I have given myself a bit of time before I write this post. It's like writing difficult news to a good friend- finding a way of spitting out the message in a way which 'softens' its impact. I have come to the conclusion that there is no way of dressing it up. I just have to spit it out, as it were.
In 2007 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, After surgery and treatment, and ten months of work I have managed to get back to good health ( with the little gall bladder blip last year!!). I found out recently that the sciatica I posted about is in fact a tumour pressing on my sciatic nerve. The cancer has come back. Almost certainly a secondary, a re-occurence. Damn.
So huge shock. Trauma. Upset. Life knocked over like a bowling ball getting a strike on skittles. It has been a tsunami in our world. And of the last few weeks we have been to sort it all out on an emotional, and physical level.
And it's the stuff between the ears which has needed the most work.
Without going into specific details, the way the news was handled was not good. It was a complete mess. Indefensible really. Over the phone, careless, negative, frightening. I am not easily daunted and being of a usefully irrepressible nature, I don't stay down for long. But this time it has taken a while.
I had an operation last week. The one I was scheduled to have last Thursday was cancelled because my consent form got lost. It was a day that the best fiction writer could not make up. It was burlesque really. But at the time it felt like something from a Stephen King novel. The bright side of it was that I had the operation the next day in another hospital ( Furness General in Barrow in Furness) which is a lovely place. I really liked it. They looked after me really well. I was supposed to be a day case, but ended up staying in for three nights ( look on it as a mini break) because my blood pressure reached stratospheric proportions ( probably stress related). Now all my treatment has been moved there. I am happy about it. I feel safe and comfortable there. It is easier for my friends and family to get to. All in all- it is so much better.
Next Wednesday I start six cycles of chemo over eighteen weeks. We have cancelled the much looked forward to trip to the States this year in July. It's all hands to the pump to get me well again. I will lose my hair this time, so today I am getting it all cut off. It's a bit of an adventure really. I am trying on wigs and scarves this weekend. I will experiment and have a laugh with it.
I have learnt a lot about myself in the last few weeks. It has been very difficult, but I have had the time to reflect and think, and take an increasingly long range view on my life. It is interesting. Very interesting. And damned tough.
I am blessed in being surrounded by a wonderful support network. I couldn't have a better one. I am surrounded with loving arms, kindness, wisdom and experience. I am surrounded by strength and compassion. I have time to just be me. To rest. To relax. To think and make sense of it all as best I can.
So I am at the beginning of a interesting leg in the journey of life. I will keep you up to date on how I am doing, and what I am noticing.
Best get ready for the hairdresser. A very short new style awaits me.