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...