The strangest day… (II)

The emotional bit……………

So results day yesterday, good news….much better than I could have hoped for and so we returned home. Now if I thought any of my previous posts were difficult to write, really they don’t even begin to match up to the complicated tale I have to tell today. In fact it has taken me the best part of the day to even begin writing and it still all feels a jumble. I haven’t a clue how to even begin explaining a day in which my reactions bore no resemblance to my expectations of myself upon hearing such news. So I ask you to bear with me in my rambling and if by the end of this, you think me slightly crazy or self-pitying…………..well………….

So on a day when I would have expected to be having a wee celebration at the good news, I found myself in tears and lost, not knowing what to do with myself, behaving atrociously towards Mark and just altogether out of sorts. Now if any of this were rational, I could perhaps put the tears down to feelings of relief….but no, nothing about my emotions yesterday was rational. Of course needing an explanation for the inexplicable, once I finally settled down (after a self-imposed afternoon of solitude) I sought to pull my thoughts and emotions apart and tried to figure out what the heck was going on. I cannot take complete credit for this as I was greatly helped by a phone call to the wonderful Macmillan Cancer Support help line where I began feeling as if I might have been losing my mind and finished, realising that in all of this, there is no ‘abnormal’ or ‘right or wrong way to feel’. Perhaps these are phrases that are dished out to every caller in every situation, but I can tell you that the calming conversation with a lovely lady on the other end of the line, worked wonders with reassurances and emotional support. So now to dissect and try to understand.

Now pretty much as soon as I received my diagnosis, I began to see my treatment and recovery as a series of steps, to be taken … one …at… a… time. Each time I tried to jump ahead my brain would begin to whizz and whirl and send me into a frenzy of ‘what if’s’  and second guessing.
Very quickly I made a conscious decision to focus on the next thing and leave the future till later. During my diagnosis appointment and pre-op appointment the general consensus was that it was pretty much a given that after surgery I would be receiving chemotherapy as a start to my process of treatment. In the weeks of waiting for my pathology results I began formulating an action plan for getting through chemotherapy, even so far as making decisions about what to do with my hair when the time came (no flushing my pride and joy  down the loo here – I was going to get it shaved off and do something positive!) Now of course in hindsight I can see the obvious flaw in my reasoning here – in my efforts to just focus on one step at a time, and with my incredible talent for impatience, and in an effort to grasp a tiny ounce of control over my future, I had not realised that I had actually jumped one step ahead already! But hey-ho – I am a complete novice at this whole thing and I guess mistakes and miscalculations are inevitable!

 With the very little information that I had received, I had the next month all figured out. I read extensively about chemo and also read the stories of others in my situation. From all this reading, I began to figure out (or form my own very personal opinion) that amongst most of the common fears upon a cancer diagnosis is the fear of dying and the fear of chemo. Now I can honestly say that the first of these has never even entered my head…not even for a nano-second. Even fearing that my cancer was a possible Stage 3, I have never doubted that the treatment would work for me and I would make a full recovery. As for the chemotherapy, of course I appreciate that it is a horrible thing to go through and much worse for some than others. I don’t underestimate how difficult and debilitating it can be. I just knew that of all the things that I could possibly fear with this situation, chemotherapy is not my monster-under-the-bed. Hair loss is temporary, sickness can come and go – everything for me felt do-able. So I guess in a round about way that brings me to the thing that does make me feel that this situation sucks beyond all reasoning even after receiving the ‘good’ news. My kryptonite if you will. The reason for my melt-down yesterday and the implications of the  future steps that had not yet appeared on my horizon of understanding.

Yep, that old chestnut …… fertility.

(PS – okay as this post has turned into a novel and it is 1.15am I will continue hopefully tomorrow (today)  All this is so hard to write about. I want to be open, I worry that I write too much, I fear that folks might think me self-pitying, that people I know may think different of me. But I am determined to follow this thing through………… please bear with me)

(PPS – every time I have a wobbly about the fact that I am writing this blog and wonder ‘who could possibly be interested in the loop-di-loopiness of my current crazy life’ and think I should keep all this to myself and stop writing, I look at my blog stats and see that folks are reading (so many more folks than I could have ever imagined) so I guess I shall continue….)

(PPPS – I do have more to write about my pathology and my reactions to it and I am determined to get it all down in the blog so that no parts are missing – but I may not get to this straight away. After all – I get married in around 37 hours time!!!!!!  So perhaps the continuation of this post may come after a wedding post – I reckon that is a fairly justifiable excuse for leaping from one subject matter to another – don’t you?)



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.
This entry was posted in facing the unknown, Results, Treatment, worrying. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The strangest day… (II)

  1. Tracey says:

    Mrs Cox you enrapture me with your loop-de-loop-ness!

    C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S O N Y O U R M A R R I A G E T O M A R K.

    Tracey x

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