Cancer and other stuff

Archive for the month “September, 2012”


You wouldn’t have thought it would be possible to have pre-wedding jitters when you’re already #TheMarriedBride as my new friend @LouisaDouma called me this week when we were serving tea and cake to, and watching intense films with a load of pensioners (I’ve just started volunteering with North London Cares, they’re excellent) but as the W draws nearer, I find myself slightly on the hysterical side and it’s usually a combination of excitement and sheer terror. Not because of the day itself – yes there’s still a lot to do and yes I’m worried about silly things like what if there aren’t enough power points in the venue, who knows how to work the lights, what if the mobile bar guy is late? And I’m sure everyone who’s ever got married has felt like that. The fact is you’ve got loads of people coming for what you promised would be an excellent party so you’d better make it so. Luckily I have my secret weapon in @bmbm who has co-ordinated pretty much everything and kept it all on track. And if the worst happens and the bar guy gets lost or doesn’t show, we all go to the shop next door and buy booze.

For me though, there is more resting on this and even knowing it and recognising it doesn’t make it any less difficult. Since April, when we got engaged, all our time has been spent planning to or getting married. We’re technically getting married twice, the run up to Gretna was stressful enough. Being married is heaven and I wouldn’t have changed running off like that. If I could do it all again, I would. Gretna was perfect. The moment where you’re pronounced man and wife is just epic and we’ve had three months of settling into being Mr & Mrs very nicely.

Next Saturday we’ll be welcoming 150 family and friends to London, to see us walk into a church and hear as we reaffirm the commitment we already made to each other. That’s emotional enough right? There will be people there who I haven’t seen in years, and who I may never see again if the truth be told, and THAT’S the hardest thing. I could be being completely paranoid but some days I feel like death is closer to me than ever and might come for me sooner than I’d like. And I see some of these people so infrequently that I’m not being dramatic when I say it’s quite probable I really won’t see some of them again and I really am going to have to work hard to not let that enter my head all day (which is perhaps why getting it down here is a good idea. I can re-read it tomorrow and think ‘well that’s just you being ridiculous. Stick some more coloured tape on a jam jar and pull yourself together woman’).Talking to Goldenballs about it the other day, he said “bloody hell babe, it’s a wedding not a wake” and of course he’s right, I just know that there is a terrible comedown due to me after the W, in lots of ways. The whole of 2012 we have had something to focus on – Thailand, getting through brain surgery then 6 months of wedding wedding wedding blah blah blah (thanks for sticking with me by the way, I know I’ve been a terrible bore about it all). After the W, when I’ve said my goodbyes and taken my dress off, then what? Back to hospital almost immediately after what has been a lovely break to almost certainly more bad news. As much as I quite like pretending I can’t feel things happening now, I think I can. Not horribly, just the cough that’s a bit more regular, the tight feeling down my side that seems to be creeping further down, my handwriting which was once fine and is now not terribly neat and occasionally a bit illegible thanks to having my head cut open and my brain fiddled with. I’ve been off chemo for quite some time now and considering that no drug has worked at all for over a year, I don’t quite know where we go next. I’d like to say ‘well I don’t have to think about it now’ but by this time next week I’ll have had a brain scan and got the results so it’s quite hard not to think about it which, 9 days before your wedding is not ideal. No-one’s expecting anything bad from this scan but assuming I get through that unscathed, I’ve got chest and bone scans in the next 3 weeks and I suspect that’s when life may start getting tough again.

On the flip side, I’ve been using my break to immerse myself in normality again. I sometimes feel I spend so much of my life talking about, dealing with, being treated for breast cancer that for the past couple of months I’ve deliberately looked for new things I can do which are completely separate from that. Spending some time watching films and chatting with older people is one thing. At the other end I’m about to start some volunteering with Hackney Pirates. Not change the world stuff, just stuff that’s nice and doesn’t involve cancer. Absolutely nothing to do with it. And when I do have to go back and face the cancer music, I’d like to keep up these things for as long as I can.

Not quite sure what this post is about except maybe, returning to the top: getting married is brilliant, am scared and nervous and as excited as a small child all at once about next Saturday and everyone’s gone to so much effort to try and make it good. But that little voice that says ‘don’t get used to it, it’ll soon be over then it’ll be time to start making some really hard decisions’ is there a bit louder every day. So luckily I have such a great DJ at the W in the form of @jonwclifford that I won’t be able to hear it for all the chooooons.


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