I have just watched the BBC drama The C Word (based on Lisa Lynch’s book and blog) which was screened last Sunday AND and I finished reading The Iceberg by Marion Coutts. I found both absorbing for different reasons but couldn’t help but be slapped in the face by how “lucky” they both were to have had spouses, loving them, determinedly at their sides, reassuring them and doing the journey with them. Even the sanitised version of chemo (and its aftermath) that I saw on screen made me see how much I had internalised all that suffering to (bizarrely,in retrospect) make it easier for my husband.
If you are interested in inhabiting a cancer story, I cannot recommend too highly Marion Coutts transcendent memoir, The Iceberg, which has recently won the Wellcome Book Prize. I found it the most incredible soul-baring depiction of illness, communication, family, friends, love and death. The author writes about her experience in such an unflinching yet beautiful way that I found myself torn between wallowing in the poetry of her language whilst absorbing the caustic way cancer affects different lives. Harrowingly un-put-downable (if that’s a word!)
On a more personal level, I have just come back from the first of my appointments in what I am terming my medical maelstrom week. This was the most important one – oncology clinic. It appears that my cancer is under control with the herceptin treatment…but…just as I was about to give out a big sigh…it appears that the radiographer reported that the scan showed fluid in my tummy. This may be something or may be nothing but means that I will be re-scanned next month to see if it has gone..or not. If not, it may (“may”) be a secondary, but I am not planning to go there just yet as I have:
• a divorce to complete
• a house to sell
• another to buy
• …and plenty of living to do.
Tomorrow I have echocardiogram, psychotherapy, meeting with solicitor, herceptin treatment and viewings on the house. I was never one to let the grass grow under my feet!…I now sit and await the Healthcare at Home nurse to call to schedule when she is fitting her visit in…
Not feeling very chatty so I will be avoiding the phone for a few days.