The first 3 or 4 days after chemo is like having a dreadful bout of flu for 4 days which knocks you so much for six that you can hardly lift your arm off the duvet, plus you feel nauseous and have a nasty taste in the mouth, but then, unlike flu, it suddenly lifts as the poison leaves your body and you are once again let out of prison - the sky is blue and life is precious and sparkling again.
It’s Boxing Day, and I’m on the upswing! Still very tired as yesterday was day three, and therefore, quite a strain. I had to push myself through it on adrenaline, but I did manage to, and to stay up from onwards and join in the fun.
Mia’s squeaks of delight as she opened a mountain of presents added to thepleasure. She got all the presents she wanted on her fairly modest list for Santa and a few others she hadn’t thought of. Potts had sent her a disguisekit complete with huge pink ears, a bald head cap (!), selection of moustaches, hideous teeth and glasses with nose attached and she put the lot on and ran around startling everyone. There was an alka seltzer bomb thing for Massimo; a grow your own sheep by adding water thing for Aimi, and for me, a purple teeshirt on the front of which the words “Approaching Magnificence” were printed, which I will probably wear for the next session at the Marsden!
At the risk of making a few people jealous, I can honestly say that I have never had such a “joyful” Christmas Day. It’s not the one I would have chosen. That would have included His Naughtiness, of course - Christmas on duty in Intensive Care put paid to that dream! However, in spite of everything, it was still wonderful.
If I didn’t truly believe that I have already beaten this very curable illness, and that the odds are truly excellent against its return, I would be feeling quite anxious that those around me know something that I don’t. Instead of the normal pile of pot pourri, bars of soap and the odd book I usually find myself, slightly resentfully, left with from under the tree, after I have spent a fortune on everyone else - this year I have been deluged with thoughtful and/or expensive gifts which include... a 14” carved wooden owl from Christopher and Lisa to add to my owl collection; a very smart working girl’s go cup for tea and hot drinks to take in the car; a pashmina scarf from Barry; a very pretty jewellery box and a large white candle of carved roses from Avril and Winston; a really beautiful purple wild silk Lavender bag with silk violets on it to make a room smell nice from Deborah; a very stylish silver pepper and salt set from Mass’s brother Aldo; a flowered all in one hammer with a set of screwdrivers in the handle from Jenny; cashmere bed socks from Maureen; 3 moleskine ruled journal books for my midnight scriblings; a Dalai Lama calendar/notepad and a “therapist in a box” kit with stress buster toy which “won’t go away in August” from Mary and Allan; DVD of the film ‘Amelie’ from my young tenant Flavien; set of three white candles in pretty pots from Sue, several boxes of chocs, and two books - ‘The Polar Bear Waltz’ of photographs, and a book by Lesley Garner called ‘Everything I’ve Ever Learned About Love’ signed by the author. WOW!!!!
I said quietly to Aimi, after opening this lot “I’ve got a funny feeling that some people may not be expecting to see me around next year”!
In addition to this bounty, I have also had tender loving phone calls from no less than 5 old beau’s over the last 3 days! One is offering to fly me to
On top of all this TLC, I had been ordered to do zilch towards the holiday preparations and to just “sit there and rest” throughout the entire festivities, thought I did manage to put up some decorations and a tree and have the children decorate it.
Today, I have been back on the sofa 'recovering' with a rug and a cuppa and am watching a hysterically funny cooking programme with Anthony Worrall and Oz someody – both suffering from the most unimaginable and visual hangovers. They looked absolutely dreadful and could hardly string words together at the beginning of the show; got all the ingredients wrong and dropped things, but have now had a Bloody Mary each with at least 50% Vodka and some other “left over booze” cocktails and are picking up and getting silly and quite tetchy with each other.
If I get the energy by lunchtime I am going to use their recipe for a turkey curry risotto, which looks delicious, and feed Aimi and Co when they arrive to dismantle the tables as they are a bit jaded today having been to the pub till late last night This will be my little offering for the day.
There have been several phone calls from friends who are disappointed with their Christmas in some way. The general theme seemed to be that loved ones had not done enough or shown enough love, appreciation, helpfulness, etc., and that they were now exhausted and resentful towards their ungrateful kin.
Not so for me!. My cup runneth over with gratitude and I am in danger of getting used to this and becoming a smug b….h! However, I don't expect that Christmas will ever be like this again! (If it is I will be very worried!)
I am strangely and inexplicably happy today. I don’t have “what I want” but I “accept and am content with “what I have” with a grateful heart, and believe that I am indeed getting “what I need” from Good Orderly Direction, and that yet another exciting chapter in my life lies ahead next year.
“I read this passage this morning”
Words to Consider
“Although all men share a common destiny, each individual also has to work out his personal salvation for himself. We can help each other find the meaning of life, but in the last analysis, each is responsible for finding himself.” (Thomas Merton)
One of the great spiritual truths is that each person must work out his or her own personal salvation. When a person you care about is in trouble, you can reach out to support his or her healing, but past a certain point you can do no more. No matter now much you love, you cannot carry another person’s burdens.
What can you do when someone you love is in pain? First, affirm that there is a purpose behind the experience. Know that the soul has some important lesson to learn that will be of great value to him or her.
Second, although you cannot directly intervene, you’re positive thoughts and prayers do make a difference. Visualize your friend surrounded by light and love. This type of healing acts directly on the soul level and does not encounter resistance from the conscious mind.
Finally, know that Divine protection is present. The forces of light are always available to the person who requests help. Ultimately, no soul can be lost; as all who ask will be guided to the safety of their spiritual home.”
Tonight I’m going over to Aimi’s to play Monopoly and listen to Mia singing with her new Karaoke machine (I think she has an eye on the X Factor – Heaven help us!!!), tomorrow night we are going Ice Skating at Somerset House – or rather they are going skating and I am going to watch! A broken wrist or leg would not be a sensible thing to accommodate under present circumstances, and on Thursday we are all off to inspect my cousin Christopher’s new love nest in Kenilworth and stay the night with a visit to my lovely ancient Auntie Amy in Oxford en route, and now for another mince pie!!!