Bring on the foxes?
I’ve been putting off writing because I’m still in limbo. And I like to write my blogs like bookends, when I know what’s what and what’s next. Uncertainty I can live with, with but writing about it sucks. So I write when I have control (or as much as I can muster). I hate communicating whilst in suspended animation, because I feel like I have nothing to express but hopes and fears. And if I express hopes, surely that jinxes them, just as buying 2 for 1 suntan lotion at the start of May buggered the weather for the month?
My limbo is waiting to start chemotherapy whilst my liver heals, whilst we determine whether these pools of fluid where chunks of tumour were removed are or aren’t going to get infected and become septic abscesses once my defences are weakened by the foxes. This is the subject of some debate between my panoply of doctors in Cambridge, the Marsden and Houston. Who knows who is right. In the mean time I’ve psyched myself up for the return of the Fox. I’m ready for it. I want it. But every time I’ve got myself down to the Marsden poised to open my veins, the doctors say no. So there has been much frustrated weeping, swearing and sitting around, all the while with the painful knowledge that I need the chemo – and soon – to nuke any remaining cancer cells swimming around my body. And until I start the chemo I can’t think about finishing it, can’t allow myself to think about what might happen after that and the life I might resume. These last few months of nuisance-time have become more tedious, miserable and stressful than expected, and induced in me a whole new level of boring solipsism.
I am trying to see silver linings in the May storm clouds. There is a benefit to my current, circular stasis. I am feeling pretty good. Better than I have since the brief window of wellness before the operation and after chemo. I have bought the boys undying devotion by taking them to Legoland and doing up their bedroom (now a small boy symphony of bunk beds, castles and Tintin posters). The three of us have bonded again and I’m pretty confident I’ve found my way out of that particular labyrinth, and regained my rightful position as top dog in the family. Despite the boys telling me that “Dad’s the Decider”, I know better. Larkin has receded and been replaced by run-of-the-mill grumpiness, which is reassuringly familiar. I’ve started painting the walls, there being nothing like beginning a massive DIY project to bring on chemo, I hope, leaving me to spend the next three months looking critically at a job half-done. Worry about my insides has been displaced by a new obsession with my outsides, specifically my face: eyelashes have been extended, eye-brows manicured, and my tired thirty-something skin has been subjected to potions which have sat in my bathroom cabinet for years (note: obsession hasn’t yet equalled successful transformation to Carey Mulligan). I’ve summoned up the emotional energy to watch Les Mis, and been surprisingly bored by it (though Jackman’s guns delivered a superb performance). I’ve had plenty of time to finally read some of the books you’ve sent me. Nourishing my mind with a book of silence (thank you Milly) and my romantic heart with stories of love on the Nile in Upper Egypt and in Blitzed London. And, for another post, reading whatever I can find in poetry and prose about illness. Surprisingly little, it seems. But that is a subject for another day…
But today I’m not feeling very lyrical. So excuse me if I just post some recent photos, if nothing else to show that life is going on at 47 Ross St and grumpiness has been punctuated by quite a lot of cool stuff.
Making a transformer cake with Dad
4th Birthday Party
With Billy just before his triumph in the Wimpole 10k