cycle starts again and my brain goes in to overdrive. You would think that being told that the treatment was working back in June that that would make things easier. But it doesn’t. Once you have had the hideous shock of a primary diagnosis and then a secondary (“that wasn’t supposed to happen”) diagnosis a year later, you lose all faith in being the receiver of good news. So for now, it’s fingers crossed until results time. Meanwhile, scanxiety, and attempting to lower my shoulders from my ears.
Be assured, I don’t let these things get me down for too long. In the last few weeks I have had some truly special times with friends and family. I took my best beauts to the Yorkshire Dales to spend some girly time together. We managed to coincide with a cheese festival, which just so happened to have a prosecco van. I mean, what are the chances?! When we weren’t enjoying cheese and wine (and beer) , we even managed to go for a few walks. These ladies give me light and life and make my sides ache from laughing. Or maybe that’s the cheese.
Since returning, I have been enjoying the return of summer, getting out walking and also picked up my new car. Girl got new wheels, but that’s another story…
Remember; “Hope springs eternal, it’s our rock and roll”…
Big Love, AG xx
Kate Bush: This Woman’s Work
I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking
Of all the things I should’ve said
That I never said
All the things we should’ve done
Though we never did
All the things I should’ve given but I didn’t
Oh, darling, make it go
Make it go away