Saturday, October 29, 2005

I'm not going to apologise to anyone for writing this blog. For me it's a way of keeping people aware of what's happening to me without having to phone lots of people or sending emails. I go through lots of different emotions and feelings and to be honest even with this medium it's hard to explain just how I feel at any given moment.

I also am aware that it's very public and that people who are not really interested in how I'm doing are going to read it and make comments and that's fine. Personally I think that demonstrates their own inadequacies if they need to be nasty. I'm also rather aware that perhaps I'm more sensitive about certain things than normal, and I can't explain it except to say that the only people who really truely understand all of this are the people who have sat in a doctor's surgery and heard the words "you have cancer".

It's like being punched and the next moments are like watching television with the sound turned off, in slow motion. It's hard for Matt because he's dealing with the pain of me going through it all, and is also watching me go through it all and I know that he feels helpless. And he also has to deal with me feeling angry or grumpy or unwell or sad and me not being able to express why I'm feeling that way at that moment.

I'd like to recommend a book that I bought the other day - I think it should be required reading for anyone who might ever know someone with cancer. It's written by Deborah Hutton and is called "What can I do to help?" And explains basically practical things that people can do or say that really help. It also explains gently why somethings that are said don't help, even if the person saying them means well.

I'd also like to say to the people who are reading this who care about me - please feel free to add comments. And also remember that just knowing you are there and hearing from you is really helpful, as long as you understand that I might not respond to all your letters and emails. Just know that your love is really appreciated. It may be that we ask you to do other practical things after I've had surgery and am stuck at home recovering.

Z xx

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I had acupuncture on Monday and am feeling rather "zen" at the moment. Joss let me have his appointment which was great as the acupunctureist is so popular that there is a waiting list to see him. He's a vietnamese doctor who used to be a surgeon at Kingston Hospital of all places.

He works like a doctor rather than, so apart from the many buddhas that he has around the practice, it's very pragmatic and not at all "alternative". I was glad for that as whale music and incense tend to make me a little anxious (can deal with incense on it's own but not in combination with the whale music and crystals and such).

He said, rather bluntly "You have hysterectomy. You have keeds, you die. You have hysterectomy and adopt, you leeve." Strangely I was comforted by this honest and down to earth approach.

Acupuncture is not about having needles poked into you painfully, but they sit on top of your skin so you don't notice them and if you do it's more of a case of a slight tingle. I had needles to relax, energise, strengthen me, to stimulate circualtion and sort out my kidneys. Oh and to clear the spots.

He checked my pulse and once he was satisfied with it let me doze for a while. Afterwards I felt a bit lightheaded and as if I'd had a good night's sleep. Am going back next week to be prepared for surgery.

Last night Matt and I talked about everything and at least I know that we both are prepared for the worst and ready (or at least as ready as we can be) to face things together.

On more domestic matters I spent some of our wedding gift vouchers from Graham & Green on a pouffe so that when I'm home I can sit on the sofa comfortably (sadly my feet don't touch the floor when I'm sat back on it).

I'd also like to ask people to please give money to the aid appeal for Pakistan - there are people dying there and governments are not paying their share - please help and save some lives. I'm adding the link to the Disasters Emergency Committee. SO next time you feel the urge to buy hair straighteners or other such items remember that there are people who have lost their homes.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I woke up today to discover that I am covered in red, itchy spots. Now is not a great time to discover that I am allergic to penicillin. Ho hum. Have antihistamine and things to keep the itching at bay.

It's been a stressful week what with various things at work and not knowing what was happening - compounded by the surgeon's PA having less than adequate bedside manners. All sorted out thanks to Nichola who is lovely and really helpful. She apologised for the confusion and I now know when and where I need to be - a scan on 1 November, clinic with the surgeon on 3 November and admission to hospital on 10 November. At clinic we'll find out the results of the tests and know what they will need to do - am not looking forward to that at all, but at least then we'll know what we're dealing with.

But there have been some highlights to this week, all my friends who have called and emailed and met me (you know who you are) and made me laugh and talked about normal things, and the pixies who posted chocolate through my door and other pixies who are sending me things from the US. A random bottle of raspberry vodka. It all helps a lot.

We had dinner with Lawtie and Cliff and Faith and went to Rules. We introduced the Americans to British game birds (wild duck and grouse) and hot sticky puddings. It was a lovely evening - lots of laughs and good conversation, an amusing waiter and some random fellow diners celebrating Trafalgar. I'd forgotten how much I like Rules - you get the tourists like the table of Japanese men eating oysters, and stuffy old English men, and young bloods in stripy shirts and clipped vowels, and botox blondes, and English eccentrics and the obligatory table of dandys. It's the oldest restaurant in London and really despite a few modern conveniences has not changed much in terms of atmosphere and clientele.

I've had my hair cut to a bob, figuring if it's ok for Sienna and Paris it's ok for me. Though admittedly mine's not a breakup cut, more a cancer cut. It's going to be much easier to handle in the hospital. Didn't get my highlights done as while it's unlikely I'll have chemo, I'm not paying £100 for it all to fall out (which would be just my luck) . But I'm pleased with the cut, even if I did have to tell the hairdresser that I was covered in spots and not infectious.