The C-word

With just over one week to go to the wedding (remember to breathe Gillian) as well as being so excited I could squeal I am also becoming increasingly nervous and jittery – and perhaps not about the most obvious of things. With everything absolutely in hand organisation-wise (unless we have missed something glaringly important such as marriage licence or rings – ooh the rings!!!) my whirling thoughts and quite frankly wild and completely over active imaginations are turning to other things. My outfit is sorted (hand-made addition “in hand” as it were) the food is very kindly being given as a gift by lovely friends (cucumber sandwiches and victoria sponge galore!) Mark’s suits is ordered, the hotel is booked and any other details are being worked through.

So what is it that is worrying me so? The ‘C’word is the fly in the pie. Now, as I have written before, I am a chatter-box, completely unable to not ‘talk things over’ and an absolute open book, so talking about this whole cancer thing has not been an issue in the least. Chatting about it has helped me enormously, writing about it has been cathartic and my only worry has been that other people may find it uncomfortable (or boring) or want to dodge the subject matter. But my experience so far, has been that folks get that it is good to talk. They want to know how I am doing and I have never had that feeling that it is something that should be kept quiet. Infact absolutely the opposite – there has actually been many jokes and alot of laughter about the whole situation too (strange as it may seem) – but there you go – my friends and family just understand me and my humour.

However now that the wedding day is fast approaching and I am beginning to envisage a small grouping of our closest family and friends together in one place I am beginning to develop the dreadful (probably irrational) fear that due to my openness to date, it will be the hot topic of conversation on the day. And I absolutely don’t want it mentioned. Not even once. Mark and I will have heard enough about the C word on tuesday when I get my results and I am sure we have many months ahead of us where we will be talked at and have the opportunity to talk about it to our hearts content should we so wish. (Goodness I can’t imagine that happening to be honest – there are so many more interesting things to talk about and my goal is to have this done and dusted as soon as possible and for it to be a part of the distant past in the not too distant future if that makes sense)  So I am now having waking nightmares that folks will be mentioning it either at every opportunity or in passing or huddled in corners, in jest, or in sympathy or just in a ‘well we talk about it any other day’ kind of way on our wedding day. My imagination clearly leads me to ridiculous places.

This will be our wedding day – a day we have looked forward to for so long and a day that we just want to be perfect. So in my less stoic moments, I have now become obsessed with trying to think of ways that I can have some control over the discussions on that day. Despite my plans being absolutely irrational, completely innapropriate and quite frankly smelling a tad pungent with the fragrance of ‘spoilt brat’ syndrome I am wondering which ones I can actually utilise to ensure that my fears don’t take over the joys of the day.

Plan #1 Email everybody in some kind of preemptive strike banishing anyone from mentioning the C word even in jest or sympathy or by way of conversation or understanding or empathy …or…or…. ‘There is no C in Wedding day!!!!!’ kind of a thing – perhaps I should just banish all words beginning with C just to make sure.

Plan #2 Put a sign on the door. ‘Cancer or any associated phrase or subject matter is not to be discussed or mentioned in this house on this day only.’ You know….that sort of thing.

Plan #3 Employ a couple of generously proportioned fellows to stand at the door with ‘spy-like’ ear apparatus that will detect any conversation from 50ft away and rugby tackle the perpetrators to the ground before forcibly vacating them from the premises.

Mmm, perhaps my plans aren’t that great after all.

Of course if anyone were to try to ban me from mentioning a particular word or phrase on any other occassion, the word cancer (or any other associated word) would then multiply and repeat and form rude rhyming slang in my brain until it would be all I could think about and in the super-human effort that it would take for me to not accidentally say the C word I would then have to put my hand over my mouth in order to prevent myself squealing like an overboiled kettle. (whew that was a super long sentence.) I would find myself asking for chemo (sorry keeeeey-liiiiime pie, key LIME pie) or some other faux pas and making an utter ‘tit’ of myself would have to creep away to fan my scarlet cheeks in embarassment.

Good grief.

(yep, this diagnosis appears to have transformed me into the previously un-known twin sister of Charlie Brown)

So as you can see I have managed to tie myself in knots with all this worrying which is a sure sign that I have had far too much time on my hands during my recovery from surgery. Although I have been working a few short hours a day, I have found myself lapsing into day-dreams and thoughts of my up and coming hospital appointment. Day dreams should be reserved for creative thoughts and not self-destructive, whiny ‘what-ifs’! Proper work begins tomorrow. No more lazing around using every tool in the book to try and distract myself from just getting on with my life.

And no more worrying about things that I have no control over. I just hope that next Friday folks will instinctively know that C stands for Ceremony, Celebration and Congratulations….

and Coffee Cake…

and Cupcake (infact cake of any kind)…

and Champagne….

and Crying with laughter…

and Cox (my soon to be surname)


About gillianleesmith

A lifetime fascination with storytelling, history, fairytales and folklore, has led me to create imagery based on the everyday whirling mind of a person who does not always wish to be rooted in the realistic present. Themes of times gone by and reminiscence are especially evident in my designs and my work often delves into the expression and characterisation of our human nature, which we may hide away and only ever glimpse at when prompted by a reflection of our inner selves. My character sculptures in particular are a nod towards my own imaginations, avid reading and childhood dreams. They are a way of seeking the perfect representation of our character. Each tells an original tale, with a single image that endeavors to embody a whole life story in an uncomplicated way. My most recent work begins to explore ‘dwelling places’, a place where we can truly be content and again the setting that truly represents our character and history. Each material used is carefully chosen to create layers of texture incorporating textiles, paper, paint, hand painted imagery and meticulously detailed hand embroidery. The combinations of varying media help me to create many layers and textures, which are evocative of the memories and history that is integral to my work. Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in Performance Costume in 2005, I have since been working on my own creations as well as teaching workshops with community groups. More recently, I have been coordinating a project involving reminiscence work with older people. This has been a huge source of inspiration to my latest artwork and themes of memories, dreams and childhood.
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3 Responses to The C-word

  1. Carol says:

    Well you an’t all me arol 🙂 x

  2. Christine says:

    Have a wonderful day – I’ll be throwing virtual Confetti, eating virtual Cake, drinking virtual Champagne and sending you Congratulations on the big day. I might actually eat real cake 🙂 xxxxx

  3. sue says:

    just to let you know i’ll be thinking about you tomorrow, sending love xx

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