Sunday 23 August 2009

Jaffa cakes aren't biscuits...

They dunk well, but go soggy if left too long. And chocolate ends up in the tea, which isn't the point of tea. But still. Good show.

I'm planning a weekend in London soon. I've never been to London for a weekend. The thought of it both excites me and intimidates me. City life is so different to what I know and where I live. It's uncitylike here. I live next to a field. I hear the cows and sheep and cockerels that live on the farm. We don't have a train station. There are 3 very near here, but my town, such as it is, doesn't have one.

My life has never been full of trains and commuting and the hustle and bustle that goes with that life. Because I've never had a job, I've never had to get a train or a bus or drive somewhere, along with everyone else, with responsibility and tasks and meetings and deadlines. Or the like.
And because of the way depression affected me in my teens, it stunted my confidence, thus preventing me from growing into the young woman I wanted to be. And I'm still not that person, because I don't do the things I so yearn to do.
Being around lots of people isn't something I'm used to. I sometimes find it overwhelming, and it makes me feel unsure about what to do or say, if anything. But that's not to say I don't want to be in those situations.

So, the weekend in London is a huge event for me. I shall be meeting new people and seeing new places. I've been invited to a party, which promises to be immensely exciting and such fun. The next day, I'll be meeting yet more new people, when I attend a "do" in a park.

Regarding trains and the journeys, when I arrive at my destination, I see buildings higher than any in the nearby "main" town, hundreds more people than I'm used to, more noise than my ears have heard in my familiar territory of flatlands. "My" town is so small that everyone sees at least 5 people they know when they walk to the shops. There are not that many shops, admittedly. Nor that many people...

Of course, it's not unique to me, this being slightly apprehensive about new places and people. It's not the tall buildings, the unknown roads, nor even the ker-azy disco buses that put me on edge. What really concerns me... is me. My mind. My occasional inability to stop panic attacks. Why? I have no idea. Sometimes, in these unusual yet often exciting situations, I have no trouble and am so relaxed. Other times, even when "things" are OK, By that, I mean, "things" are OK. Lately, "things" have been going fairly nicely. I've been moody and tired and... well, I've been depressed. As now. At least, now as I type.

This is in no small part due to the fact that I'm a hypocrite. I admit that. For example, I love animals but I still eat them in pork, fish (it's a dead animal, so it counts), chicken, beef, et al, form. I'm not brave enough to kill an animal and gut it and pluck it or skin it. I am a hypocrite.
I have told people I know - who are on anti-depressant treatment - who have said they may stop taking their tablets, not to do so. It's not a wise decision to make. Not by oneself, anyway. But then I did that. Well done, Lu. Well. Fucking. Done. I am not, it seems, immortal. I "wobbled". I tumbled down that horrible, bumpy, tearful slope back to depressionville. Hello! Not been here for a while. Bugger. I'd rather be in London...

So, now I'm planning this huge event, this lone trip to London, when I am mid-"wobble". Is it sensible? Possibly not. But I don't really care for sensible. I am careful, but sensible is boring. It is dull. I want adventure and random fun and spontaneity; to go to London and meet my friends, to stay with them for a few hours, or overnight; to eat in cafes and walk around the roads and parks and hidden shops they are so used to, for it is all so new and exciting to me. It's uh-mazing.

That's the life I want. Not for everything to be amazing. Rather, for what I just typed to be what I can do, and not think about it; for me to do it and not study the photos of the stations and the routes I have to take so that I don't get lost; so that I can sleep easily in a friend's spare room or sofa or in a hotel room and not wake with a start that I'm not in my own bed and think OH MY GOD I must have to panic... which is utterly ridiculous. But, rational thinking has never played a part in anxiety and panic attacks. Which is sort of part of the reason they happen: they are not rational. At all. Not even minutely. They also are not harmful, physically. It's all about the depression. Even more fucking annoying.

But... I have to remember that presently, I am getting back to an evenness I so stupidly sacrificed because for a few weeks, I skipped too many tablets. That will take some more weeks for me to feel right, I suspect. Quite touchingly, I was told by a very lovely friend to "TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF". Yes, sir. *Salutes.*
I'm also very confused about my periods. They still hurt like hell but not for as long as before Mirena. They are shorter and lighter, too, but this is not what I'm used to. It's strange. My hormones still seem to be pissing about, somewhat, making me feel even more ugh.
As well as the above, there is a problem I haven't really mentioned before. It's taking its toll, still, months after I thought it'd ended. It's very difficult to cope with sometimes and I don't know what to do about it. It makes me feel physically and emotionally unwell, besides the depression. But maybe that is what's making me feel worse? Or maybe it's all of these things...?
And then, of course, all this cancer crap with The Ma. Which still doesn't seem real.

Inevitably, I feel, I am both incredibly excited and nervous (about IF I'll get anxious. DUH Lu. DUH.) about London. I think it's a wonderful city. It's not just full of some wonderful people, fascinating architecture and important history; it's the city in which a lot of my family were born and raised, where they lived and worked. That's wonderful, to me.

Bumpy, steep hills are not easy to climb. Especially when you live in the flattest area of the country and don't want to break your nails before the party. I have some particularly lovely friends who make me smile, who have kept and will keep me smiling on my dark days, whether they know it or not. Aside from my family and music, they keep me going. And in one case, she's the one who'll get me to London and together, we'll have much London fun. Like Bill and Ted.

You ready, Amanda?

Saturday 18 July 2009

And then there were five.

Cats aren't for everyone. Nor dogs. Nor any animals, sometimes. It's no secret, if you know me at all, that I adore animals, especially cats. A few hours ago on this Sunny, warm Saturday morning, we had 6 cats. Now, we have "only" 5 and it feels cold, and empty in this home of ours. Our family has lost one of its integral parts. It's missing and grieving one of the components which made our home a home, not just a house in which we all reside.

We welcomed the orange twosome, Cyril and Charlie, into our home in 1992, a few weeks after we moved in. They were about 10-weeks-old and upped our feline count to 6 bundles of purring furriness. Gilly and Guinness (brothers), Sidney, Thomas and Cyril and Charlie. Most were rescue cats: Gilly and Guinness were no longer able to stay with their previous owners; Sidney was abandoned on a rubbish tip and, despicably, had his nose set on fire; Cyril and Charlie were born and not wanted. Only Thomas was a pet shop cat. Marmaduke, his brother, decided to live next-door-but-one before we moved. Probably, being fed by the neighbour helped to lure him... THANKS.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis struck soon after. It's a terrible disease, extremely distressing for the animal and owner, alike. Sometimes, these things happen. They just do. It's never pleasant and always heartbreaking.

Gilly was the first to show signs. His breathing very quickly became laboured. He wouldn't eat. He was tested for FIP and it was confirmed he had it. The others were promptly tested and the results showed that Sidney, Thomas and Charlie has contracted it, too. Their lives would get worse, rapidly and it was an horrendous decision to make but we all knew the least cruel way to deal with the situation was for Gilly, Sidney, Thomas and Charlie to be put to sleep. How Guinness and Cyril didn't catch it is astonishing. They all mixed together, ate together, cleaned each other, slept in the same beds...

Having only 2 cats around was so peculiar. So empty.
Then, along came T.C., another rescue cat. He was hit by a car, the vet reckoned. He came home, crawled under my brother's motorbike and went to sleep.
Our 2 girls, Emily and Rosie, were the next fluffballs to live here. So, then, we had 4 cats. A better number.
A few years went by and ohh, shall we have another cat? Yes. Let's. In Summer, 2000, Ma and I went to the local rescue cat sanctuary. We saw a stunning ginger cat called Harvey. Homeless, on the streets for months, at least. So timid, so frightened. There was a bouncy black and white boy called Fritz, with the most charming of meaows. And there was a little black cat called Wallace, who was incredibly friendly. I was warned to not put my hands near the cage in case he scratched or bit but I knew he wouldn't. And he didn't.

So, after going there to get A cat, we came home with Fritz (soon after, Fitz - connotations regarding a sort of bestial feline didn't sit well with us) and Harvey. So, we had 6 cats! Lovely. So lovely. But we couldn't help thinking of Wallace. He was an immediate darling of a cat. SO friendly. SO affectionate. SO. CUTE. SO ours. My Little Brown Bear. I'm a cat person. I have to have stupid names for my cats. It's the law.

Pieman was an over-the-road cat. His lovely, kind owner, our neighbour, had become very ill, indeed, and could no longer live on his own, so had to go to hospital and then, to a residential home. So, we took Pieman. Pie. Pieface. Chunky Pie. Fat Pie. Poi maaaan. He loves it.

And so, our collection of cats numbered 8, until Harvey suffered a cardiac arrest and died in my arms in 2005. Guinness was 15 when he died in 2006. And now Mummy's boy Cyril, my little lion, our Squirrel, has gone, too. Just this morning. At about half past ten.

Despite having felt this so many times, it never gets easier. So then, why do we do it? Why do we have animals when we know, when they have to go, it'll be as heartbreaking as ever it was? It hurts. It's so horrid, when you want them to walk in, to jump up on the sofa and nudge you with their face, to make you let them sit on your lap, even when you have no room. You expect them to be there, at the door, asking to be let in or out, drinking out of the sink, eating grass they really shouldn't, clawing the carpets and looping the curtains.

Cyril was 17-years-old. The vet reckons it was cancer of the stomach/intestine. Cancer gets everywhere. I still hate it. And I miss Cyril so much already, even though he's only been gone a few hours. The comfort we have now, is that he's not going to hurt. He's back with Charlie and Guinness, whom he utterly adored.

We have Emily, Rosie, Fitz, Wallace and Pieman. They each know something is wrong, that something is missing. They know we feel sad. They always do. Cats are clever. Sometimes, though, they are stupid. Emily is a good example of this. She is dim. But I love her more than words can say. She is a beautiful, friendly, fluffy bundle of joy and she is sort of clever, really, despite her crossed eyes. She's doing OK, for a 14-year-old, likewise Rosie.

But I want to hear Cyril jump up on the worktop, like he did yesterday. I want him to stop me typing by walking over my arms and resting his head on my hand. I want him to sit across my legs, awkwardly, so I can't move.

G'night, Little Squirrel.

Thursday 18 June 2009

Really taking the piss...

...goodness. Has it really been so long since my last blog post? Apparently. It's been an interesting, if emotionally and physically very difficult, time.

The one thing that never seems to change is still my periods. This one made me wait 5 weeks until its arrival. I felt drained for a week before, at least. Constant aches all over; it felt like pure ache had been injected into the bones. Insomnia returned, my appetite left and I was a useless hobbling, waddling berk. The period pains were present, as they always seem to be, days before it actually started, which was Friday last week. So this is day 7. Keral is OK. Tranexamic acid definitely helps. It's reduced the total bleeding time from 10 days to 7 or 8, which can only be a good thing. But the pain is still awful and so, I still have to have co-dydramol and for various complicated reasons, I can not keep taking it. I can't do it anymore. I can't explain to you how terrible I feel as I type this, how emotional and unwell I am and how desperately I want my life to not be this way.

I'm so eager to book my next longed for driving lesson but I can't yet, not until I feel OK. Being in charge of a ton of metal in vehicle form is not a sensible act when one is not in full control, or mentally "on it". Since the 8th January this year, I have not had a properly good day. I reiterate what I've said before: I'm not looking for sympathy or pity with this blog. I never want it, it does no good.

But the fact remains that because of my own body seemingly fighting itself, I'm so tired and I hurt a lot of the time. I don't sleep well. I don't eat well (lately). And please know that I adore food. I love food. Losing weight is not something I try to do. Ever. Today my appetite has not been sensed in any great way. I want food! And yet, I don't.

I had an appointment at hospital yesterday for an ultrasound scan. If you've never had one, I don't know how to prepare you for the unforgivable advice you'll likely be given: drink about 2 pints of water and don't pass any urine until after your scan.

It's simple advice, easy to follow, admittedly. (My appointment was at 2pm but I wasn't seen until 2:15pm, which, to me, is not acceptable. It's a fairly widely known fact that holding it in, is not good for you. I know they're busy and the like but with something like that where you have an almost impossible urge and real pain because you need to GO, NOW, I think the appointment should be at the time stated and made by them. I kept my side of the deal. I think they should've kept theirs. If you've followed their advice, you'll be needing to go at least 30 minutes before your intended appointment time. The fact that that appointment was 3 months late and the wrong information "in the system" is pretty rubbish, as well. It was meant to be made 3 months ago to check the Mirena was in the right place; I had to go to a different hospital because the original appointment took so long. Not even I expected to wait this long. Anyway...) According to the trainee sonographer and her superior, all seems fine with my womb and ovaries, or at least as fine as they can be, considering. The cysts have reduced in size: no longer a whopping 5 x 4 x 3cms.

Of course, I still have pains in the ovary area, on my right. I still experience pelvic pain between periods, i.e. now. I still need to take some kind of pain relief for this unexplained pain. Once again, everything seems bleak, so difficult to improve this. I feel it's so hard to change because I know that in a few weeks, I'll be back to PeriodLand: being cared for by my Mum (who can do without all this but, because she is amazing, helps me, still.) because I can not walk or talk or look after myself properly. Because of a period. I'll be in bed or on the sofa for a few days, not dressed, not coherent, not able to get by without taking 4 different kinds of tablets throughout the 3 or 4 worst days.

Again, Twitter and facebook have been my sources of social interaction, continually. The people I "know" through it have been my constant companions. I've been talking to people I still have not met, but to whom I still very much enjoy talking. They've kept my mind off feeling unwell with talk of newly hatched robins, soon-to-be-released books, tours, travel and freelance journalism work. They've kept my mind from wandering to places it shouldn't go, the negative and fields of self-pity. They've kept me laughing and made me speechless - literally - in one instance. They've kept me thinking, asking, playing Bejeweled Blitz.
I see things and people I want but can't have (and to whom I can't get the words out), places I want to visit but can't get to. I want to leave my home and go, somewhere, to stay on someone's sofa, in a spare room, in a tent in a field in Yorkshire, anywhere, to try to forget what has happened and what is happening to me and my family this year. But I know wherever I go, all the pain and trouble will still be within me and there is nothing, it seems, that I can do to stop it. And right now, as I type... I don't know what to do.

Sunday 31 May 2009

There's the shiniest soul just behind these eyes..

Since Asleep In The Back, I've adored elbow. I've not heard one track of theirs which I did not like. I've only just bought The Seldom Seen Kid and only just starting listening to Leaders Of The Free World, despite owning it for at least 6 months. I just didn't get round to it before. And I'm so annoyed with myself for not having done so sooner. But sort of not bothered that I left it so long, regarding Leaders Of The Free World. The songs are devastatingly good. Some "speak" to me, others leave me wordless, such is the power of their music.

I've had a music-buying frenzy - it's been a frenzy compared to what I've bought in the way of music in the last few months, which is nothing. Lily Allen's 2 albums, Alright Still and It's Not Me, It's You, Mark Ronson's Version, Bat For Lashes's Two Suns and the aforementioned latest offering from elbow. At the time of writing- sorry, typing - I've not listened to The Seldom Seen Kid yet, as I wanted to listen to and know completely (or as much as I could) the songs on Leaders Of The Free World. Already, this seems like a column for various album reviews. It's not meant to be. And hopefully won't be. I already know I'll be as passionate about it as I am their other albums. But, as happens with underlying depression, my hobbies and favourite ways of passing time (not necessarily in the most productive of ways) got pushed aside, my eagerness to listen to music and to sketch anything and everything seemed to dissipate. I just wasn't bothered. I'd do it later. And regarding the Art, I still haven't.

(Although, right now, as I type, I am listening to The Seldom Seen Kid and am on track 3, Mirrorball..... and now it's Grounds For Divorce...)

What prompted me to listen to music again after Mirena was taken out was that I felt better and wanted to get on with the housework I'd not done for months. So, I wanted a soundtrack of either elbow or doves to accompany me while dusting the front room and a friend suggested (via Twitter) that 2 good albums would be Leaders Of The Free World, followed by Lost Souls, by doves. I listened and was amazed. Truly. Amazed. In recommending elbow, he was crucial in getting me back into the kind of music I love so much: devastatingly affecting music, which makes me shiver with awe. I have not gone a day without listening to it since that day, about 2 or 3 weeks ago. The chord changes in My Very Best are so wonderful, the lyrics to Great Expectations so stunning, the vocals of The Stops so honestly sung. And Guy Garvey sings with his accent. I love that. Perfect qualities for an excellent band, to me: Craig and Mark playing and singing and Pete and Richard each play their respective instruments and sing so brilliantly; Guy sings so exquisitely. It's all so unconditionally brilliant, to me.

I LOVE elbow.

And again I hark back to the wonders of the internet, specifically Twitter. If I hadn't followed the suggester-of-elbow, and he hadn't followed me back, would I have had my immense passion for them reignited? Possibly. Another of my favourites on Twitter - and other places, besides - is Marsha Shandur (@marshamusic) who is a wonderful person, with such stellar passion for music. She posted a "tweet" on Twitter about elbow and Great Expectations. So, maybe if s-o-e hadn't said it, I may still have welcomed elbow back to my world. And it's been a hell of a welcome. A constant, never dull, achingly astounding few weeks of elbow elbow elbow. I just can't get my head round how good they are. How do they do it? HOW? Incredible stuff.

It's that passion and excitement that I've missed in my life, if "only" from music. That avid listener to my favourite albums, non-stop, having to turn it off or down when someone comes home, that not hearing what someone says to me because I've got my earphones in, when I'm completely lost in my world of music. I've missed that. I've missed that part of me. And that passion is very much a part of me, it's an integral part of who I am and what I do. Music is so important to me, I have no words to express how much. All the adjectives and adverbs I could think of before to describe my thoughts and feelings about elbow are still not sufficient. The same is true for my Art. And not just my Art, but others' Art. And how it is created and why.

I know my hormones are still on their arse(s) and that my body is still getting used to life post-Mirena removal but it dunnarf get a girl down sometimes. I'm starting to feel tired more lately, which I've not experienced for some long months. Insomnia is not a part of me I like. At all. And so it is now, at 02:11 on a Monday morning, that I attempt to sleep. And then wake and get up at that "reasonable" time. I'll finish listening to elbow first though. Obviously...

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Art isn't here...

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...?

Friday 22 May 2009

Artistic licence.

I've never had full faith in myself (does anyone, really?), owing mainly to the depression and periodical nuisances. Confidence - or lack of it - in myself as a person was affected fairly early on, but again, I owe that to depression. Belief in my abilities as an Artist came later, when I went to college.

I knew I could draw but when I learned the skills, techniques and methods to create simple sketches, it was like an entirely new world to me. I did something, the "authoritative" person approved, and I felt good: when I sketched, I loved it. And when the Art tutors told me how good I was, I believed them. Granted, it took me a while (a few months) but once I saw other people's reactions, it sort of cemented my faith in myself. And yet more was to come, when I got the highest achievable grade - Distinction - for my GNVQ (General National Vocational Qualification) work over 2 years.

We, the students, were told our respective grades in pairs in the tutors' office, after the "outside" judging chap had left. When my 2 lovely tutors, P and K, told me and Gemma (one of my most prized possessions... I mean, friends, she's a friend...) that we had each been awarded the best grade possible, we both said "What?", smiled, grinned like loons, hugged each other, thanked P and K a lot, left the room and said "Oh my God!!" a lot. The other students knew what we'd got without us having to utter a word. I hugged another student (most unlike me to do that: I'm not a huggy bear... no, person), initial of H, as she got a Distinction, too. And then I went to the toilets and cried. My first ever tears of happiness. Previously, I'd only ever known tears to be a sign of sadness and dread and horror and fear.

Today, Ma had yet more visitors in the form of her Auntie D and her sister (the latter we'd never met). So, of course there were more flowers! They are, seriously, beautiful. Roses are always lovely to me, anyway, as they happen to be my favourite flower. But I do rather love an English Rose. Those which are not to messed about with, not the sort where it seems like just a massive head on a stick. That's not my idea of a rose. They are pretty, the flowers Ma got today, though. They are. So, now we have 2 more vases of flowers, which is OK spacewise, as I had to remove 2 vases of just going/past it flowers in vases. Rotate and restock.

As usually happens with visitors ("guests" sounds wrong to me. Visitors sounds medical, though. Anyway...) I was asked to show my Artwork. I love doing it and it's a tremendous ego boost when someone sharply takes in breath when they see my Jimmy Stewart picture, which is possibly not something to which one should admit but I know my work is good. Is that bad? To admit that? It possibly is but I feel I'm "allowed" to feel that way; it's like I'm still in debt to myself for all the years I doubted everything I did, everything I felt, like everything I was was meagre.

Retrospect, is of course, a marvellous thing. Oh, what we would've said, what we would've done, had we known. But we didn't know. We could never have known. I would have offered a hug to my 13-year-old self, told her she was not useless, she was not deserving of the situations in which she found herself. Oddly, though, I wouldn't change what happened. The fact that I can't is neither here nor there... nor over there... but if I changed anything, I wouldn't be me. I still find days hard, sometimes, not least these last few months. But the low times show how great the good times are. One can appreciate the OK days when one has had a lot of proverbial shit thrown in one's direction.

Basically, then, it took a long time for me to appreciate my Artistic talents. I haven't done anything remotely Arty for months. And I miss drawing and sketching. I really miss it. It has been such a long time since I did even the simplest of sketches, I worry that I've forgotten how to do it. Or maybe that I'll not be as good anymore. Watercolours. Pencils. Ink. Swan feather. Expensive waterproof pens for sketching that really do the job. Textured paper. Ooh. I love it. I love it. My passion for Art is sometimes dampened but it's always there. This weekend, I shall endeavour to do something Artistic. I shall draw or paint with watercolours or make a birthday card each for my Dad and Uncle with multicoloured card and paper from the pads I got from Lidl at superbly cheap prices. Dawn Bibby ain't got nuffink on me. Let the creativity commence...

Sunday 17 May 2009


Or, should that be, "I SCREAM!!"? That's what I want to do. I think I want to. No, realistically, I want to not be dragged down by this new wave of depression. If only I had an invisibility cloak. Hiding away, simply disappearing for a while has not felt this tempting for years. But including my head: around just my body would look weird.

It's not been a prolonged fight against these low, helpless, useless feelings. It's been a fleeting sense of darkness and pity for myself; I let a fair few tears fall out of my eyes this morning, all the while asking myself what was wrong with me. Whether I want it to or not, my mind always returns to the many humiliations of my primary school years when I was told to stop snivelling, walked to the sick room and given a 1976 issue of a Jackie annual to read. Again. "What's wrong?" was always the question and my answer was always the same: "I don't know". It's the same now. Sort of. I don't know, necessarily what is "wrong", I just don't feel particularly happy. About anything. Or, very few things are making me feel less sorrowful. There are one or two things (I tried to think of a better word but alas, I could not) to make me smile. They're not enough to lift me out of this self-pitying... er, pit, but as they say, every little helps.

As does every bit of Twitter RTing for my new Twitter account @SOD_OFF_cancer which I created solely for charity purposes. I still STILL want signed goods and or/rare CDs, all the stuff that can and/or will pull in the moolah for my mission. My facebook group is still here and my JustGiving page is still here, should you be inclined to be a wonderful person and give some MOOLAH FOR MY MISSION.

Ma has her appointment tomorrow - Monday - to find out the results of the biopsy of the lymph nodes that were removed when she had her mastectomy. I'm not sure we're thinking anything, in particular, but certainly not positivity. Before last time, when we were told the results of the "safety margin" tissue analysis taken during the lumpectomy, we received so many people's good wishes and numerous messages of "You'll be fine" and "Chin up". (Although welcome for their kindness, they are not helpful. I'm sorry, but they're not. I know some people just don't know what to say. Of course, I can only speak for me, but I don't feel I can be positive about this appointment when we. don't. know. what. will. happen. There is no useful aspect in thinking all will be well when it is entirely possible it will not be.)

I'm still near useless at home, owing to this thoroughly horrid virus fiend I have. I haven't felt this unwell because of germs for longer than I remember. A cold is one thing, albeit very unpleasant, admittedly. But this? This is... extremely disagreeable. I haven't eaten a meal or even "properly" since Tuesday, which was 5 days ago. Pathetically small bowls of notShreddies and a notWeetabix here and there have been more than enough to make me very nauseous indeed. I'm not even eager to get my morning dose of wonderfully made tea (fat milk, no sugar, in case you wondered). This may or may not add to the weakness I feel all over. I doubt the lack of food is helping either the dizziness or the weakness but I just don't have an appetite and feel so sick after just a few sips of tea. I haven't got dressed since Thursday. But the headache which stayed from Wednesday morning and would not stop hurting so incredibly intensely despite the maximum intake of 30/500 Co-codamol, finally started to lift yesterday.

But also, yesterday, my heart felt as though it would jump out of my chest, it was beating so fast and so loud. And then I nearly passed out. We have a sideboard in the hall, which I now use as a crutch when I walk by it so that the dizziness doesn't get its own way and have me fall flat on my face on the floor. Again. Likewise the worktops in the kitchen. Speaking of which, it's been lacking in decent care. As has the washing, ironing, vacuuming, dusting, et al... I was just starting to feel decent after the first post-Mirena-removal period and then I go and get this.


Wednesday 13 May 2009

Put this in your blog and promote it...

...if you want. So, I now have a donation page at for YOU to donate, if you wish, your important money for an incredibly important charity, Breast Cancer Care.

I'm still after free records, CDs, DVDs, posters, books, photographs, football merchandise, preferably all signed, so I can list and sell them on eBay to get MOOLAH to Macmillan and Cancer Research UK. If you can help me, if you know someone who can, if you have stuff you want to give me (I'll help with p&p to get it from you to me, I think that's fair: you help me, I'll help you help me.) you can email me at and/or if you're on facebook, you can join my group, Lucy's "Tell Cancer To SOD OFF" Mission and post ideas and thoughts on there, ways in which I can get money for The Three, ideas I may not have thought of.

And what of me, lately? And Ma? She is in a lot of pain from needles drawing off liquid from her seroma this morning. A lot of pain. Unfortunate to have an infection but to have a seroma, too, is just fucking bad luck. Like it's not enough for her to deal with already.

Oh and I've contracted a lovely gut bug. I feel so sick, even the thought of my favourite rock 'n' roll, fat milk, no sugar tea is making me feel queasy. I don't want toast, I don't want a mint, I don't want water, I don't want this headache and I don't want anymore fucking tablets. Meh.

And so, this is a short one. A moody, fed up, dizzy, tired, achy-limbed, sickly-stomached short one. And I broke a nail. I know. As if I don't feel rough enough as I am. I'm off to listen to The Smiths. The Queen Is Dead. That'll cheer me up. Really...

Monday 11 May 2009

Pill fight at the OK Keral

Keral. Pronounced kuh-ral. Like Corall. Otherwise, the punnish title wouldn't have worked. It was implied that Keral would work in 15 minutes. It doesn't. It was also (sort of) implied that it would be a wonderful pain-relieving drug. It isn't. I'm still having co-dydramol to help stop the pain an hour after Keral. And the antacid, Omeprazole, which is important, to stop internal bleeding and all that. And then the Tranexamic acid to lighten the period. I should have 2 of those 3 times a day. I haven't this time as it's not been like a "proper" period. It has hurt, I've lost a fair amount of blood - but not so much it's impossible to move without stopping and saying "ugh no" - and I've felt so tired, I've been hurting so much all over, to what feels like all the way to my bones.

So, then, these new tablets are OK. I wonder if the fact I haven't had all the Tranexamic acid tablets I'm meant to have affected the pain, in that the more blood one loses the more pain one has. But I don't know. I'm not judging this one too much (I am a hypocrite, though), as it's the first one after Mirena was removed. I could, if I wanted, take Colofac for the intestinal cramps I also get when I have a period. But that would take my drug intake total up to SEVEN at a period time: Citalopram, Keral, Omeprazole, Tranexamic Acid, Co-dydramol, Fybogel (codeine is not kind on the bowel), Colofac. Rattling is not something I care to do while walking. Or hobbling. If I had Colofac, I would move a little easier but I move so little anyway when I'm like this, so I decided to not have the tablets.

Pa has taken Ma back up to hospital as she has an infection and seroma in her fairly hefty (but incredibly neat) scar line. Wounds, eh? I'm still rounding up stuff for my auction and selling mission. I do have some stuff but I shall always want more. If you can help, please let me know what you can do, what you have, who you know, all that stuff, email me to let me know: is where you can contact me if you have ANY information or contacts to help me gather goods and sell them for desperately needed money to give (100% to them, nothing for me, I PROMISE you) to Macmillan, Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Care.

The chances that you don't know someone with cancer or someone who has been affected by it or indeed, YOU have had or have it are slim. One day, YOU might need the help of one or more of these charities and you can help you and people you'll never meet by helping me get stuff to sell. PLEASE HELP ME. If you don't want to email me, you can contact me at

I think, as an incidental, it's worth noting that not only have I felt pretty rough, as ever with a period, but the Keral also makes me drowsy. Not that you may notice, if you actually know me. The Co-dydramol makes me very drowsy, too, nay sleepy/dozy/slow/slurred of speech... not an unpleasant feeling by any means; it's quite relaxing. But I wouldn't mind all this tiredness from tablets if they actually worked properly. Again, not having all the tablets, not really a "proper" period. I suppose I shall see with the next one. In 4-6 weeks. What d'you think? How long? Let's have a non-cash bet. I say it will be in 4 weeks and 5 days. Place your bets... and give and/or get me free stuff...

Thursday 7 May 2009

Your Lucy NEEDS YOU!!

I'm not sure if my heart is broken or if my entire self feels a bit cracked. Matters of the heart are always difficult to understand and harder still to experience, I think. As I sit here, typing this, I'm trying so hard to not cry in front of my Mum but I know she knows I feel unhappy, I know I don't even need to say anything, I know that she is able to tell so easily. Our first few days together, all 4 of us, have been strange. A few tears, some pain (Ma and her wounds, Pa with his bad hip and me with my pathetic excuse for a period), lack of appetite(s) and tiredness.

I have an awkward and frustrating situation and I don't know what to do about it. I can't get on with things. I can't keep my chin up and hope it'll all turn out OK. I can't just be strong and take control. It's not as simple as that. And it's gradually getting to me, more and more, every day. This "period" hasn't decided to start properly. Or maybe it has and it's taking a while to get going. Or maybe this is all it will be this time. Whatever it is, it hurts. Kidneys, womb, ovaries, ligaments, legs, back, head... Why do hormones have to be so brutal, so effective in cutting you down from feeling not so bad to feeling like whatever effort you put in to try to improve something is in vain?

I feel like my mind is not my own, like I can not control what I'm thinking or feeling or what I want or what I believe... I don't know whether to say "Fuck it, I don't need this crap" or to think again about it and believe things will change and all that is needed is time. And that "it" is worth waiting for. Is it? Maybe it is. But I don't know if it is. And it really. really. hurts.

Other news: Recent events (and possible future ones, too) have prompted me to take action. I am on a mission to raise money for Breast Cancer Care, Macmillan and Cancer Research UK by getting stuff - CDs, DVDs, football-related things, signed goods, free things, stuff from people who are "people", folk who know folk, musicians, actors, people off the telly, anyone and anything - that will raise money for those 3 immensely worthwhile and decent charities.

If you can help me get GOOD. FREE. STUFF. to sell on eBay - 100% donation, nothing kept back for me - to get desperately needed money for those causes, PLEASE HELP ME. If you want more info, you can email me at likewise, if you've any "contacts" who can help me or, indeed, if YOU can help me. I need ALL the help I can get, I'm willing to help out with postage & packing and I'll pimp your name as much as I can if you help me with excellent stuff! HELP!!

Tuesday 5 May 2009

No title? Uhh...

BBC News is always a good background looping spoken voice accompaniment. More so when I wake in the night and can't sleep. That's been happening a lot, lately. I'm not surprised, what with my hormones having a mental and the Ma situation. I'm not entirely sure how I'm still moving about. Badly. I'm so very tired. I'm getting the preperiod pains, which are period pains but I'm having them before the bastard has started. Had them for a week now. Just get a fucking move on!

Monday was the day Ma was to be home from hospital but as expected, she is still there. I'd not been for a few days to see her; I'd felt so unwell with this and then guilty for not going. It was lovely on Monday as she didn't expect me to go. I'm smiling thinking about her face when she saw me, even though I looked rougher than a badger's very rough bits. And I'm sure you can imagine how rough that would be...
I wore my breast cancer care top to the hospital today, as Ma was in hospital for her lumpectomy the last time I wore it and I wore it then, because we thought she'd be home the same day. But she wasn't.

I'd filmed one of our cats, Rosie, making that "I can see a bird" noise while sitting by the window, staring up at the tree just outside the front room. I played it to Ma and she laughed at that lovely sound. To be able to film, at home, everyday noises and happenings that you don't really think about, and then to take the camera to hospital so my Mum can see what's still going on is a marvel, to be sure. I've taken photos of Ma and me which I shall send to my Auntie, Ma's sister, and I can show them to brother J (makes him sound like a monk. But he's not bald. Yet.) as he's not been to see her yet, owing to his snotface. Sorry, I mean cold.

And still, what concerns me most (apart from the obvious) is will I be able to do enough things to keep the house ticking over and to look after Mum the best I can? I'm barely able to sort out the kitchen. And we have a dishwasher! It's not hard work. But I risk breaking plates and dropping mugs and cups and chipping them, in my clumsy state. Ironing is beginning to require... er, ironing. Crinkly clothes will not do. Unless they're meant to be crinkled. Unfortunately, most are not.
I understand what some truly lovely people have said, about what my Mum needs is me and the family but... with my periods being so horrific, she has helped me more than I can remember, and not just with periods. I feel I owe her. BIG TIME. And at the times when she'll most need my help, when she'll need her breakfast, lunch or dinner, a cup of tea made, her hair washed, help with getting dressed, I will very likely be unable to do that. My Dad is wonderful, there's no argument there and I don't expect him to do more than he does; he has very bad arthritis of the (a) hip which needs replacing - soon - and I see how much pain he is in and wish so much that I could stop it. Obviously, though, I can't.

I know as each day passes, she will be a little more mobile than the day before but it is this first week or so, and the days when I will be most unwell when she will most need me. As the days go by, with me feeling better each day, so shall my Ma, I hope.

But with me feeling worse than a sack of shit warmed up, it makes doing the washing, ironing, dusting, vacuuming, feeding of cats, clearing up the cats' trays deposits and anything they may leave elsewhere in the house by way of vomiting, a lot more difficult than it needs to be. Some help would be very much appreciated. I doubt that the person I feel should help, will actually do so. For me, though, now, it is time for sleep. One orange cat to put to bed, telly off, upstairs, sleep. The sleep bit is always hoped for, not always achieved. At least Alistair Yates is on with his voice of gravitas and reason. G'night Al...

Saturday 2 May 2009

It's a funny old game.

Fourteen years. All that time to get used to periods, yet for the few months Mirena was in, I'd forgotten how they felt. How did I forget what my periods were like? How did that happen? I've had pains for a week but no period, yet. Not much unusual there. I'm the least of my worries, presently. Well, perhaps I'm about number four or 5 on the list. Mum, Dad, brother J, my driving lessons... so, yes, number 5 is where I am.

It has been one of the more stressful, confusing and comforting weeks of my life, of our lives, our lives as a family. I've been to hospital to see my Ma three times since and including Wednesday and she is looking and seeming more well each time. I - somewhat obviously - expected Ma to experience that inevitable shock, for which one can never prepare, that first view of the new wound, of what isn't there now, of what has been lost. What I didn't expect, however, was my delayed reaction (at home, at about midnight, quietly, alone) after Wednesday night's visit to be one of sobbing. I felt so desperately sad for my Mum, what she's had done and the reasons why. They've taken (with great need, of course) a part of her which made her a woman. And it's not just that which upsets me: it's the pain she is in when she tries to move, to drink from a cup, to move her blankets, to reciprocate the hug I give her.

My time at home is no more about not being able to move because of Mirena. It is now about doing as much housework as I can, which is wholly acceptable, I have no problem with that. I am tired; I still haven't slept well for weeks, although probably months. This is partly to do with the squirrels in the loft. That's not a euphemism. They wake me every morning at about 6:00am. My hormones are doing whatever it is they usually do. By that, I mean they're having a fucking laugh. I'm currently feeling pretty nauseous. I'm not sure if the cause is too much oil with the mackerel-in-a-tin wonder, or if it's a bit of anxiety. Or it could be the premenstrual hormones. Or it could be imminent erm... ughness... I'm guessing it's a combination of anxiety and food. Food was fine. Don't panic, Lu. Don't. Panic. You're all right, I tell myself. Everything is all right. But, as mentioned before, logic doesn't work. Much. Sometimes it does. But...

Sometimes, I shake, like there's too much adrenalin all dressed up and nowhere to go. It's a strange thing. My jaw hurts because I clench my teeth without realising. I shake not uncontrollably - it can be eased by trying really hard to calm down - but certainly a fair bit and it is weird. It's horrible. The sickness, or rather, the feeling of it, is still the worst part, for me. If I have a mint and feel the trapped air rising, and then let out that crafty wind in burp form (sorry but y'know...) - as has JUST happened, reader, I SWEAR! - I feel an almost ridiculous sense of relief that ohh maybe, Lu, it was just air and not actual ughness. Brilliant. Really. Better, would be that I didn't get anxious in that way or that that, if present, did not lead to a panic attack.

I've had a mint, burped - mmm - and am now very tired indeed. I have to take my Citalopram (anti-depressant) tablet. As you might have read in a previous post, I am a shockingly bad tablet-taker. Orange juice, not water for me. And I can take so long to actually swallow the tablet that the coating dissolves and I can taste the bitter stuff that does the job. Nice. Mint followed by orange juice isn't good. Maybe I'll be mega brave and try water...

I should add here that there is some comfort in all this confusion. It is knowing that there are some very decent people willing to help us at this time of oddness. So many people have been asking how Ma is, if they can visit her in hospital, if there's anything they can do to help here (there is plenty to help with - everthing, in fact)... cliches are a bit rubbish but they do tend to be true. "They" say, "It's at times like these you realise who your friends are". In this instance, "they" and their cliche show themselves to be true. If only "they" could stop me feeling so anxious. But feeling like this is basically innocuous; I'm definitely the luckier lady, between my Ma and me. For one thing, I haven't got a chorus of snorers to keep me awake during the night. I've got squirrels to wake me up too early in the morning, though...

Wednesday 29 April 2009

Panic In A Room In Essex

Today is the day of Operation Remove Offending Article(s) - part 2. You my have noticed the pun in the title of this post relating to a song by The Smiths. I listened to them yesterday. Some hours later, I had a panic attack. I don't think it had anything to do with The Smiths. In fact, I know it didn't. Logic has nothing to do with panic attacks, as I've mentioned before. It is, unfortunately, one of those incredibly annoying ways my mind - and others' - finds to "deal" with current situations: me and my periods; Ma and her operation; and of course, any treatment she may need after. Many things.

Panic attacks are sneaky little buggers. They are many things, none of them good. When I become anxious, the first feeling I have is nausea. I abhor feeling sick, more so being sick. My mouth seems to forget it is a mouth and turns drier than the wit of Stephen Fry's Jeeves. My chest feels as if it will not be able to contain my heart, because it is pumping too fast by half. Maybe not literally by half but it is, perhaps, a LOT. Technical.
I am aware, completely, that these feelings are only a panic attack. Yet, when I am in the midst of utter... well, panic, it's the worst thing in the world. Clearly, though, it isn't. There are far more important and terrible occurrences in this world of ours. But at that moment when nausea seems to be turning into actual get-me-a-bucket-I'm-going-to-chunder (and too many times the reflex URGHH action happens. EW...), it seems so much more than that "fight or flight mechanism". I know what it means, I know what happens. I know to breathe slowly and deeply and all that. But still it happens. And if when it does, I hate it. And after, I think what an idiot I've been for getting like that. Last night, though, as has happened so many times before, it seemed to start before I'd woken up, at about 3am. It's like I wake into it.

This massive day and situation is happening to my Ma and to us and the day carries on; the window cleaner still cleans windows, the postman still delivers (when I was in the bathroom - typically, there was a packet which needed to be signed for), the cats still throw up and I still have to clear it up. And the British Gas person - hereon known as BGP - will still do their duties between the times of 12 noon and 6pm. Apparently.
When I was in the bathroom, I had to have a cold wash, as the water and heating had been off since about 11am. At that time, my Ma gathered her final accoutrements for her stay in hospital. And just several minutes later, it was time for Pa to take Ma to the hospital. Hugs, kisses, "don't worry"s filled those last few seconds before they left. My brother, J, and I stood at either end of the front room window, like bookends, waving to our wonderful Ma as our equally wonderful Pa drove them both away. J went out of the house to the garage and there was such unnerving, uneasy quiet. The only sound was the clock in the hall, ticking. The pigeons on the roof at the bottom of our garden carry on courting, the squirrels in the loft carry on waking me up at 6am with a ridiculous amount of noise (one is pregnant), presumably making a drey. I very much hope that the foundations of their new home is not made up of the innards of my treasured Zipper Cat. Maybe they're trying on his rollerskates. Perhaps that's why there's so much noise up there.

It is now just past 3pm and the BGP is here. I know, as I type, Ma is undergoing surgery to remove the offending article(s). I'm listening to Kingdom Of Rust by doves. It is an immense album. Again, they manage to make me shiver with delight and awe. They take me to a place of joy and anticipation and stir emotions and thrill me so utterly, as no other band does. Except maybe elbow. They are pretty prodigious, as well. And The Beach Boys. But of the recent, British bands, doves do it for me.

But, as much as I am transported to this other place of wonder, I'm still sat on my own in the living room (there are various cats in here, too but not humans), I'm so tired from lack of (decent) sleep, with growing period/kidney/gut pains, Pa is overseeing the BGP and his work and J is doing something in the garden. All I can think about is my Mum. My lovely, beautiful Mum.

Monday 27 April 2009

Just call me Mrs. Bean...

Inevitably, the clumsiness, insomnia, the bitching, the forgetfulness, the lack of appetite et al have all returned with a sneaky vengeance. I dropped my deodorant in the sink of water, couldn't manage to place hairpins on the shelf - twice, and dropped a china cat bowl in the sink, nearly breaking it and the other one. (The cat bowl is china, not the cat, in case you were wondering.) I've been swearing profusely at everything, nothing and at the television and some of its astonishingly irritating "presenters", which is ironic in my view, as their appearances are invariably less than decent. I'm a bitch again, I told you. I've been berating "Art", bitter at the creators' success when I think little or less of what has been made. I think my Artwork is far better. Obviously. I insult the cats for not moving out of my way, for just sitting there. There. Where I need to go. MOVE. You want to go out? You don't? Well don't scratch the fucking door. Stop it. Out. Food? Here's your food. Oh don't be so bloody fussy.

Poor sods. It's not their fault this (hopefully only) temporarily deranged bint isn't sure of why the hell she was going that way in the first instance. It's not their fault he doesn't want Whiskas Whitefish now when he couldn't eat it fast enough that morning. No, wait... whatever, it pisses me right off. It's plainly not a situation whereby swearing will solve a problem. It doesn't even make me feel better, I just get annoyed with myself for being so pathetic and angered by a beautiful animal, whom I adore completely. Apart from the door-scratching and fussy eating.

My Ma has noticed - as have I - that the really rather unpleasant premenstrual look has also reappeared. It's a strange occurrence: I look more pale than usual (I'm already whiter than white...); the dark (Jewishish) circles under my eyes are more noticeable; my gait is slightly different, more like the BWAT of previous months; my eyes are heavy, glazed, the result of lack of sleep and/or broken sleep; my face is sullen, almost frowning most of the time.

I thought, possibly stupidly, that I wouldn't feel this way for at least three weeks. I thought I'd have a longer break from this crap. I know I'm not the only one who has these feelings, these symptoms, this belief (albeit transient) about oneself of uselessness. And then I realise that it is nearly three weeks since Mirena left.

I am not drinking more water.
I have not started yoga, again. Still. Again.
I have not managed to rise from sleepiness at a "decent" time.
I have, though, got the amassed-over-several-months ironing peak to a reasonable height. Almost amusingly, I have done so much of it over the weekend that my right shoulder is now suffering rather a lot. It really hurts. Ow. It was a brilliant plan, to iron as much as I could BUT I forgot how many clothes I have. I have actually run out of space for my clothes. Only a few pairs of jeans and trousers but so. many. tops. I love clothes. I just do.

And, just when I thought I couldn't feel even slightly better today, on Twitter a favourite tweeter - and dish - mentioned something about songs, I mentioned Brian Wilson in return and now I have the GLORY and LOVE and UNSPEAKABLE BEAUTY of Pet Sounds playing, making me smile and shiver with delight. Very few bands/musicians can do this to me: doves are the other one of which I immediately think. I LOVE MUSIC. And I love my cat...s...

Friday 24 April 2009

More pills than Boots

It's strange how some people do not know what to say. They are literally lost for words. It's sort of nice but also makes me want to tell them, "It's OK. I know what you're trying to say". And then I want to gently hold their hand and just assure them with two simple but honest words: "I know". More flowers. Tulips. Very lovely they are, too. I think the cats know something is afoot. It's actually soon to be not a breast but anyway, I'm sure they know. Wallace just likes sitting on my left arm, simultaneously obscuring my view of the laptop keyboard and screen with his ears and removing any feeling from said limb. And attempting to puncture my stomach. With pointy feet.

Some people have also done that brilliant barely-speaking-the-words thing, where they overdo the mouthing of words. Specifically, they apply this to the words "breast cancer" and "mastectomy". Like Peter Kay's Nan when she said "lesbian". Or, rather didn't say it.
I think people don't say the words because then it's like it's not real... actually, no, I don't think it's that; perhaps, it is more that if you say it quietly or mouth it, it's less upsetting. But, the truth for us (and in my mind at least), is that it isn't beneficial because it sort of feels as if they are trying to protect Ma from the cancer and that's not possible, presently. One wouldn't think, looking at her, that there is anything wrong with her. There is, but there isn't. She's still walking around, she can drive, she can laugh and eat and sleep and hug and hold.

In a (vague) way, it's like depression and periods and the like, whereby there is a genuine problem but it happens to not be visible. There was no lump to indicate a problem with my Ma, nor did she feel unwell. She had a routine mammogram and that picked up several tiny white dots which looked like microcalcifications. But, most likely, you can't feel it, you can't see it, and if left undetected, as they say, it will spread and it WILL, very probably, be fucking dangerous. I'm sure "they" don't say "fucking dangerous". I just put that in...

I had to see my GP today, to get my next batch of tablets - Citalopram, Co-dydramol, Tranexamic acid, Keral... and, because I'm on Citalopram and shall be taking Keral, there is an increased risk of bleeding of the stomach. So I have to have an antacid to counteract the effects of those two battling against each other. Which is a bit annoying, really. And they're capsules, the antacids. I'm even worse with capsules than with tablets. They float! Agh. I'll take them, of course I'll take them... But yes, back to my GP. I mentioned that I was scared and frightened, about the situation and also for my Mum. I think it's reasonable to feel those emotions when you know something like "this" is happening to someone for whom you would do anything. GP said - in an entirely sensible but slightly annoying-to-me-so-please-wait-until-I-finish-what-I-was-trying-to-say way - my feeling scared and such was no help to Ma, I need to be strong for her. I agree. BUT, what I was trying to say was this: I was empathising with her, not pitying myself in this situation. I cried, of course I cried: she's my Mum and what will happen to her next week will no doubt be traumatic and indeed painful. But I felt sad for her, not for me. For her. And I'm not "moping about", thank-you very much, doc. I'm really arsing well tired but I'm not moping. I have been mopping, though. I cleaned the kitchen and utility room floors.

But I don't think I do the feeling-sorry-for-myself thing. I did it for a long time, years ago, in my darkest, most horrifically depressed days and I felt no better. Life is shit sometimes, and when it's good or astonishingly marvellous, you appreciate it. We - all four of us - are beginning to learn about new bras and prostheses and life after Operation Remove Offending Article(s). Again, I say "we" as we are a family and a close one. This IS The Bullshit. And it and it alone can fuck right off because it is not welcome here. Or there. Or under there. Or up there. Or down there...

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Swearing, tmesis -style...

Well. I'm not sure I know what to say. My Mum still has cancer. My Mum... has cancer. This is also commonly known as The Bullshit. I can not befuckinglieve that is true. After the operation to remove what was thought only to be DCIS along with the "safety margin", the latter was analysed by a pathologist and the result was delivered like a punch in the face by Ali. They found more cancer, an aggressive type, more serious than DCIS, which is a kind of restrained fiend. Surgery by way of mastectomy is the best and most obvious option, as what they found is only in what they took away for testing, so it could be in any part of the rest of the tissue. The fucker! Leave my Mum alone. I am not, of course, suggesting that my Mum, my Mum should be exempt from cancer aka The Bullshit. No-one in this world, on this, at times wonderful, Earth of ours, is any better or so incredible that they shouln't be immune to some illness or disease that anyone else could contract or develop. It's not that she is my Mum, but that she is my Mum. I know there is nothing I can say or do to help it become less frightening or bewildering for any of us - Ma, Pa and my brother, J. But I would do anything to help her, to stop her hurting. ANYTHING. And now, I can't. I can do some housework and clean and do the ironing but...

There is nothing anyone can say. That's why, I think, there have been so many calls and texts, again and visits. Like before, just three weeks ago, we had so many deliveries of flowers, we ran out of vases, we ran out of space for the "Thinking of You" and "Get Well Soon" cards. People don't know what to say. But we think we know what they mean.

If you know my Mum, you'll know she adores flowers so they make her smile when she sees and smells them. And that's worth every penny in my wallet. Although, the enormous and, frankly, staggering sum of £4 I actually have in my wallet wouldn't buy much more than a bunch from Morrisons. That's not a bad thing. They do have quite nice flowers in there. But I've had the more-for-yer-money, FairTrade or other such prettily presented bouquets delivered for my Ma lately, for helping me post-Mirena-fitting, for Mothering Sunday and for the first instance of The Bullshit. God, I love the internet, sometimes.

I jokingly mentioned on Monday - when we found out what was going to happen next - that we'd have to sort out the past-it flowers in those many vases from the first operation: the lumpectomy. (I've been a bit off-colour lately. And Ma still can't lift her arm up fully yet or lift more than the equivalent of a light cat - Cyril.) The flowers that arrived today came in a vase. And we (Mum bought, but I was with her in our favourite local charity shop) bought two new vases. I think we may be needing them. Mum keeps wondering why so many people are asking how she is, why so many people send flowers and cards and visit her to see if there's anything they can do. Because they care, because she is wonderful.

It's been a thought and fear in each of our minds since Mum's initial diagnosis, that that possible and ultimately shocking shift from "relatively harmless" cancer to hopefully not relevant to my Mum, my brother's Mum, my Dad's wife could happen to her. And, indeed, would happen to her. While it's in its early stages, it does still mean that she. has. cancer... I don't know how long it will take for any of us to realise or understand it. I don't know if we ever will. I know there are no rules about how to feel or what to feel or when to feel. I believe anything and everything each of us feels is completely "OK". I know this because I've been told. Yes, that is a little harsh, perhaps but already, I'm fed up with talking and thinking about it, so how the hell does she feel? SHIT. Bullshit, if you will.

The weeks and months to come will be, for my Ma, full of pain, both physically and emotionally. And while this is, essentially, a post about our current The Bullshit situation - and it is we, for we are a family, together, through hell and joy - my (yes, still about me, somewhere) periods threaten to get in the way of my looking after Mum. What if these new tablets don't work? Now, more than ever, I feel, this new medication cocktail has to work, it has to. I keep feeling sick at the thought of what might happen. I bloody hate feeling sick. I hate cancer aka The Bullshit. I hate depression. I hate my periods. I hate racism and anti-semitism and abuse. And I don't, generally, do hate. But obviously I do. But not for actions and matters that don't merit those strong feelings.

Fear and anger and confusion and frustration and pity. I don't like pity. But I feel it. For my Mum. She'll have part of her taken away which makes her, partly at least, who she is and what she is - a woman. I feel so sorry (agh bloody word) that she'll have to go through this horrible experience because nature went a bit wrong. Tears are falling now, as I type this and talk (via facebook) to a friend whose Mum died from cancer and it makes me so fucking angry that I can't do or say anything to help him, or anyone who has to deal with this, The Bullshit. And now I can't breathe through my nose and my face is redder than a very red thing, indeed. Olbas Oil, you are my friend...

Friday 17 April 2009

The Menses Monopoly (contains talk of PERIODS)

Following my Mirena Removal Ceremony (no party when I got home, though), I'm almost viewing this new found freedom as a new start. I'd made a list, albeit short, in my head of feats that were wholly achievable:-

- I shall drink more water.
- I shall embark on a yoga regime i.e. I'll do more than I do now, which is none. Since Mirena, my limbs seemed to have been replaced with dried out timber.
- I shall try (extremely hard) to get up at a "good" time: by 9:30am - believe me when I say this is a good time.
- I shall aim to prevent the accumulated items of clothing that need ironing at a height of no more than 2 feet.

At least, I thought I'd be doing those things by now, Sunday. But I am not. Though, yesterday I did more than in the last month, collectively. Presently, I feel so depleted of enthusiasm and oomph, even I, with my neurotic adoration of the English language, can not explain how tired I feel.

And of course, periods, will not always allow for the in-my-head list to be carried out. As I type, I'm still bleeding post-Mirena and still have some pains. Dammit Janet. I know some of you will know how it feels when you get that period indicator, that "Oh no... it's nearly here" feeling. But when I feel all right, I shall try to do all I can. Again. Not just to help my Ma but because it's good (dammit) for me to have a vague routine. Agh, do I not like that word: routine. Why did I just type it again if I dislike it so? On the assumption that the new tablets don't work - that's not pessimism but realism: I've been let down too many times after believing the hype of painkillers - I know I'll have, between proper periods, about four or 5 days either side of the mid-miniperiods. Potentially, then, as before, about ten days out of 5 weeks, let's suppose. Well, I'll suppose. I'll type and you can read...

Without medication, hell lasts about 10 days. With, it's 9 days. Whoo hoo. I'm not ungrateful for their help, just... tired. Generally. Often. The first day is light. But very painful and draining and heavy-in-the-everything and so, so horrible. The second proper day is the first heavy day, and the third and fourth days are the most painful, which translates as: I am disabled by horrific pains for at least three days and lovingly cared for by my beautiful Ma. She brings me my tablets (often placing them in my mouth because I can't even do that for myself), orange juice (Hello, I'm Lucy, I'm 27 and I'm the world's most useless tablet taker), hot water bottle, all I need to get by. She places my blanket over me to keep me warm so I can sleep if I need to, which is often at those times. And she stays with me when I feel I just. can't. cope. with it, when the agony is beyond reasonable, when I don't know what to do, when it should be more than a person can manage without passing out.

I usually stay on the sofa. We have a downstairs toilet - badly, cheaply, wonkily decorated in 1970s brown tiles - yes, it is as awful as it sounds. Actually, I don't think, unless you've seen it, that you can imagine how bad the tile work is. It's utterly dreadful. Downstairs is better than upstairs because upstairs is immediately at the top of the stairs and falling down those stairs is not something I wish to do. Ever. Unsteady + top of stairs = stay downstairs on sofa. Easy equation.

On the fourth day I can walk on my own! I know, I know, I shouldn't brag. Still akin to a duck with haemorroids, though, but an improvement all the same. A bird with arse trouble, if you will. Bearing in mind the amount of codeine I have to take in the days before and while I have a period, this is not an entirely untrue analogy.
And on day 6 or 7 of bleeding, I am virtually me again. Which is nice. But the then very mild indeed period pains change to pelvic pain. So then, I step down from taking co-dydramol (10/500mg) to take co-codamol (8/500mg). Day 11 is usually clear, then day 13 or 14 of my pattern (I refrain from using the term "cycle") is when I start bleeding again. Pelvic pain continues for a week or so. Maybe 2 weeks. Here's the fun part: I might then bleed for 3 days, have 2 days off then bleed again for 8 days. Or, after period, 5 clear days, 6 bleeding, 1 off, and back again for 7 days. Take your pick! I should start a lottery or bingo. Ah now. IDEA. No prize, just the knowledge that you know more about my body than I do.

When that mid-bleed finishes, I might be clear for a week or for 3, 12 days or 19. I have no idea. But what I do know is this: before I have finished the mid-bleed, I'm already premenstrual for the next proper period. You may know the symptoms: dizzy (thanks vertigo. Not the film, the condition. The film's brilliant.); headaches; waning appetite; frightening anger, sometimes; insomnia; my poor, tiny bust hurts like I've been kicked with steel toe-capped boots... Men - you lucky bastards. I have to wear a bra in bed. That old M&S one, actually... and like ALL of that is not bad enough - and it is - the proper period pains I get start between 3 days and 2 weeks before the bloody thing even arrives, if you pardon the pun.

And then it all starts - predictably and unpredictably - again. And so it goes on and on and on. If I'm very lucky I might "only" be removed from human living for a couple of days. At the worst, the doctor (not THE Doctor, unfortunately) or ambulance is that close *does thing with fingers to demonstrate closeness of situation arising* to being called to help... me... I wouldn't call, I can barely breathe at those times. As my cousin said the other day, I'm back to square one, which, in blistering honesty, is a fucking terrifying place to be. BUT as loathe as I am to say it, I'd rather be here than back there, at "Mirena says do not pass go". Or "Mirena says don't get up". Or is that Simon says? At least I know what square one is and what it means. I've been here before, I know this game. I think. Now where's that little Scottie dog...

Thursday 16 April 2009

The Cedar Room

Considering very little has happened this week, I feel I've written typed an awful lot about it. I fear I'm in danger of posting too many blog entries and making the previous examples sort of useless. But what happened today has been so normal and I forgot how much I missed it. The seemingly banal task of walking to the shops to post a parcel to my very lovely newest cousin and his older brother, who is equally lovely, was a joy: by the church there are hyacinths and pansies in full bloom looking delightful, with the former smelling so good; trees blossoming; cars driving by!; rain on the ground in puddle form; shops! There are shops! I bought a (silly hexagonal) tube of Smarties and some new talc (really. I ran out of the Yardley Rose one. Really. Yardley talc is good. Don't knock it, philistine) from my favourite sells-nearly-everything chemist.

After yesterday's frankly monumental achievement at the hospital, I feel I can jump and reach the stars! Except, more oxygen. And heat. And different gravity. And stuff... but the change in me and my demeanour is immense: I got dressed. Not just comfortable "jog pants", vest and chunky comfy cardi, but actual clothes. I wore jeans. And - I swear to you this is true - while deciding what to wear for the top half (almost always jeans, sometimes other types of trouser) and going through the clothes on hangers on my wardrobe door, what happened? A moth flew out. A MOTH. How bemusingly brilliant is that? I mean, not if it's eaten my clothes but... a moth? Hasn't been that long, has it?

I have a lot of clothes. It's not that I'm a clothoholic or that I never had anything or very little as a child: we had enough, but not spoiled as children, we know that earning money and "things" do not come easily to you and that you must work hard to earn money, we know about appreciating things and all that. I just really like clothes. I have a few pairs of trainers. I have "some" skirts. Likewise pairs of jeans. And probably far too many tops. Fabrics, textures, patterns, beads, "hang"... I love the fact that there are so many different types of top to be had. It's been so long since I wore those lovely, lovely clothes. A lot of the familia's clothes (and even more of mine) are in the ironing pile. My job, the ironing. It's like my part of the housekeeping, because I don't work. And I give Ma and Pa money from the income support I get, which is, obviously, entirely fair. I don't like claiming benefits. But I can't work, currently and as a person in my own right, aside from living with my parents and not paying bills and tax (charities and LL: I'm so sorry I can't tick that box, I want to but can't) I'm "entitled" to money so...

I'm saving it for the recommencement of driving lessons. And then for my driving test. And then for my CAR. I will buy a car. One day. I think I'd quite like a bit of a rubbish first car. Like an iffy coloured, metallic-finished N-reg Fiesta. But then my anti-anti-semitic conscience says NO!! Don't buy Fords, Lu. Shame. Natty little cars. A to B cars. MY CARS. Well, CAR. I shan't be greedy. I'm SO excited about having lessons again. Hope my theory result hasn't run out *shockface* because I got 35/35 on the questions. Damned good going, Lu! Oh yeah...

I feel tired today, after the walk, and after yesterday, too. My womb is confused: it's bleeding again (...eww. It's true. I've said it's all true ha...) and hurting a bit, so I've had more Ponstan and co-dydramol but I reckon it'll be that way for a few days, before it settles. But that's fine. Poor thing's got so used to trying to expel it every fucking day and now it's gone, it's like it's unsure what to do now. Relax, man. Relax... For me, for now, or at least for the next few days, I think it'll be gentle ironing, tea making and slagging down the people on Dickinson's Real Deal who sell their "lovely" grandmother's engagement ring so they can go on holiday. The bitchiness is back. And it's gooood... (in a non-mean kind of way. Sort of...)

Wednesday 15 April 2009

What a difference a splay makes.

I was wrong. Doesn't happen often. Like Peter Griffin being right. But I was wrong. I am now a post-it. I am not, though, yellow, nor am I sticky on a thin strip, on one side. The medical man I saw at hospital this morning was the same medical man who fitted my Mirena under general anaesthetic all that time ago on Thursday 8th January of this year, 2009. He agreed with me that the pain was not going to improve, and that, instead of leaving it another two or 3 months to see if it settles and needing, therefore, to continue the codeine intake, the best option was to "whip it out", as Award-Winning Consultant said last time. My poor womb. It was only trying to protect me, really: a foreign object in there? Which is not a foetus? Of course it would try to rid the body of it. I was just a bit unlucky that the pains I had were severe and very restrictive on my daily life.

The option for the Nice Medical Man to dive in there and remove it in a few minutes' time was a bit daunting. I knew it was the very best and most obvious thing to do but given that certain other examinations and such have been more than very uncomfortable, I wasn't quick to say, "Oh all right, then" with vim. Logic doesn't ever really have a part to play in anxiety and depressive issues but this, this was purely, completely fear of important parts hurting after past medical experiences and the trauma which followed. I still maintain my minibouts of depression were brought on, not by the hormone, but by the frustration and anger at what Mirena was doing to me and how it was affecting me.

With my wonderful Ma to my left, NMM to my right (I'm not going into "here I am, stuck in the middle...") I decided to go fer it. I was SO nervous about the impending ARGHH. So, to the "delivery room" and off with the boots (I LOVE CONVERSE BOOTS. I want a red pair. And a blue pair.), kept socks on, obviously, and then the jeans came off. Not worn those figure-hugging darlings for SO. LONG. I love those jeans. Truly. They are kind to my behind. Yeahhh... and the rest = butt-ugly nude from waist down. Drafty.

So, yes, gown on, sit on the seat-thing, put a leg in each rest (so elegant) and, just for good measure, a nurse and a trainee girl doctor for company and..... oh, that feels uncomfortable, a bit of grabbing around in there and then *shocked/relieved face* "You bastard", I said. "Not you! She means that!" my Ma hurriedly said. And I did mean Mirena: I couldn't possibly, at that moment, think NMM anything less than magnificent for being gentle as he said he would be and for performing the deed out without me even really feeling it leaving. Mirena was OUT!! And relaaaax...

Relief isn't the word for it. I was so smiley and was grinning, I wished the lovely ladies on reception a wonderful day, chuckled to myself, laughed in the car park, and rested a bit in the car on the way home. A late night and a very early morning (2am: insomnia), bad sleep (and again and nerves, too) and an early morning (7:49am) allowed my conscience to rest awhile. And, since I got back, I've cleared the kitchen, fed three cats their own food at least twice each, cleaned the cats' trays, done this blog, and made several cups of tea almost without effort. It's brilliant! I'm aware there is a significant psychological factor in this: that "weight off the sholders" feeling. But since Mirena's first day in its new home, I'd felt a horrible stiff, aching-to-the-bones heaviness, a bit like the premenstrual lead-weights-in-the-soles-of-your-feet-and-all-the-way-up-to-the-top-of-your-head feeling. But all the time. That's gone, now. Huzzah!!

And like that's not enough for a good day, I've had some lovely, lovely comments about my blog. People read it! YOU, yes you there: YOU read it. Or at least, this part. THANK-YOU, heartfeltedly... is that a word? Should be, if not...

So, hormone treatments, for the next few months, at least, are out of the equation. It's a shame it seems they may never be an option for me. Regarding Mirena, my womb hadn't responded as it "should" have or as was expected; the lining hadn't thinned. And, as much I fear my periods and (still) hope they'll improve, equally, I can look forward to wearing my jeans again and my new pair from eBay, dusting (oh!), vacuuming without collapsing, helplessly, on to the floor, a wee bit of gardening, ARTWORK!! I can "do" art again and ohh I have missed it so much... SO. MUCH. For now, though: facebook and just, y'know... stuff......

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Grey matters...

Last night I listened to some "relaxation" tapes. They're not tapes, they're tracks. (From a CD, to my computer, then to my mp3 player.) They were from a friend, who used them for pain management and, when I first started using them it wasn't for managing pain; rather, as an aide for calming my brain, to try to lessen (or, hopefully, be free of) anxiety. Lately, though, as you'll know, ye olde faithful reader, pain management is precisely what I've needed, so they've been useful.

However (ah yes, the inaugural-in-this-post "however"), rather than concentrating on the words of the lady with the nice voice, my mind reverted to the day our hugely beloved Harvey died. Thursday 13th October was the day in 2005. He collapsed in the kitchen; he just... fell to the floor, he didn't move. Ma phoned the vets', I picked him up, which was distressing and we went as fast as we could to save his life. It's quite difficult, though, to do that, to travel up to the speed limit in traffic hold-ups when the colleges and schools are emptying: the time was about 4:30pm.
Harvey still wasn't moving; I was cradling him in my arms, sobbing, while shouting at the cars to MOVE!! They didn't, unsurprisingly. Why would they? Because a red-faced bint told them to? Hm. Only a few days earlier, I happened to read a "First Aid for Cats" section in a cat book. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation isn't for everyone, I know but frankly, if it means my cat will stay alive, then I'll feckin' well do it, no second thoughts. And that's exactly what I did. I had to. Fur, fishy breath (most cats have that, though, don't they...?) and my tears didn't make it easy. I tried and tried. My Dear Ma was keeping it together, not crying but wanting to. I tried so desperately to keep him alive but I saw his eyes: his pupils dilated suddenly and it was clear he'd gone.

A few minutes passed before we finally got to the surgery and we both knew there was nothing to be done, that they'd say "I'm sorry" but hearing it doesn't make it easier. They we were, Ma and me, crying so much on one another's shoulders, holding tightly on to each other. (I have a pair of lovely brown cords - shh - and they're good to my behind, make it look great. They're about an inch or 2 too short. I wore them that day and haven't really worn them since, stupidly scared that the same or similar might happen to another of our beautiful cats.) Harvey had lived with us for little over four years and it wasn't enough.

He'd previously been homeless, i.e. on the streets, nowhere near enough food, bad health and other factors and all of this contributed to him being extremely frightened; it took weeks, nay months for us to gain his trust. And when he did finally trust us, it was magical. He returned to/became an incredibly affectionate boycat, so grateful, like he couldn't believe we could love him so. That's one of the reasons we found it so difficult to understand, so to speak.
The trouble, though, with a cat which has pneumonia, is that it is susceptible to colds and chest infections and Harvey had many in his short time with us. He was only seven-years-old. Ish. They couldn't be sure but he was too young to die, I think that much. He had a heart attack, a pretty hefty one. (This post isn't all about cats, death of a cat and brown cords, honest.)

And that's what I thought about last night, what happened 3 1/2 years ago. I was 23. I remember it like it was yesterday and yet, so much time has passed since that grey day. Warm and cloudy and grey. I don't feel 27 and I don't really look it, either. Which is a good thing, I'm now realising. Apart from the "Are you at school?" questions. Because, in certain instances, if that were true, some things might be illegal.....
The aspect of this which really (yeah - REALLY) frustrates me is that I've done little more than at that time in 2005. Well, that's not counting the driving bit, because I can drive, just not qualified to do it without my truly SUPERB tutor, Mr. Bikeman. I've got a bus on my own, though it was scary. I've spoken on the phone to a delightful, wonderful, not-bad-on-the-eye-AT.-ALL. man - D... I've done some stuff. Just not what I'd hoped I would by now. Gigs, pubs, drinks, holidays abroad or on my own, wicked late nights out with friends ending up who knows where. And now I have grey hairs. I pluck them out, obviously. My hair is so dark, if I allowed them to stay where they fester so brashly, they'd be as easy to spot as an elephant in the room. Except the grey wouldn't be the elephant. It'd be unwanted highlights. Free, though... but no, they have to go, as sure as I'll one day go to Glastonbury. And T in the Park. And a doves gig.

A few (now it's not even three) years in the future and I shall be 30. Tomorrow - Wednesday - is the day of my hospital appointment. I don't think I'll come home post-Mirena but maybe I'll have a date for me to go back to the pre-Mirena girl (who am I kidding? You? No... dangit). But I'll be post-it. Except not very, very flat, yellow or sticky on one strip on the back which, actually, isn't very sticky at all...

Monday 13 April 2009

Today I 'ave been mostly...

Dysoning is on hold for now. I should've learned my lesson from the last time I did it, that doing it will (now) inevitably induce my (now) ritualistic crying out because Mirena seems to be moving and/or playing fiddlesticks in there. Knitting is my thing, Mirena. Sod off and get your own "thing". I thought I'd be OK because it was 14:00 and I'd had my tablets at 13:00. Ahh, you fool! I fell to the floor 3 times, was helped to the sofa by my adorable Pa, pushed 2 cats off the sofa to lay down, cried because I hurt so much and was brought a hot water bottle by my brother. The last few days have been particularly bad. I assume it's because I'm bleeding again. Like "a light period" (what? THAT could be a period? I. WISH.) or "spotting". I'm slightly bemused by "spotting", it makes me think, immediately, of birdwatchers or trainspotters. "Ooh, there's one! The second this week! Just write it down in the notepad... Very... liiiight... peerrriioddd..." Just say period! It's only a word. Like fuck. Just words. Although, I get extremely offended if someone becomes anti-Semitic. But I think that's more about the sentiment, than the words... back to blood and stuff, phrases like, "I'm on". On what, I say? I get annoyed by the most minute of details. And by misuse of grammar by people who should know better. I like words and languages and, y'know... stuff.

But yes, I've never had a light period. Not a proper one. Probably, when I was twelve and 13, they were just light mess. (In my head this is too much like AlrightTit in its "you probably didn't want to know that but I've said it anyway" slant. And the way I'm thinking and then typing this but that's what my head is like. This is how my brain thinks so I'm just being me, really.) I know between the ages of fourteen and 16 they were very bad but there's a lot about those years that I don't remember; I think my brain did that blocking-it-out thing, automatically. I have no memory of some of the worst times. I remember being dragged out of my house by my wrists by some education person, I remember screaming and begging them to not make me go to school because I felt so terrible, emotionally, and terrified of not being in my safehaven, i.e. home. It was a immensely confusing time. Very strange. I was so helplessly sad, so tearful so often (i.e. ALL THE TIME) and I couldn't even tell my wonderful parents what was wrong, because I simply didn't know. I wanted everything to be different: for me to wake up and be glad of it; for me to not be frightened for fuck knows what reason (it's only a word, it's OK) to go outside my own front door; to not think that putting on my right sock before my left, would mean that if a member of my close family was in an accident, it would be my fault. Really. That's what depression and OCD can do to your brain. I call myself a mental, mockingly, yet not. And, to an extent, I am, still. Brains are weird. So complicated, so incredible, all those nerves and signals, it's... well, mental.

I sit here, by the window, and see people go by, and I wonder what they'll be doing. Are they going to the shops? Alas, not Woolworths anymore. Or to work? By bus? Train? A neighbour is having driving lessons and I'm so envious. I see others get in their own cars and feel really rather jealous. They've already passed their tests. That's their own car. They have independence. They have a job, a social life, they have holidays. In short, they have all the things I don't have and for which I am desperate. I can't tell you how much I miss driving. I'd just mastered bay parking. Was SO ready to book my test in the then New Year.

But of course, plans don't always work out the way you er, plan them. I'm not pitying myself at all; I'm just really pissed off that Mirena hasn't worked. I believe that to be an understatement, somewhat: "it's been a huge fucking failure" is more appropriate, I think. A huge success, however, has been my laptop (excluding the the reason for the recent disinfection process, which has worked, thankfully. Huzzah for me!) for almost constant facebooking and Twittering. It's immensely helpful. There are daft games to play and they're sort of strategic games. Sort of is enough for now: too much thought and effort needed and I'm done for, innit. There are people on Twitter who follow me and they are people whose faces and "work" I know and admire. Why would they follow me? Marsha Shandur #followfridayed me. She said I was "consistently charming". That's so good! I adore her; she's like your mate on the radio who's cool and plays ace music and has a voice that's too alluring for your liking. Or is that just me...? I wish I has a voice like that. Mine's awful. And Lisa Lynch, she of AlrightTit, she's following me. *Grins. A LOT* AND #followfridayed me, as well! Why? I don't know... maybe Marsha answered that question before I even thought of it to ask... Wow. That's, like... y'know?

It's now Monday morning, just. A few minutes past 1 o'clock. In the A.M.. MY appetite has gone on holiday. You'd think it'd take me with it. How rude. My appetite has gone, sort of, but I'm hungry. I've been eating porridge (a bit too much sugar and it's ruined, as happened today), notShreddies (Lidl - cheaper and with an obscure image of a meerkat-with-bad-teeth-and-wearing-denim on the front), and Ritzish crackers and Primula with Prawns cheese. This is not the best diet, but equally, on Easter Sunday, I didn't gorge myself with skiploads of chocolate. In fact, I had no chocolate. I do have some, I just felt too dizzy and sick to eat any. I have a Creme Egg sitting woefully on the table beside me. Like a Weeble, except it has fallen down... oh wait, no. That's a cat. Google searches, eh... hang on... Here's a Weeble thing. Undressed, the Creme Egg would look like the newly discovered egg which Darwin collected while travelling aboard HMS Beagle. Christine McGourty said it first. Credit where it's due, like.

And now hunger has returned - with not even a straw donkey for company - it's back to mt trusty notShreddies. I really do like them. As a good friend of mine, Rose, said, "It's easier to sleep when you're hungry, than it is to eat when you're tired". And she's right. I once nearly choked on my notShreddies so much that I spat the semi-chewed maltness into the sink and nearly retched. Mmm. But what a waste. That won't stop me trying again, imminently: I am SO hungry at the moment. I had a late and quite small breakfast because I had to eat something so I could have my tablets. (Why do they make you do that? Why do they make you eat when you feel terribly sick because of pain? Piss takers.) I had no lunch, but instead, porridge. And then Ritzish crackers. Oh and Twiglets. And prunes. And my stomach is in 2 minds about whether to thank me for the last 2 ingredients.

On a final note, before I go to bed to probably not sleep very well (cheery, ain't I?) I read but don't necessarily believe horoscopes. But I liked what I read today. Somewhat poetic and entirely true, for me, I thought. And possibly for you, too. So, not really a horoscope, more general advice. And that's OK, by me at least. It said: Always look at what you have done and not at what you haven’t. Quite.