Apologies for the radio silence these past few days but here at #TeamPositive Headquarters we’ve been enjoying the great British Summer (that 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon) and revving up for the weeks ahead.
Radiotherapy starts for real on Thursday and will continue for the next 20 weekdays ending at the beginning of September when I’m probably going to be fairly tired but feel like the ‘end’ of something is approaching. If you took a moment to read the post that I reblogged from Jenny about what to expect post treatment you’ll know that these dates, commencements, endings and transitions are significant to cancer patients as they all have deep meaning and status; they help to categorise events and milestones and carry you from one context to another. It’s a weird thing to explain and I sense that I’m not doing a very good job of it, so perhaps it’s enough to say that Thursday feels like a biggie.
Before my Radiotherapy Rave commences I wanted to give a massive positive shout out to my immediate family. They are the ones, God Bless them, who don’t get days off from this, a chance to walk away from the all-consuming events, an ability to never go deeper than surface pleasantries, or a valid excuse not to bother or be involved. None of them identified this in their New Year’s Resolution wishes as an option and none of us saw it coming, but back in April I knew that as I drove towards them with this news that 2015 was going to be remembered for some less than great days.
And of course they’ve all come up trumps, caring, asking, connecting, sharing and loving me unconditionally. I can only hope that if the tables were turned they’d find me as attentive and attuned.
I’ve read a lot about families in these situations and the ways in which they take on the mantle of serious illness. I think in our case it’s been reciprocal with one shoring up another when times are hard and someone steps in unasked and fills the gap. Perhaps that’s family life in general but in our case we’re living it large currently! Steve, Ben and Faye keep me connected to the world of work that I miss greatly for a range of reasons and Mum and Dad make sure that everyone is ok and has what they need.
You may remember that when the potential of Chemotherapy came up my Mum offered immediately to shave her head in support of me. She did have one proviso, that when her hair grew back she wanted it all to be white and not a mixture of grey and white as it is currently. No one made any promises on that one and she steadfastly assured me that’s what she was going to do. I know that we were all relieved when that shaving was not necessary. However this past week a letter arrived from her with this typically cryptic note inside. …..
And then these photographs
It turns out that the operation to remove a cataract had been done- unbeknown to me ‘I didn’t want to worry you with everything else that’s going on’ and she was simply following medical advice not to wear her glasses but not to get sun in her eyes either. Yes folks, at 83 years of age a Mickey Mouse cap does the trick or a bright pink one worn to the side for added panache. The dark glasses in the #TeamPositive photo are not Mum doing her best Ray Charles impression but another sun prevention technique. Sweet. All is healing well and she’s amazed at the amount of sight she’s regained. Isn’t modern medicine marvellous. Why Steve is in such a jaunty pose in that photo I don’t know.
Thoughts also go out to other members of my family for whom medical issues have or are prominent this week. To my cousins husband who has just sadly and prematurely passed away suffering from Motor Neurone Disease and ‘hope all goes well’ to my great Great Niece Ashley who’ll be having surgery on Friday to her shoulder and arm. Thinking of you all.
Medical intervention is critical for so many reasons alongside our own responsibility to help ourselves. I particularly liked this postcard given to me last week suggesting 5 ways to wellbeing. Naturally this is relevant to us all and we can and should do it each and every day. How hard can it be to connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give? I challenge you to do each of these every day with me for the 20 days of my Radiotherapy and let’s see how we’re all feeling at the beginning of September. Who’s in?