My poem “Welcome” has been published in Picaroon Poetry today! I wrote this one in January, two months into recovering from Whipple surgery and four months post-hysterectomy, and it’s a really short one about what it’s like recovering from major surgery. Hope you like it! Read “Welcome” here.
I went for a tiny run today and the biggest effect it had was that it made me want to write. Which is better than the shower I had afterwards, at which point I took a photo of my belly, which just made me want to cry. It looks pretty bad – all scarred and lumpy and disfigured. Don’t care about the scars so much but my waist only goes in on one side now – what’s up with that? At first it was funny to feel a sort of gap where my organs used to be but now that I have actually seen how straight my other side is in comparison, I’m a bit freaked out. Have things actually moved further towards that side in the past couple of months? It’s weird and I don’t like it.
I have been feeling a bit sad today, just one of those low days really. I’ve been feeling a little more like that more often recently, while finding it difficult to explain. One explanation went something like:
“I was just looking at my drain sites and remembering that I used to have drains in, and it made me sad.”
I mean, doesn’t that sound a bit silly? I am sad because I am remembering something. I am sad for no reason other than I am thinking about something that happened in the past, and that isn’t happening anymore. I think it felt silly to me because it seems pointless to go over things in my head for no reason, and because in the context of what has happened, some of the things that have happened seem trivial. I suppose it is the idea that now that cancer is gone I should be happy. But of course I know it doesn’t work like that. I know that.
Been a bit of a funny week. Heard a lot about various people’s illnesses, which reminds me of my own. Which might be a bit selfish or something, to be thinking about how other people’s troubles make me think about my own, but can’t really be helped. One of them was really close to home and I would have preferred not to hear about it. But never mind. I’ve been having some unpleasant memories about being in hospital, recovering at home and stuff. Might also be because I have quite a few checkups coming up. Saw a baby in the pub last night, which also made me a bit sad. It wasn’t particularly cute but it was tiny – a fresh human. His mother looked absolutely besotted. Oh, and I’m sad about my hair still feeling really thin. Not sure what to do about that. Any tips?
I have a rather nice rest of the week ahead of me which is making me quite nervous. My aunty and uncle are visiting tomorrow, on Saturday night I’m going out with a friend, and I’m going to make time during the weekend to be super productive with Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine and my PhD application and maybe some other writing, I hope. Everything seems… okay. Good, even. And that is bad. Well, it’s good but it makes me wonder what’s going to come along and fuck everything up. I can’t possibly be left alone by the medical world for any great length of time, surely?
I haven’t blogged in a while because I haven’t had too much cancer-related to talk about. But I thought I’d write a quick post about some of things that are happening seven months post-hysterectomy and five months post-whipple. (I can’t believe it’s actually been seven months since my hysterectomy already.)
I have two pieces out in the April issue of Bonnie’s crew! The first (page 30) is a creative non-fiction piece called The News, which I have been trying to place for possibly a couple of years now. It’s about trying to fit the anxiety of going for scans in with everyday life, and how easily that anxiety can be triggered.
The poem is called Grammar Error (page 37) and it’s a real short one, written after my hsyterectomy.
My poem Twitch is out today in Thimble Literary Magazine! I wrote it a little after my hysterectomy in October. You can read it here, along with some other great poems (I particularly like “Cancer Lyric V”):
Hello! Life is really nice right now. I’ve started back at work part-time and I’m enjoying it. The dress code changed so we can wear casual clothes. I’m looking forward to a couple of weekend trips away with my boyfriend. I’m thinking about doing a PhD. I was anxious last week because I had a phone call on Tuesday asking me to go in for my annual flexi sig on Friday and that was like, no time at all to get used to the idea. But I went and they said my internal pouch is healthy. There’s nothing like that kind of relief.