A different kind of update.Friday, March 01, 2013
I have to apologise. I realised last week, when I wrote about my mum having chemo many years ago, that I haven’t been keeping you in the loop. In fact, I haven’t really given you any update at all since we had bad news last April. So in return for all of your kindness about the new blog design, here is, erm, a nice depressing post about cancer. My thank you notes really leave something to be desired, don't they? Sorry. At least the pictures are pretty.
Last year came and went. There was treatment, there were scans. My mum lost her hair for the third time in her life. I sought some meaning and purpose in all this mess by swapping work for volunteering for a while. Slowly, very slowly, the hair grew back. The scans proved hopeful. We breathed out.
Then on Christmas Eve, of all days, I got a call to tell me she was in hospital with the same symptoms that had us worried last time. Thankfully she wasn't kept overnight into Christmas Day, and it turns out the side effects of steroids (eating constantly, putting on weight) are exactly the same as the side effects of Christmas, so no problems there.
The new year came, and with it a new treatment plan. More chemo. Hurrah. In an exciting new twist, this stuff doesn't make you bald, but it does leave your mouth bubbling with blisters and your feet in perpetual cramping agony, which is quite enough to be getting on with thank you very much.
And here we are still. Chemo, blisters, waiting, caring, hoping.
It’s funny how it gets both easier and harder to deal with bad news. Easier, because you've been through it before and know roughly what to expect. Harder, for the same reasons.
This time around, I've decided to cope by burying myself in creative projects. As well as the blog makeover, I designed and styled a display for my friend Lauren at the Glasgow Wedding Collective fair a couple of weeks ago, and in return she took these beautiful pictures of me with my mum and aunt. I can't thank her enough.
(Pictures of her stand in all its woody, scrabbly, flowery glory coming soon, because I know you're waiting with baited breath.)
And even more exciting than blog makeovers and pretty flowers, Fin and I are going on holiday tomorrow. TOMORROW. I can't wait. It's been a hard start to 2013 in many ways, not just because of the crap that my mum's going through. I'm still building up to telling you about all of it. But in the meantime, I plan on doing nothing in the next week but skiing, sleeping, drinking wine, reading actual printed books, and eating my body weight in unpasteurised cheese. (In case you can't tell from that description, we're going to France, a country where they store their cheese in the basement instead of the fridge. Bring it on.)
So that's where we are. I don't know why I've taken so long to get round to writing about this. You've always been so kind and supportive whenever I've talked about what we're going through, and hitting publish on posts like this always feels like a sigh of relief. Thank you for that.
While we're on this topic, forgive me if I take a moment to plug Breast Cancer Care's Big Pink Bucket Shake. They're holding collections all over the UK around Mother's Day (the UK version, which falls on 10th March this year) and need volunteers who are willing to shake buckets and exude cheer for an hour or two. If you live in the UK, I'd encourage you to check out the collections in your area and sign up if you can, or even organise your own. Pink wigs optional, smiles welcome.
See you on the other side.
Images: Lauren McGlynn Photography, taken in the Palm Court at the Balmoral Hotel, because we're posh.
→ Bad news