I didn't "do" Art. I just... didn't. I spent much of the weekend being really very tearful, for reasons I shan't go into. I have to say, crying so profusely while washing my hair - which means over the bath, therefore my head is upside down - is far from practical. Tears stayed in my eyes and my nose ran the wrong way, i.e. sort of out and then partly up my head... I don't recommend it.
Two birthday cards must be made before the end of the week. They need to be made tomorrow, really. My Dad's birthday and that of my Uncle are at the very end of May. What news is this? May is nearly over. Already. I have been aware that it's been May, and before that, April. And before that, March. However, since my Mum's cancer diagnosis, the hours, days, months and dates have had significance only in that they were being wished away so we could find out the results of tests, scans and biopsies. The fact that, for example, Tuesday was nearly over only meant that we had another week to go until the appointment to hear the desperately hoped for words that meant "clear".
The days are getting warmer. The birds have already nested and are raising their young. And the squirrel babies are still intermittently making a bloody racket in my loft. (That's not a euphemism.) The one constant for me in these strange time has been facebook. And Twitter. The two constants in my life have been facebook and Twitter. Python. People I don't know but via the internet keep me occupied with stories about their fantastic charity fundraising trips to China, about their holidays to Spain and about their newspaper columns. Columns about Twitter, as it happens...
I've been talking with and to people, some I know and some I don't, without spoken words (save for a giggle and a guffaw here and there). Instead, we communicate all manner of messages with typed letters and all of it has helped keep me on a decent "level", so to speak - an even Howard Kiel, if you will. We talk about their lives and what they're doing, where they're going, why they're going there; all the things that I haven't really been able to do for some time. This is partly because of Mirena (obviously) and partly because of looking after Ma. I know some of these people I shall never meet, while there are a select few I very much hope to and some I hope would like to meet me. If they did meet me, though, I'd still be concerned I wasn't up to a decent standard, that they'd be disappointed with what I am, even though the way I am online is the same as I am "in real life".
Times are tough for us all - by "all" I mean us four: Ma, Pa, brother J and me - with moods, tears, short tempers, tiredness, headaches and the rest. The emotional effects of cancer and all its shitness on the patient (how clinical) and the closest people to them are not to be underestimated. Ever. These things we call crutches (or is that just me?), whether they are "real" people, conversations with relative strangers via technological media or other completely different means, help us get through and cope with all manner of very difficult situations. Where would I have been without my phone, to exchange texts with friends about anything other than cancer? What would I have done without the late night company on facebook from newly acquired "friends"? And how would I have been without Twitter, the odd online medium which has grabbed me and dragged me into hashtag crazes? I went willingly, of course. Word play and puns are silly fun, they get the mind working a bit more than it might usually and you can interact with people you never would before. I must say, I like it very much indeed.
Ultimately, all this techy talk has been immensely helpful to me; perusing the pages of the online world to think about anything - ANYTHING - other than the fucking shit that is cancer and what it's done, physically, to my Mum, and to us all, emotionally. I've said before that I don't generally "do" hate. And, for the most part, it is still true. But I do hate cancer. Mum has had "the all clear" result but that only applies to the lymph nodes in her armpit and what they removed. It says nothing about the other side. Cancer could develop at any time in her other breast and/or in her armpit. It could start as DCIS - ductal carcinoma in situ - at any time. It could begin as the other, aggressive type of cancer they found, aside from the DCIS. She will need hormone treatment, which will be decided very soon. The type of treatment is dependent on the type of cancers found. This or perhaps that chapter seems to have finished but another is beginning. And after that, the healing will hopefully commence. Hopefully.
As well as Olbas Oil and Breathe Easy nose strips, my new good friend is Ralgex. Potentially. I managed, somehow, to hurt my back a hell of a lot last night, while not really sleeping. At all. Save for not moving, I am more comfortable crawling along on all fours than walking on two legs. I look like Tom Good, but without the lovely wife. My other new good friend is a cold pack. It is cold. Very cold. One is meant to apply it for 10 minutes, and then remove it for 10 minutes, then repeat a further 2 times. So it should be done for an hour, in all. It's currently in the freezer, for my morning hour of coldness. I, however, am now going to get into my lovely but lonely warm bed and hope that I get some sleep, as opposed to almost none. Wish me luck...?