Thursday, February 27, 2014

I want to smash windows...

I want to smash windows. 

Throw plates at the wall...

Two simple words are crushing the air out of me. 

Breast Cancer

It is early stage cancer. non invasive; well it might have invaded at micro level but we won't know until after surgery. We need to take a couple of lymph nodes too...say the Surgeon and Breast Care Nurse with gentle smiles...watching how I, how we, deal with the news.

I ring to tell friends then end the call before they have time to react. I can't cope with their tears. I snap at the words it will be all right, You are strong, keep positive... I stop telling people.

I never asked why me after the brain tumour and am fighting the urge now. I have done nothing wrong. I am not being punished. I have cared for people all of my life but I am not being punished. It's biology. Science...

But I have lost so much already. I don't want to lose any more of me...

Mr H is consumed by why my Dawn

Fear invades in the middle of the night when neither of us can sleep. By day I turn page after page of every booklet I have been given. Search medical sites for clinical papers: rates of spread, outcomes after mastectomy versus wide excision and radiotherapy... 

I am exhausted. Mr H is heartbroken.

But there is always joy in the garden

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Left is right but right is wrong...

I ran my hand down my piano teacher Sue's silky green arm and asked 

Did you knit this? It's beautiful

Yes alpaca wool. Why don't you knit one I'll give you the pattern

With the help of my crafty friend Chris, who had encouraged me to knit in hospital, I sourced the wool from the internet and began clicking with my new bamboo needles. 

But months later when I held the back of my bluey green cardigan up to my chest I groaned with dismay. It was big enough to fit the alpaca who had shed the fleece. So, sitting in front of the fire I unravelled the back and left front and started a smaller size...

Then we got an allotment and my second attempt, like an unwanted baby alpacasat abandoned for almost a year...

This week feeling guilty I pick up my needles again and for the second time finish the back and left front. But when I start the right front my needles end up in a twist. Ten rows done but without the essential buttonhole. I unravel. Ten rows done but I have missed the extra plain stitches before the moss starts. I launch wool and needles at the wall. It unravels as it hits the floor. Eight rows done... wrong... I ring Sue. 

My left is right but my right keeps going wrong.

Sue arrives in her knitting rescue outfit. Unravel. Explain. Restart...

Never, never, never give up - Winston Churchill

Rule 5 in Taming my woollen Tiger: The tools are all around you - Jim Lawless

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Instilling positivity

A few days after my second operation I was sat by my bedside when a Medical Consultant,with whom I had previously worked, came to see the patient next to me. He glanced at me, then his head shot around and his inquisitive eyes took in my partly shaved head and my lifeless legs before he said; Dawn what are you doing here...

I cannot recall much of what was said apart from You must stay positive. 

As my journey unfolded I met adversity around street corners. I faced it. Confronted it. Trod on it. Tripped over it a few times but have always stood right back up...

Stay Positive

Last night as usual there was little on TV so Mr H and I re-watched The Help. An inspiring, moving film where a young author makes a risky decision to write a book giving the African-American maid's perspective on the white families for which they work. The film is set in Mississippi during the 1960's civil rights movement. 

Aibleen reminded me how important it is to instil positivity at the beginning of each persons journey. Something she attempted to do with little Mae Mobley; whose mummy was consumed by false friendships, by telling her: You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important...

From The Help (2011) Book by Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn also reminded me why I started writing my blog:
Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else - Kathryn Stockett

Friday, February 7, 2014

'Only when I laugh' - Master of one liners

My Dad was a frustrated entertainer, nothing made him happier than causing a good belly laugh as he performed his Mick Jagger impression with a paper plate between his teeth. He was also the master of one liners. When asked does it hurt? his inevitable reply was Only when I laugh, a little gem he stole from the 1970's TV sitcom by Eric Chappell.

Mr H is a serious 'one line master'. As we encounter hurdles in life he shares them like a bag of sweets. Aside from raspberry ruffles, liquorice and coconut mushrooms; some of his favourites include:
The finest steel goes through the hottest fire

If it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger
Friedrich Nietzsche

A home made recipe mixed with raised eyebrows and shoulder shrugs has helped us deal with scan result after scan result...
Don't see the demons until the demons bite us on the bum
Mr H and Dawn

Or as the Buddha more eloquently put it
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

On my slow journey of acceptance I have learnt that actions speak louder than any words and letting go takes more strength than holding on to what was:
Talk 's cheap but it takes money to buy drink
Mr H

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is the letting go 
Hermann Hesse

But my Grandad outshone all when asked what was for tea, with a wide eyed stare over the rim of his glasses he replied...

Three runs round the table and a kick at the pantry door!