Did it snow this winter? I can’t remember watching flakes fall from my armchair but really, wrapped in recovery, I was not here.
It was hot last summer. I remember roasting watching the football, sweating walking into town for drinks to help me forget that I was too much here.
I’ve spent sporadic seconds each season wondering what the point is in seeing the next one if illness and fear is all there is for me, if nothing I expected to happen is waiting for me, wishing I wasn’t still here.
Summer is slinking around again and the bio oil I rub on my scars smells like a Floridian hotel in a way I can’t quite identify, but is surely a metaphor for how Orlando in four seasons’ time can heal, can erase, can smooth out, can soften me, can help me remember why I am still here.
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 have been looking for books and things about dealing with cancer as a traumatic experience, and I’ve found more things talking about cancer being caused by stress than about it being a cause of stress. No wonder I used to try to figure out whether I officially had PTSD – some sort of validation on emotional issues would be nice.
The results are in for the IHadCancer.com Top Cancer Blogs of 2017! I’m very pleased to be named runner-up in the creativity category. It is an honour to be mentioned among so many other awesome blogs. I think everyone who is out there writing about cancer is pretty brave. And not brave for having cancer – because that is what it is – but brave for putting it all out there, for being a source of information and empathy, for sharing something painful and personal and contributing to a community. These awards are really cool because they introduce us to new sources for all of these things, and remind people that they are not completely alone. Congratulations to everyone!
The other day I wrote a blog post about how I tend to think of
my body as something separate from myself, rather than part of me. I had a bit of an epiphany and now I think that the narrative I’ve been using to describe my body and my relationship with it has been harmful. You might want to read that before wading into this nonsense – it’s really a series of tweets, and it’s not very long. Basically, cancer has fucked me up in terms of how I think about myself and my body. I’m sure other illnesses can do the same, so if any of these even vaguely relates, keep reading.
I have written a guest blog post for Lucy Turns Pages! It’s all about how writing has helped with my mental health in relation to cancer survivorship. Please take a look and let me know if it strikes a chord! You can find it here: “Writing About Mental Health and Cancer Survivorship”.
Note to self: There is a difference between seeing a health problem as something external that is threatening your body, and seeing your body as itself as the problem. Your body is not a threat. The illness/problem is a threat. Your body is on your side.
It’s all mad. Absolutely fucking mad. I did okay through Christmas, until about 30th December, in anticipation of this appointment with the gynaecologist due to the MRI I had. Spent that evening curled up with my boyfriend crying, and the days leading up to yesterday weren’t much better. Anxious, freaking out. Distracted. Wednesday night my belly was flip-flopping all over the place, doing somersaults.