Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Back To Life, Back To Reality...

Wow. Has it really been that long ? Over two months since I last posted ? Time does indeed fly, even when you're not altogether having fun. Don't worry, I'm not about to launch into a one woman diatribe about the difficulties of being a cancer victim patient. I haven't been absent due to any said state of depression or debilitating illness. I have just been very, very busy. Busy trying to be a model employee, busy with looking after an active toddler and busy, busy, busy trying to remember and co-ordinate my very many hospital appointments in the midst of this. So what have I been up to while I've been away ? Well firstly, there was the interview with my oncologist for a newspaper piece about the general state of the NHS, where I discovered that oncology (that being the field of cancer medicine) is very well protected (in that it affects so many of us). Then there was a very recent trip to Madrid to attend a photo-festival where I spent the night before the flight in an A& E department having more and more tests to make sure that I didn't have a life-threatening infection. In between these times there were tablets, and more tablets, a few bouts of the runny ones and lots of sleep-interrupted nights while toddler A got to grips with the many coughs and colds that he forever seems to pick up at his day nursery. And swiftly pass on to me.

Back in the days when I was a full-time, fully paid-up member of Cancerland, time took on a different meaning. I would sit at home, planning my schedule around a very needy baby wondering how well the rest of the world was coping without my presence. Now that I'm a fully fledged member of that world that I so desperately missed, my time seems to be no longer my own. My regular cycles of capecitabine and lapatinib are squeezed into an already demanding diary of events which includes a constant organisation of photo-shoots and deadlines and the effort to rebuild a social life. In between these times I spend my time worrying whether Toddler A is wearing enough clothes to nursery, whether he's warm enough ?  is he too cold, is he too ill to be at nursery ? Should I be working when I have such a young child to look after ?  Should I be working when I have cancer ? And on and on it goes until some other distracting thought comes along and shoves these parasites out of the way...

Despite the uncertainty of this shitty disease, I find myself more often than not imagining the future. When I'm feeling okay (and not experiencing the waves of fatigue which often plague me towards the end of my capecitabine cycle) I like to imagine that I still do have a future. One where I'm fit and healthy and ready to take on the world. One where I've recovered and am now betternot a woman with a chronic illness. One where I can imagine standing at my son's wedding wondering whether he's married the right girl. One where I'm me again, before the cancer, before the operation, before the drugs, and before the uncertainty. I'm happy to be back in the real world. Although it no longer has the reality that it once did and I find myself caring much less about what people really think of me, which I guess can only be a good thing. Shame I didn't have this dose of cancer-induced confidence to see me through my teenage years and beyond, but hey. On that note, I'll bid you farewell and hope that this sudden surge of energy will bring me back to this blog again soon. And next time I promise I won't leave it so long...


  1. Coral, you're an heroine! You are a mirror for other women who are struggling with breast cancer! Best wishes for you all!

  2. Thanks so much breast cancer gear ! It's great to hear positive feedback. I haven't posted for a while but am hoping to turn a new leaf. Hope you drop by again soon. Cx

  3. I read your blog and I was wondering how you were as you hadn't posted for a while. My thoughts are with you wishing you all the best..... Alli x