I want to start this entry with a huge thank you for all the beautiful messages I have received from across the world. Although I am unable to reply to them all individually please know that I have read every single comment and the depth of feeling in each has touched me greatly. Occasionally one may make me shed a tear but they have also given me a real push to get past this next hurdle. The offers for wedding photography, dresses, DJs, etc, have been beyond generous. Once again, thank you. And not to brag (well, actually to totally show-off) on Thursday when the Daily Mail ran an article I’d written about my experience the blog got 26,000 hits!
But to bring things up to date I feel I should be tippy tappying on my keyboard with ‘Eye of the Tiger’ playing in my personal soundtrack right now! I have completed three zapping sessions to the brain and so far so good; there have been few side-effects and the hair is still firmly on my head – in fact, the low-down from the radiotherapy nurses is that I might not even lose it all. This was mentioned in a cautious whisper in order not to raise my hopes too much but, at least for today, I have a full covering and I’m a happy bunny.
The process of the brain radiotherapy is pretty quick; you lie on you back and your head is strapped into a mask that was moulded to your face. This is a bit uncomfortable but I clamp my yoga fingers together, close my eyes and visualise the cancer being blown to oblivion with every life-saving ray. It takes about ten minutes and then you’re free to go, back on the tube, looking like any other 28-year-old making their way across London.
As I sat on the tube yesterday a six-foot plus man came and plonked himself down next to me. There were other free seats but he stretched his legs out and nudged my elbow from the armrest as he spread his burly frame into a comfortable position. I looked up at him; he’d nonchalantly begun reading his mouldy-smelling book with no apparent awareness of having invaded my space.
Pre-cancer I might just have moved over with a ‘harrumph’ but nowadays I’m less likely to take this kind of shit. I straightened my back and gave him a firm elbow nudge to reassert my position. He looked at me and I stared right back keeping my arm where it rightfully belonged. We sat like this all the way from Victoria to Brixton. Sometimes you need to let the invader know you mean business even if it’s just a sharp assertive ‘fuck off’ nudge.
Hopefully radiotherapy will prove to be another nudge to the cancer, and the fact that that I’ve not been very ill has been a massive morale boost. I’m trying to play my part too; on the suggestion of an herbalist I’m juicing carrots and beetroot twice a day and am meditating to try and stay relaxed. These things can’t hurt so I may as well give them a go, and of course follow the advice of my inspiring medical team who are making this journey so much easier.
I’ve found that trying to concentrate on each day rather than the unknown future is also helping. I have to remind myself that none of us know what is round the corner and for the moment my body is stronger than the cancer; I am walking, talking, breathing and laughing. It makes no sense for the worry to become my main problem. The cancer is there but I am living with it and although at times it seems overwhelming I know I must ensure that it doesn’t entirely define me or take over who I am.