It’s easy to get into the habit of always thinking about what’s next. We all do it – planning for holidays, new jobs, our lives all mapped out. Years in advance. I had some myself, but don’t much care for them now. We can be guilty of forgetting that the unexpected might happen – a sudden death, life changing illness, divorce. Those things happen to other people we think, reassuring ourselves, I’ll stick with my important plans.
The line in the Baz Luhrmann song Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) “Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's” sums it up for me - your success is never 100% down to your own virtue and (bar a few exceptions) you probably aren’t a genius – great! The pressures off.
I haven’t spent much (any) time wondering why I got a brain tumour, and I don’t feel angry about it. I see it as the roll of the dice, getting the (unlucky) short straw. The stakes are high and it is inconvenient, for sure, but who knows? If it wasn’t this it might be something else – not necessarily now, but in the future.
I had a bad week last week, a tougher chemo round and a general feeling like I was trying to walk through treacle. Comments from my physiotherapist “that my walking looked really fatigued” before the session had even started induced tears - the first time she’d seen me be anything but practical and positive in the six months I’ve been seeing her. Tears at having to accept the impact my ongoing treatment has on me – making walking, and my whole rehabilitation much much harder. Tears at the realisation, that when she says it takes days for the brain to fully recover from seizures she’s right.
The next day I reported the seizures to the Neuro Oncology team. Two in two days, one lasting 45 minutes and then, suddenly, I had some options. I’d start a third anti-seizure med as an add-on, and would be getting a cast fitted to my ankle to help with general stability.
After a sit down dance to Get Lucky, I was feeling (almost) peachy again.
The unexpected can be catastrophic, but being able to deal with it - the rough and the smooth is something to strive for. There’s no formula, and I can't claim to have it all nailed down but what a privilege it is to be able to shake off the shackles of all those plans you had and see the world differently.
I’m doing every cliché in the book - blogging, painting and dyeing my hair pink.
Flying the flag and wearing the t-shirt.
And why not?
Let's start with the Jeans. I'd had it with skinnies really as soon as I came out of hospital. On a practical level I couldn't get them on myself and needed a lot of help, and the fact that one leg was much thinner than the other wasn't making me overjoyed. I tried mom jeans but there was something not quite right about them either. Orson from Topshop are the perfect in-between. High waisted, part mom, but straight leg and not skinny. I particularly like the subtle frayed edge which is just enough.
My sister came round wearing the 'peachy' tee and I ordered it literally 10 minutes after she'd gone. It's a good fit for a casual tee and the perfect combo of stripes and lettering. Not a lot more needs to be said.
Earrings - Topshop (now out of stock). Radio (similar still available) - John Lewis. Rose gold dish (similar still available) - Oliver Bonas. Lip Balm - Glossier (mine is 'cherry' - a marzipan dream). Sunglasses - old.