Sunday, May 18, 2008

May is still my favourite month and It's Time to say Goodbye

May is still my favorite month, and this May sees the end (finger's crossed) of my Cancer treatment for the foreseeable future.

I started out on this journey in May 2006, when London leaf and bud were preparing with me, for my darling daughter Aimi's marriage, little knowing what lay ahead in the months to come after the wedding celebrations were over.

24 months later, I am now free of all treatment and, as far as anyone knows, free of Cancer, thanks to early detection and the wonderful care and treatment I have received.

I am at the other end of the tunnel with a new crop of wavy hair. I have survived!

And so it is time to end this blog else it will drift into being just a chatty diary which was not it's purpose.

It was time to end it a month ago but I have procrastinated and dragged my feet towards this inevitable parting. It has been really hard to sit down and close this chapter in my life. A psychiatrist that I consulted for six sessions prior to my marriage in the early seventies due to a pair of very cold feet (they knew what lay ahead!!!) once said two very wise things to me that I have held on to for life.

The first thing he said was that my relationship in my forthcoming marriage would be no better and no worse after marriage than it was at that precise time. He was absolutely right, of course, and my hopes that things would get better with a ring on my finger proved not to be so.

The second amazing insight he gave me after a relatively short, getting-to-know-me, period was "Why are you so afraid to lose the thing you love"?

I have never found a satisfactory answer to that question, and it's origin must lie in childhood somewhere, but, in spite of all the work I have done on myself over the years, the fear is still alive and kicking today. If I love something or someone, that love is almost always intertwined with the terror of imminent loss and/or abandonment.

With any loss, whether person, place or thing, there is the inevitable empty space to be experienced before new growth replaces it, and so with a fairly heavy heart it's time to say goodbye and face the void bravely and with many, many thank yous to be expressed.

We Do Belong!
I received a small royalty cheque this morning, for mechanical sales of my little song "We Don't Belong" - now viewable on You Tube and available on itunes!! (sorry about the plug!)

This fairly obscure disc which I recorded in 1965 has been re-discovered and re-released on two compilation cds, recently, one of which was nominated for two Grammy Awards this February (best historical and best packaging!) and is still staggering on saleswise!!

In order to achieve any of the meager success this little song has earned, I needed the help of a 70 piece live orchestra to accompany me all those years ago at Lansdowne Recording Studios, Notting Hill.

In order to get through early stage breast cancer, surgery, chemotherapy and other treatments, I have needed another 70 piece live orchestra which has been made up of my family and friends who have stood by me with love, support, encouragement, presents and practical help to see me safely through this passage.

I would like to acknowledge them now.

On piano, my wonderful daughter Aimi who was gifted to me staight from heaven. For her huge and constant range of always being there; for quietly fetching me, after her work, in my dressing gown and taking me back to hers for supper on the bad days, for standing on the steps at the Marsden with tears matching mine in her eyes when we were told I had to have chemo, and for being the best daughter anyone could ever hope to be lucky enough to have - Thank you darling!

On drums, cousin Christopher, for providing a steady and continuous beat of practical helpfulness, cheerfulness and encouragement (as did cousin Irene) and for all the cups of tea and chats on my bed in the morning that kept me going. - Thank you Chris!

My son in law Massimo on bass, who held it all together on the occasions when I just had to work. For carrying equipment that I was too tired to manage and changing rolls of film when my fingers were too creaky to do it and for ferrying me about - Thank you Mass!

To my darling granddaughter Mia, on triangle, for providing the light entertainment and the joy of her company after school and at weekends. Thank you darling Mia!

The (heart) Strings section containing: Connie & Peter, Sue Coles, Irene, Francis Topp, Penny Tham, Mary Morris, Deborah Peat, Aunty Amy, Lisa Nokes, Amica & Frenchie and Liane Saunders, all of whom I will NEVER be able to thank enough. Thank you all!

Instrumentalists, Brother Jon and Jessica, Johnanna and Sam, cousins - Bill & Bernie, Stephen, Robert & Jane, Johny & Janet, Richard, David Whitt, David & Marysia, Digby, Cherry, Kinny; dear friends, Avril & Winston, Jenny Lee-Wright, Robin & triplets, Ruth and Alan Franks, Cam & Kate Fairchild, Karine & Donald McCall, Michael, Chad & Lainie Vaughan, Peter & Sherry Doyle, Marc Guild, Bill Potts, Leslie & Robert Engels; Barry Fitzgerald, Kerry Falcon, Bernice, Ric Hiscott, Annie, Leapy
lee, Kearrey Graham, Ann Findon, Andi Welman, Barbara Frederickson, Maureen Holllinrake, Sarah Wooldridge, Judy Chilcotte, Julie Ivelaw-Chapman, Cynthia Rogers, Caroline Gardner, Zelda (Valerie) Chesterfield, Nick and Fiona Carter, Jane Russell, Rosallind Bailey, Caroline Upton, Andrea, Sylvia Boyd Norris, June Reed, Carol Reed, Les Reed, Donna Reed. Roger Greenaway, Sean DeVine, Karen Crowley, Verina Wilson, Diana Baer, Nigel Ryan, Jeremy Vaughan, Carol Stockham, Pam, Dunja Lavrova, Richard Gambrill.

Chorus: Beppie, Robert Wodjaki, Karima Chentous, Sveltla, Katya,Mrs Morozgalska, Father Mark & the staff at St John's school. Maxine & Yvone, the Hair Garden.
Claire Nichols for reflexology, psychology and healing. Alex, Gosia & Chris at the Haven.
Mr Gui - surgeon extraordinnaire, Mr Smith's oncology team of doctors; Marsden nurses Francesca, Olive, Valerie, Stephanie, Zoe, Jenny, Paulina, Sonia, Michelle, Motoko, Arleen, Soot Mee, & Zena on reception

And last, but certainly not least, my ever-young musical director, Russell Herring who put a song in my heart, and wielded his magic baton throughout the symphony with some unforgettable solos on the French Horn. - Don't ask!!!!

I shall now step down as Priniciple Artist and take my place again in the Great Orchestra of life as we all roll along to the music and to our ultimate and unavoidable Destination together.

If I have helped anyone who has been dealt the Cancer Card through the sharing of my experience it has been well worth it and that makes me feel good.

Thank you all
Thank you for listening
Thank you for reading
Thank you for phone calls, presents, cards, flowers, hugs and smiles
Thank you for your love

We DO Belong!!! We belong to each other

and - All Shall Be Well.