Monthly Archives: April 2015

Is this as good as it gets?

“You have really great veins” enthused Jeremy, the chirpy radiologist as he inserted (“sharp scratch”) the cannula and injected a cold blast of contrast dye into my arm. This is the stuff that makes you feel like you are chewing metal and have wet yourself…but flattery, hey…I can take it, whatever the circumstances or whatever is being flattered and so the scan was not “routine” at all…


Cat on hot bricks

..and so I face a week of stacked up appointments…back in the scanners again tomorrow then blood tests then GP then dental work then echo then oncology. Wish it wasn’t all so routine and “normal” for me yet hang on to the feeling that maybe “routine” is better than “urgent”.

It does bring home how I have normalised living with cancer, type 1 diabetes and a limited life…I am having to take it in my stride…along with selling the house, getting divorced and keeping close to my dying friend…Really no opportunities to sweat the small stuff…or the big stuff…or indeed any stuff!

The Slippery Nipple

The Slippery Nipple is something new to me..but as someone with breast cancer and now, no nipples at all, I feel that I should have known about it before now! Surely it should have been mentioned on one of those many information leaflets I have read.

The discovery has come about as (some weeks ago) I entered our book group into a competition with Baileys Womens Fiction Prize to shadow read the short-list with the judges #baileysprize. For some reason we find impossible to comprehend, our group was not chosen. One of us thinks it was a fix because we were up-front about drinking Prosecco and Cava rather than Baileys. I think that maybe our notoriety went before us, and we might hog the limelight as people might be more interested in us than our opinions on the books. How many book groups have someone ejected for hitting the moral low-ground and sleeping with another’s husband for the best part of a year, before coming clean…and then thought it was “a bit harsh” to be thrown out…? Oh we are just too interesting, that must be the problem! I wonder if we will see the groups that have been “lucky” and were selected – along with their profiles and drinking habits.

As for the Slippery Nipple – another group member thought she had heard of a cocktail of this name that combined Prosecco & Baileys – could drinking this concoction augur a change of mind by the Baileys Judges? Of course I then, foolishly, looked up Slippery Nipple (which sounds rather Harry Potter-ish to me) only to discover that there is no Prosecco in it – it is Baileys and Sambuca (and I don’t have any Sambuca). Hmmm…what’s a book group to do? Guess we will have to concentrate on the book but suspect we will be drinking cocktails.

Adrift in The Hellespont

Not sure why The Hellespont sprang to mind, but it did…On reflection, I think The Hellespont is called The Dardanelles now …but either way seems to represent where I am. In a narrow passage of water between two continents is the perfect facade for how (and where) I am with managing (or not) to string things together at the moment. I have been forced into this unknown, cold, foreign place and am still struggling against the waves, tides and strong undercurrents but now, at least, I am going forward rather than backwards, hoping for calmer waters ahead and…who knows, maybe some dry land.

This may all sound very cryptic but there is so much going on in my head (and my life) that it feels the right place to settle today, escaping into a little imagery…or perhaps magical realism.

Big week of huge changes ahead of me and then I am launched straight back onto the oncology stage again…blood tests, scans, appointments galore…Here’s hoping I am still fit for purpose…any purpose!

Keeping up appearances

The outer shell is looking significantly better than the inner at the moment. After some lovely sharing moments and some, frankly, very bizarre ones this weekend I am feeling flattened by stress and all its incipient symptoms. Seems like my body is rebelling against unbearable uncertainty from every direction and is doing its worst…(’nuff said!)

I have┬áthe most lovely friends who, with and without me, have been doing a host of oddball things over the Easter break…a small sample being:

  • Hardboiling and peeling 30 eggs
  • Being hand henna-ed for Indian/Jamaican nuptials – itching/scratching/wiping without realising that the next day the crust comes off revealing the long-lasting design as well as the smears of the aftermath of the itching/scratching/wiping
  • Having a contretemps with a very competitive team in pub quiz … I know it’s a competition, but is Murder on the Orient Express really that important…?
  • Watching a film I have seen before but remembering it with a completely different cast and a completely different storyline. That said, I was right about the setting and the soundtrack…should I be worried? ( I only ask as I saw “Still Alice” last week, about early onset dementia!)

I am going back to my safe place…inside a novel…