Thursday, February 28, 2008


An impression of my brain currently:
Lalalalalalalalalala - ooh! Something shiny! Ooh! Something else shiny! Ooh! Something chocolate! Lalalalalalala! Why am I in here? - oooh, something shiny! Damn! Why didn't I do what I just went to do?! Oh, shiny! Grrrrr.

- Please sirs, I want a brain transplant.
- What! [consternation] Ungrateful girl! A brain transplant! I never heard the like!
- But please sirs, it's my birthday next week - so it could be a super gift - I wouldn't even ask for giftwrap.....
- [burble of outrage]
- Ooh, shiny chocolate!

Pah. Grrr. Huh.

Chemobrain strikes again.......

Mental note to self:
It's generally better to turn up at Sainsbury's with your wallet rather than just a stray £5 note in your purse. This will lead to less embarrassment at the tills when you can't pay and will also enable you to take home your shopping and not have wasted half an hour wandering round the supermarket.
M-kay? Have we got it now? Have we realised that self is to be treated like a 5 year old heading out to school on all occasions?

Everyone else who remembered to take their money/wallets etc with them today: Any rethinks on the t-shirt situation yet? I think the Idiot Grrrl is taking over here and I'm losing my sense of humour with her......


Stuff to do!! I've got stuff to do!
Am I doing it?
It would mean actually getting dressed and not sitting here at the computer.....and you would miss me. (that was an instruction btw)
Tomorrow is the leap year day - hmmmm, what shall I do? It's a bonus day - one ought to do something super surely......but no, I shall be having my pamidronate drip and Zoladex injection and thusly, feeling hot, hot, hot - and not in a good way. What a disappointment!

Would you like to see how the Cheshire Cat shawl is progressing?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


So, apparently you're not going to let me have the 'Idiot Grrrl''re *no* fun. Can I have one that says 'Sometime Idiot Grrrl'? No? You're obviously all too nice to me! Thank you. :)

My papa bought me some flowers to cheer me up (I should have taken the picture of them when they were at their zenith - I failed to do so - but I still think they look pretty):

Papa's are pretty great.... :)

I had to shoot off to my Hometown-in-the-North last week to attend the funeral of an old friend's mother - very sad and sudden; but I was glad to be able to support my friend. As I said to her 'of course we [all our old friendship circle] would be here'. The following day I went home - to my old home, our old house. And just walking through the door reduced me to tears - it was the smell you see. It still smelt the same. It smelt like home. I cried for days gone by, I cried for who I was, I cried for the family we used to be - all in the same place. That house felt lonesome - as if it were an abandoned being. It used to be alive and full of us but we aren't there any more, but neither has it become home to some other family. It's a little bit like we just all walked out one day; it's a snapshot of lives. In my room there are part-used bottles of shampoo and toothbrushes - as if I expected to be back at any moment. Similarly, in the bathroom there are some of my mama's perfumes and make-up. When I was younger, a favourite book was "Return to Gone-Away" by Elizabeth Enright - and the story centred around a long shut-up house that was put back to rights; and I loved the descriptions of the house; because it was still full of the belongings of the former owner - it was historical and romantic (I don't mean slushy romance - the other kind). And here, I have my own version of the Villa Caprice (I think that was its' name) - and I find it sad, not exciting.
So, I just walked around the house - it was like I was really seeing the space for the first time in a long time; and the memories were strange. I felt like I was seeing ghosts; echoes of myself; but not me. Like I was a foreigner to myself. I looked at the little things; smelt the distinctive smell inside the drawers of the big...(gosh, I don't know what you call it - but on the bottom it's like a chest of drawers then it has a sloped, fold-down desk-top with little drawers and pigeon holes inside and finally on top of that is a glass fronted cabinet. Anyone know what I mean???) I don't know why it has a particular smell; but it does - and I just opened the top two drawers a crack to smell inside them (why yes, I do do some strange things.....). And I went upstairs and the feel of the banister under my hand reduced me to tears - so familiar and known. I could recognise that feel blindfolded - I would know it. And the height of the steps - they're shallow, shallower than any other stairs I'm familiar with. And I sat at the desk in my room, I shut the door and sat in there for the first time in years - like I spent the majority of my teenage years - and I sat there and conjured up as many memories as I could - and of course I cried some more. I think of those high-school years as pretty terrible, but there were good times too. A birthday sleep-over with a cake that my dear friend, Jo, made for me. Decorating the collar for "Akhnaten" (have I mentioned my Youth Opera days? I don't think I have - I sang opera for around 7 years growing up. We were ambitious - which is why I have the sung the role of Meritaten in Philip Glass's Akhnaten. The majority of the opera is in Egyptian and Hebrew - it's pretty fantastic music though. Anyway, end diversion.) And endless reading - I'll confess I didn't have highbrow reading tendencies - the Chalet School, the Famous Five, Malcolm Saville, Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew.
So, t'was all strange and also cathartic. I've been quite trepidatious about visiting before; but I feel...clearer now....less like it's a weight around my neck. Which is good, because I'm going to have to clear out my room eventually....
But! Have just remembered the point of this story (brain, come back, all is forgiven...) I brought back my rabbit picture. My mum drew it and I think it's beautiful. I don't know why I haven't brought it back long before now - it was as if it had never occurred to me that I could bring things out of that museum...... My mama is so talented, I think you'll agree:


I woke up half an hour ago to feel like the room was shaking. I've just spent the last half hour trying to convince myself I had had some strange dream but I couldn't get back to sleep and in the end went downstairs to check the Beeb. And, yes, an earth tremor has happened in Birmingham. But I'm not in Birmingham - I'm London, about 100 miles away.....
This from the girl who didn't notice the rather larger earthquake whilst in Peru!!! I've obviously become attuned.
Not sure I'll be getting back to sleep. I'm not actively frightened; I'm just awake now.....
I'm glad there really was a tremor thought - I was starting to think that I'd had some 'turn' and gone a bit funny.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Idiot Grrrl

The Idiot-Girl strikes again.
I am so stupid sometimes.
Sometimes, I think that it's no wonder I have cancer, why should someone who makes idiotic mistakes be here. Natural selection and all that.
Yes, I'm over-reacting and being hysterical and shortly I shall calm down, remind myself that I am not perfect, I have not caused the world to explode in flames and forgive myself somewhat.
But in the meantime I am still the woman who cannot arrive at an appointment that is written down clearly in neat writing, in my diary, on the correct page, written by me, at the correct time.
And if I cannot get something this simple right (it required me to walk round the corner, no more than about 3 minutes, to my GP's surgery - a place I know where it is. All I had to do was put my coat on and go.) then how the hell am I supposed to think of myself as a capable, competent person.
Here I am, contemplating going back to my work and I simply cannot if I can't rely on myself. I catalogue in an academic library. Cataloguing requires accuracy and getting the tiny details right - the tags, the punctuation, the spelling, the dates, all the little details - they've all got to be absolutely correct; because that's the only way you can later be sure that the book you have in your hand is the same as the one in the record. Or that the book you will find in our library is the one you want/isn't the same as another one you've already looked at. You get it right. And I was good at it. I was fucking good at it. And it's not that I've forgotten what to do. Like today, it's not like I forgot how to tell the time, or how to read, or how to walk. My brain just doesn't seem to retain, to remember, to connect things up in the right way. I can know what I'm supposed to be doing, I can think that I'm doing the right thing but then discover I'm not or I haven't. How the hell can I trust a damn thing I do?

So, anyway, I blithely arrived at the GP's surgery to check in for my 4.20pm appointment to be told that my appointment was at 4pm and I'd missed it. And I said 'no, I've got it written down' and fished out my filofax to show and lo and behold, it said 4pm; at which point I started crying (because this is so worth crying over - not). Well, yes it is, for the reasons above and also because I have permission to move to Ibandronate - the tablet form of Pamidronate - the bone strengthening drug I'm on; as long as my GP agrees (and what that means is, as long as they agree to meet the costs of it - well, they don't pay for it, the NHS pays for most of it and I pay the prescription charge of £6-whatever. I guess the local NHS Trust is somehow responsible for prescribing drugs that don't break the NHS bank) Anyway, I wanted to try and get that OK-d before I'm due for my next drip - which is a week on Friday - because of the old then-we-don't-have-to-stick-a-cannula-in-you......but I missed the appointment, her next available appointment is the 12th of March so I'm bollocksed.
This, of course, was also going to be the first time I met her properly as my new GP and now she'll think I'm a time-wasting nuisance. Brilliant first impression - no?
So, stupid, stupid, stupid.
So I cried, and apologised massively and walked home berating myself. It's funny, but since cancer I find myself fairly frequently walking down the street crying and/or talking to myself. No-one has ever yet asked me if I'm OK......
No, I'm not OK; but I'll survive a while longer.
Can I have a t-shirt with Idiot Grrrl on it?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

CT results

Thank you for all the hugs and sympathy - they're all appreciated very much. Thank you particularly to the person who elected to remain anonymous - I felt that you had some very wise things to say and an attitude that I would do well to even emulate a little of. You seem to be achieving a state of mind that I haven't found my way to yet but it's something to ponder and I thank you. I hope you got something from sharing with those of us reading and if you're ever moved to share a little more about yourself then I'll be happy to hear from you.

I am incredibly bleary this afternoon - t'was clinic this morning complete with the results from last weeks' CT scan. Needless to say, I've been waiting for the scan for over a month because they have a stupid booking system and kept offering me dates I couldn't do; but since they sent them out by letter it seemed to take a week or more to sort out a date that we could have sorted out in 1o minutes of conversation........ridiculous. So, by the time I arrived this morning I think I'd worked myself up into deciding that the results were going to be bad; so imagine how I felt when I arrived at clinic to discover they were running so late that there were no seats to be had in the waiting area, the corridor was full; it was bedlam. I then indulged in a wee panic when the new locum nurse asked me in that sort of telling you way that I had more tests this afternoon - which to my knowledge, I did not. Alert! Alert! Alert! Ratchet up the adrenaline levels a few more bazillion points! Turns out he was talking out of his arse.

So, stable was the diagnosis - under control - not currently taking over my body plus the pamidronate is repairing the bone damage, so, good, OK, alright. That's were we are.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hope - how to

I was asked recently: how do I find hope?
Some days, to be honest, I simply don't. Some days I simply feel done over by life and that I'm not prepared to hope because I tried that after my first round of treatment and got kicked in shins when it came back. It was totally devastating because I'd started to believe that maybe I would be one of the people who came out the other side.
I suppose in some ways it's a fact that I don't know what to hope *for* anymore....I can't hope to 'get better'; I can hope to live as long as I can and to be productive and able for as much of that time as possible. But even that is difficult to contemplate - because I don't know what to aim for - a year? 5 years? 10 years? I have no idea and I don't think anyone *knows* - they can guess, but I don't want to know that because it won't be long enough. And anyway, I feel so cheated, even if I live for years(!) I have to live a half-life; a life that revolves around the treatment necessary to give me that time.
A life where I don't get to have children; and I keep unearthing just how much I wanted that. Somewhere out there, in potential-land, is a little girl who was supposed to be my daughter and she was going to be called Anna, after my Great Grandmother and sometimes I can feel her, I can feel myself holding her as if she were already here. But she never will be. Not with me, not mine.
And it's not just about me - it's about the fact that I wanted to see the Dear Other as a father - cancer hasn't just cheated me; it's cheated him too.
::crying now::
Hateful cancer.
I want to give you words of hope - I want you to hope. I feel better when other people are feeling hope for themselves - because I want them, I want you, I want someone out there to make it. If I can't be the person who beats cancer then I want you to be that person.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lucky old me

Blogger is pleased to announce to me this morning that I can now blog in Persian.....I think they've endowed me with some magical language learning since I do not know any Persian, or Hebrew, or whatever the 3rd option I've forgotten is......

So, sadly, this blog will not be brought to you in Persian, or by the letter P or by the number 4, you'll have to read it in boring old anglais (ha! caught you out there with a bit of French!!! Haha!)

I got given this little coveted item yesterday - presented by the Mayor of Camden, no less. Shall I make you guess what it is?? Perhaps I will - but I'll post the answer tonight so you've not got long. And those of you who already know - keep stum til then please!!
Here comes the clue: the Dear Other always refers to my badge tab for Guides as my 'medals', and I go 'they're not medals' (gosh it's fun living with us!). This, however, I think, is. I've pretty much given it away now, haven't I?
Sad thing is, I'm not sure I'll ever get to have the fancier 10 year etc bars - that's not fair..... :( Still, this is nice too.

I blathered on about Peru too - shall I post for you to read? Perhaps I will....later on.

Friday, February 01, 2008

There's a hole in me (bucket)

Am duly poked with needles. It did go in first time; but we're down to the deep veins, so it hurt :( ::snuffle:: Nah, I didn't really snuffle, but not so fun. However it's obviously one of the veins that they've been tapping into further up in the crook of my elbow; so it really started to ache - what with it being hardened up or gone thready or whatever. Fingers crossed for moving onto the tablets soon.
It was also incredibly busy today - and I generally pick Friday's as they're quiet and therefore less stressful.....too many talkers today; plus the woman sitting opposite me who started having some kind of 'turn' after she'd started her drip - makes you feel a touch unsettled.....
Plus, new Zoladex injection; so will be increasedly hot tonight....we walked home (which I used to do regularly) but now I just can't walk that distance without getting *too* *hot* and having to sit down. So of course we got part way and I had to sit on a wall by (one of) the dodgy estate(s). I did contemplate just collapsing on the sidewalk and banging my head on the paving slabs until it went away but restrained myself. ::sigh::, ::hate::, ::winge:: ::/winge::
Blah, blah, you know the refrain - am done now and am all juiced-up for another 4 weeks - you have a reprieve until then (possible)