Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's been ages..

Life, for once, instead of hitting me right between the eyes has drifted either side.  I feel as in a dinghy on a smooth river; the sun is shining on my skin and my bones feel warm.  That lovely feeling after winter when you come out of your darkened house and blink, like a mole, when you see the light.  Life is passing, and the current, for now, runs smooth. My beautiful daughters grow by the day both more beautiful and more argumentative - vital ingredients for a 'good' adolescence and the fledgling relationship started just after the second bout of cancer has continued despite all the pitfalls that that sentence implies.  I have been incredibly lucky that I have escaped, and moreover, that my mind has escaped too.

I mean that I sometimes forget that I have had cancer.  There are momentary reminders - when I look in the mirror and have to pencil in my eyebrows which haven't regrown to their previous glory or when I travel on my passport.  The picture was taken just after chemo when my hair is only just growing back and you can see the Border official's intake of breath at its sheer ugliness.  But the most and the longest 'side effect' is the realisation that this life we have cannot be taken for granted.  

As a part of my cancer travails, I met several women in an online forum and we were incredibly supportive of each other and the waits, the blood tests and the chemotherapy that so many of us were going through.  It finally came to a head we decided to meet and over a couple of rather wet days in London we all came together to celebrate in my house.  We were about 15 at the most, and occasionally just 6.  We were all joined by cancer; we joked that finally cancer had done something good for us.

Today, four of those women are dead from the disease.  Three more have secondaries and are living with cancer. That's quite a large number and certainly reminds me how lucky I am. Strange though because although I 'should' therefore think I should raise large amounts for charity by climbing Mount Everest on the back of a lemming chariot or bicycle across the Himalayas, my greatest pleasures are simple things like reading, talking to the family, playing games or writing.

I suppose the point is that life is about the small pleasures, not necessarily living for every moment.  Pleasures are infinitely more precious when we have normality around them.

Those of you who have been long suffering readers will notice that the blog has changed.  I loved my previous template viscerally - it was a part of me and all that I went through but that time is over. I need a new look to reflect the passing of one era, and hopefully, the beginning of a new one.



Tony said...

What a delight to see A Woman of Many Parts pop up again, and a privilege to be among the first to welcome you back.

We all look forward to hearing your news regularly. Mine is that I have been lucky: after an operation for cancer I am now clear (which I am told means that I shall probably live long enough to die of something else). The downside is that the six months chemo which finished a year ago have left me with permanent peripheral neuropathy (no driving, no cooking, can't open packets or do buttons up, general dexterity two out of ten, hands always icy, no feeling in the feet), but happily a keyboard with huge keys and an iPad enable me to communicate with the world, as you will see if you look me up (a third of a million words and counting, boast boast).

Every good wish; please don't go away again.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

So good to hear from you. Please blog regularly, so many read your posts in the past.

Val said...

You're back!!!! I'm so happy that you're back!!!! Yayyy!!!! You're back!!!

Val said...

P.S. I love your thoughts about what your 'pleasures' are now. Have had some interesting things happen in my neck of the woods lately and I'm really 'shoulding' myself lately on how I should feel. I love your perspective about how sometimes fully diving into live is just enjoying the string of pearls that make up the little things. Another reason that I'm glad to see you are writing in this space again.