Whenever I look at my reflection an unfamiliar person dodges in front. Who is this diminutive lady bobbing about?
I am mesmerized by her smiley, perky, face. Her skin is peachy and smooth. Her bright green sparkling eyes tell of a sense of fun, I’m intrigued. She has a healthy mop of exuberant bouncy curls. Her clothes, charcoal grey, short wool tunic teamed with Tenniel stripe leggings, ankle boots, and a herring bone tweed jacket, I want to be her friend. Where’s this little glowing person from?
This is me. There’s a ferocious stab of pain as I remember only a couple of short months ago I missed buying a wonderful heirloom hat because I couldn’t bare to be confronted by my baldness in the public glare of a shop when I took off my beret to try it on. I balked at these new curls as they grew back replacing my previously dead straight hair. Such are my outward physical changes. Again and again I’m reacquainted with the facts of life, welcome to c world.
It’s not really about those physical changes but acceptance of the deep psychological shifts that have taken place. Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been much furniture moving in my head, clearing the decks of breast cancer. In bright spring sunshine the architect and I walk over the water meadows, the talk is of acceptance, I want his guidance, he has come to terms with so much. I am shedding the old, becoming the new me. I am building, like a cadis fly, bits assembled from whatever comes my way, driftwood, glass chips, shreds of paper, rags, pot shards, to make a sparkly jewel from the flotsam of life.
Bound together with my kids, we have traveled a slippery route, sometimes one faltering, hand out stretched we steady each other. I am confident in the way they will drag me over any obstacle in our path. And in amongst this sticky, messy, tangle a successful new set of results arrives for the boy. Throughout all this they have both kept their heads clear, aiming for what they want, keeping to their grooves. We have become a beautiful, complex weave. I am a proud mother.
At the day surgery reception the sister is brought to the phone. I understand the language she uses, as the patient on the other end explains about her chemotherapy, they agree to postpone her appointment ‘til May. So recently my story. It feels like a milestone, at last I am well enough for a colonoscopy. My sister is with me, I am ready for anything.
I tell the nurse thanks to chemotherapy I have difficult veins, the can do lady replies she’s the woman for me, as bingo, first try, the cannula slips home.
I am perched in bed, in the regulation gown, cot sides up, reading the paper. The consultant comes in carrying my topply thick file of notes. Taking his cue from me, the atmosphere is relaxed, we could be at a party, his shoulder leans into the wall, in the moment his head cocked. Looks like you’ve had a lot going on, what’s your story Amanda?
Later in the day Simon, my ever ready buddy through this adventure texts me.
I’ve never been so pleased to hear news about a bottom before. Really brilliant. My suggestion is you sit on said bottom for a little longer……couldn’t be more delighted. You have been fab throughout these horrors and deserve some good fortune and fun and adventure.
All clear, relief is a mighty feeling. Thank you.