Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Turning Slap Head


“Another state has been reached - but in your case think on it as recovery - this is the effect of the chemo which is zapping anything that may be remaining after having been cleared out first. So things may look bad and make you feel down and afraid, but at the end of the chemo treatment, you will be clear and your hair will grow back again - the reverse of what you fear.”

This e mail from my friend Melissa this morning puts things back into proportion. Living alone it is possible to get things skewed and for a time I felt that incipient baldness meant imminent death.
She is right, it doesn’t. It’s just part of taking the cure.

On Skype to a friend in Poland I could see a tiny image of myself in the corner of the screen. Realised that my hairline is receding, a white shadow across my brow and two patches appearing above my temples. Laughed about it with her and it didn’t seem so bad. Thank God for friends.

Three days after the chemo I picked up and I am still well – sitting in my garden like a lady of leisure. She is a lady I don’t really know well at all, a mystery woman sitting in a bower garlanded by stephanotis and euphorbia.
I have landscaped the garden, stocked it with plants, cut the grass, put in vegetables, lobbed snails over the fence, acquired a new shed and painted it, but I have never actually sat in my garden and really looked at it before.

1 comment:

  1. I said the same thing as I threw up outside Sainsburys on Saturday morning - well, it must be working! And don't the good days feel wonderful after the shitty ones. Having chemo once a week my good days don't last long but come around enough.

    This is hte longest I am ever going to have been off work and doing nothing does not come easily but I've sat in my tiny garden (yours sounds gorgeous) on a sun lounger donated by my father and just enjoyed it.

    Can I say something about your mother? I hope you don't think it is out of order. My mother died when I was in my first year at university. I think she sort of clung on till that moment she was so ambitious for me (too ambitious sometimes which was a bit of a burden - like I was ever really going to become the first woman prime minister!). I had to pick up a lot of hte pieces with her own mother who she did not get on with at all well and blamed for her own lack of education. Get to the point....the point is that while my Mum was right to be so angry about many things I wonder if she had had ever really stopped to consider what it is like for a parent to see their own child ill. Her mother could never express her emotions - not the way she was bought up - but it did not mean she was not as scared as hell and felt very helpless. If I don't get over the cancer all I ask is that I hang on until my Dad has gone as he is in his mid 80s. My son will cope as will my partner (you just do) but I don't want to put my father through it. As if I had a choice...but there you go. Said it.