pollygosh_truth-speaking

One day more! Another day, another destiny….

One more to go.

One more to go.

One more to go.

One more mountain, then a smooth path and no more climbing – for a while at least.

I can’t really believe it. Such a long time coming but not really anytime at all. One third of a year. If I was still at school, I’d have an interesting “what I did this summer” essay. I watched the weather change through windows, from my bed. Now, just as the season begins to change it will be over.

It feels unreal, it has always felt unreal. Half a year that will change you fundamentally. Actually, the change happens as soon as you find the lump, the next six months are treading water.

We’re not done yet. I get sometime off then there’s Radiotherapy and Hormone Therapy and possibly Genetic testing and more operations and, and, and. I’m beginning to realise I’ll never be able to put this in a box, that’s the thing about Cancer it will always be there, hovering.

That’s another post for another time. No more Chemo is worth celebrating. No more PICC line is worth celebrating too.

Is it an accomplishment? I don’t know. There has been a moment, *cough* several moments, after each blasting when I’ve sworn I’d not do it again. I was done. I was going to quit. I made my peace with being a quitter, I composed posts called ‘I’m a quitter and I don’t care’. Getting to the end? I guess it makes me feel unstoppable. I’m lucky, I know just how weak and how strong I am. That’s powerful information to hold. I’m one tough cookie.

But it’s not just me, Dad and A. have one last Chemo too. It has taken this triangle of love to get me through, sometimes kicking and screaming. These two wonderful humans have, will always have, my highest admiration and humble thanks. I do not think I have the words to do my heroes justice; I’ve never had to be strong when I’ve not wanted to be, my good days have been celebrated, I’ve been protected on my not so good days, tears have been wiped, hugs and kisses free flowing and all my food whims answered. They are the toughest of cookies. If I wasn’t so selfish, I’d suggest they should be cloned and given out on the NHS but they are MINE and I LOVE them deeply. How lucky am I?

There’s one last thing I’d like to say. A HUGE THANK YOU to my family and friends, near and far. I will never again mock the expression “it takes a village” – it really, really does. Every blog post you’ve read, every Facebook “like” or comment, every phone call, text, email, card, letter, gift and visit; has made me feel less isolated (and Cancer can feel very isolating), less of a sick freak. I may not of managed to see everyone, taken you up on your kind offers of help or company but just the fact you offered, touched my heart and made me feel less alone. I’ll pay it forward I promise you.

Next year, lets all meet up and have a massive party.

pollygosh

A Few of My Favorite Things

So on Friday I have my last Chemo! I also get my PICC Line removed, no more Robo-Arm. I know, right? I’m bound to go into detail, at some point, about how this is blowing my mind but for now I thought I’d offer up something far more practical and hopefully, useful.

Chemo is harsh. It’s harsh on all the cells in your body. They in turn start to freak out in many new and exciting(!) ways. Mainly by falling out (hello hair) and generally dying or getting really, really dry and sore. I’ve complied a list of all the things that I’ve tried that actually work, at least they work for me.

I’m a skin care and beauty junky so it’s pretty extensive and some are pricier than the average Pharmacy product. Sorry about that, I am who I am. The way I figure it, going through Chemo is a pretty good time to roll out some serious TLC. I try, no matter how rubbish I’m feeling, to look after my skin. Not only does it soothe the soles it soothes the soul (boom boom). At a time when I’m subjecting my body to a battery of hideous chemicals and I can’t protect it from the consequences; what gives me more feeling of control so doing what I can to make it feel better.

Also (and this sounds dumb), I’ve sometimes blamed my body for all of this and hated it. Instead of punishing it, I try to do some thing kind instead. It reminds me it’s not our fault, it’s just some rogue cells.

The TLC List:

coconut oil

I don’t know what I’d do without coconut oil, it is a staple, click above for more info on the benefits and multiple uses. I started of using it on my scars and my love blossomed from there. It’s great to cleanse your face with, sounds weird but it removes all sorts of grime and make-up while not stripping your face. The fact that it has antibacterial properties makes me feel like it’s helping with my weird post-chemo rashes. I use it on my scalp too (not if I’ve going bald in the sun obviously!) as it’s meant to strength hair and help with dandruff – I’m getting a head start! Use it on your body too and in your cooking. It’s brill.

buy here

 

Pai Rosehip Oil

Great for scars and great for your face. At night and presently during the day too (my skin hates me at the moment), I mix this is coconut oil and smother my face in a bid to appease it. It helps a great deal.

buy here

ByTerry Rose Baume De Rose

Ok, you are all going to choke if you click below and see the price of this. For a lip balm? I know appalling BUT severely chapped and bleeding lips are so sore and, trust me, you are going to be sore enough. Best treat the things you can. Incidentally, lip balms have always held a corner of my heart – I have tried a lot, a lot a lot. The greasy, petroleum jelly based ones DO NOT work on really chapped lips. Cheaper ones mostly slide off pretty quickly too. This one sticks around and offers sweet, sweet relief. I have had my pot since Summer 2013 (stress induced skin freak out) and have used it every evening before bed and I’ve still not finished it up. So, cost per wear is pretty low, that’s what I say!

buy here

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

If you are State side or have a friend who is, this is a slightly cheaper alternative to the above, it’s equally (or perhaps more) amazing.

buy here

Bodyshop Hemp Hand Cream

A very, very long time ago I used to work in The Bodyshop and this was a newish product. We used to sell out, have waiting lists and a constant stream of customers after this. These people had the sorest looking hands I have ever seen; eczema covered, chapped and bleeding hands. They swore this soothed them like nothing else. I now use it on my hands and feet.

buy here

Shea Butter

When I’m not using the Hemp Hand Cream, I use Shea Butter. Click the link above for all the good properties. I like to use it to give my feet a good massage and my oddly scaly legs too. I’ve got an old tin from goodness knows where that I started using just to use darn thing up. Now I really hope it lasts until after chemo. It smells super yummy too.

buy here

Lush Dream Cream

Soothing, soothing body lotion that doesn’t offend my delicate sense of smell. It helps a lot with any itching but I do also use the coconut oil or shea butter as well – my skin is Sahara dry.

buy here

This Works Sleep Range
The pillow spray is amazing if pain or fears are keeping me awake.

buy here

Sensodyne Gentle Mouthrinse
I’ve not had any mouth worries, ulcers and the like, for which I am incredible grateful. This is the only thing I’ve been using constantly, so I included it here.

buy here

Soap and Glory Exfoliating Scrub Glove
This is going to seem like the last thing you want to do to grumpy skin but I think a light scrub has really helped. These are the softest and most cushioned ones I could find. I also thing it has helped to occasionally use them on my scalp, weirdly I have had some ingrown hairs up there! Who knew? This helps free them and prevent more. Just go gently and wash the gloves often, to prevent nasties breeding.

buy here

 

Philip Kinsley No Scent No Colour

Prior to all this, my scalp hated me. I was using this shampoo before I got sick, as it was the only thing that soothed me. I didn’t actually know it was formulated for chemo hair until later. I use it to clean my scalp now, an important step.

buy here

Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Colour

Sadly, steroids and Chemo have taken their toll and wearing make-up leaves me looking a lot like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. My lovely Cousin S. sent me this lipstick in Baby Lips, it matches my (healthy and long gone) lip colour perfectly and is the only make-up I wear at the moment. It’s a sad time.

buy here

Dr Bronner’s liquid soap

This stuff as a tonne of uses and is mild enough for my weirdo skin.

buy here

I’ve stopped using antiperspirants daily, I figure my body has enough chemicals in it and it probably wants to expel them. Who am I to try to stop it? The deodorants below are very effective alternatives.

Soapwalla Deoderant

buy here

Lavanila

Think this one is an America only one, I’m afraid.

buy here

Glad Press and Seal food wrap
This is going to seem like an odd one but bear with. You need to keep your PICC line dry and away from infection, the hospital will suggest baths and cling film. I hate cling film; it never seemed to work, is a pain to try to wrap around your self and seems to slip off at a moments notice. Mum used to bring this stuff back from the states by the suitcase full and distribute it around the family. I have finally found its ultimate purpose. As it’s highly sticky and forms a tighter seal than cling, it is perfect for PICC line care. Just try not to think of the environment, Cancer is really bad for our planet. The link below is a similar product for those in the UK, I think you can get the GLAD version in ASDA and for silly money on Amazon.

buy here

DryPro Waterproof PICC Line Protector
I prefer showers and I love to swim, I was heart broken when I was told the PICC line would hinder me in this. I was told a big fat ‘NO’ to swimming, infections abound. I managed to find 1 nurse willing to hear me out. She was a PICC line expert who said, as I swim outdoors and provided I didn’t swim while my bloods were low, I could try it. I just needed to find a way of keeping the line protected. A’s mum found this and it has been a god-send. It does require help getting into, so if A or Dad are not around, it’s a no go. It really keeps everything dry while showering, it’s reasonable while swimming. The packaging suggests you can water ski but I’d contest that. It’s worth a look at but check with your medical professionals before taking the plunge (so to speak).

buy here

You’ve probably noticed that I’m using a number of natural products, mainly because I’ve adverse to adding more chemicals to my system. I think these are gentle and equally, if not more effective than their chemically laidened cousins.

pollygosh_cancer-is-an

10 Things I Sometimes Contemplate May Have Given Me Cancer But Probably Didn’t…Vol 2

I’ve been contemplating what led me here again. Think I’ve nailed it this time.

1) When I was small, I used to really like chewing paper, I don’t recall why, mainly because I was one weird little chick. I seem to remember after-supper mandatory mouth searches and lumps of Kitchen Roll being fished out…. I’m glad I grew out of this.

2) Karma – we’ve all done things we’re not proud of, perhaps mine were a whole lot worse than I thought. I’ve never killed anyone though; I once got accused of poisoning an actress (by the actress who was not, it turns out, poisoned) but I didn’t and that’s another story. I was told (while my mum was sick the first time) by a deeply religious person, that the cancer was her sins manifesting themselves. I was too young and too shocked (this person was a friend) to give this its proper response. I do so now “FUCK OFF”. Or it could be a Voodoo Doll thing. Any enemies out there willing to negoicate a pin removal, I’ve got poison cookies?

3) While small, my brother and I had a sick fascination with licking AA batteries. I seem to remember we did this while bored on long car journeys. We’d have to be stealthy, parents for some odd reason aren’t supportive of such things (go figure). We’d pop the batteries from the back of our Philips Walkmen (mine was yellow, shaped like a triangle and was constantly playing Bonnie Tyler’s Lost in France, the only tape I owned -it was the 80′s) and silently giggle as we buzzed our tongues…. again super glad I grew out of this, though the siren call of the battery is sometimes tempting.

4) The fact that until I was really far too old, I refused to wear a bra or even a crop. I had no desire to grow up. It was a change in P.E kit that forced the situation; air-tex is unforgiving. I got a crop-top from Tescos, I think it had a rainbow on the front and synthetic lacy round the bottom. It itched. Its first outing was to a Roller Disco. Nice.

5) Louise Hay (I’m loath to give lots of info about her here because I have complex feelings about her, google her if you’re intrigued but take it all with a massive pinch of salt) says that breast cancer in the left breast is caused by “Feeling unloved, refusal to nourish oneself. Putting everyone else first.” Well then, I’m surprised that there’s not a huge glut of insecure twenty and thirty something women with left breast cancer, or teens. I’m also a Stage Manager, so I was doomed, doomed I say. But never fear, this affirmation will help : I am loved and nourished by all around me So that’s sorted then.

6) I have sometimes, occasionally and never, ever on purpose swallowed gum. I know, I know.

7) I’m a complete straight-laced, geek who has never smoked or experimented with any drugs. ever. I’m not just saying it because my Dad reads little Blog either, I’m really just that dull.* You’d think that might act in my favour right? However, once, while making a ‘Hippy’ costume – actually it was a Hippopus Costume (it’s a type of clam) for an Invertebrate Ball (total geek), we dressed as Hippies and carried pictures of Opus the Penguin (geeeeeek) – I digress. Anyway, the hippy costumes needed a joint, obviously, so we made some out of paper. We then, for authencity of burn marks took a drag. NEVER do this, the hit of chemicals from the paper, I swear my lungs felt shredded. I imagine that did some damage. We didn’t even win a prize.

8) I am almost totally deaf in my left ear (it was dodgy when I was small, I had several operations), my left eye has astigmatism, my left foot is slightly bigger than my right….maybe my left side is faulty. Then again, I’ve had my appendix removed (it burst as it was being taken out) and broken my right arm twice. Maybe I’m faulty full stop? Seriously, maybe I am.

9) Guilt. Do you think guilt causes cancer? Gotta lot of Guilt. Please see Karma at number 2.

10) I am STILL using my laptop while lying down with it on my belly / chest. I’m going it now. I REALLY should stop……

So there we go, more reasons I may have got cancer…. feel like it was inevitable really.

NB: This blog post is almost entirely tongue in cheek.

*Also, I have a caffeine allergy, when I partake – I imagine the results are similar to a high of another kind. It rarely ends well. Legal drugs, any legal drugs make me sleepy, I’m not even joking. The steroids I take at the moment? Meant to make me manic, I nap. Hardcore.

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Dear Future Polly

Dear Future Polly,

Lest you forget you are writing this back in the swirling mists of post Chemo 5, (1 more to go!). Last night you ate a dinner that consisted of 95% home-made, home-grown produce and it was gooooood. This morning, though it was early, you were left with words of love, a spattering of kisses AND pastries made by A’s own fair hand. Sure, you’re taking a lot of pills to feel ‘normal’, sure, your super low levels of haemoglobin mean that before too long you may need a blood transfusion; but Future Polly, there are small moments of greatness too. Moments, you will have a hard time recalling during your dramatic retellings of this period of your life. The above is just a little snapshot of your everyday.

Last week you were in a car with Dad, on route to the Doctors (again) for a Hormone Injection (again). It was a sunny, September afternoon and you felt fascinated by the strangers on the streets, walking and talking, waiting for buses, for coffee, for friends, looking worried, or stressed, shouting into phones. Just people living their lives, their totally normal lives. Some noticed you, and pity was registered.

You look sick now, or like the bald, boy cabbage patch kid you had as a child, or a turtle – steroids, steroids have made your cheeks get puffed and swollen – does this happen to weight lifters too? There’s a pallor too, a greyness. A. makes a good point; at least you’re unambiguous now, people don’t struggle or feel uncomfortable looking at a healthy-seeming, bald women. Yup, most definitely sick NOT challenging femininity… Lets all breath a sign of relief, and then pity her. It’s OK, well it’s not, but you’re judging them too, so it sort of is. These busy/non-busy livers of lives are Aliens to you. You judge them because they don’t all seem to be living life at 110% and if they aren’t doing that? You don’t know what they’re doing. They seem distracted by the whole rigmarole of First-World life, mole hills becoming mountains, wherever you look.

The truth is you lived that way too, distractedly, Future Polly, you may well be living that way now. Don’t get me wrong, I hope you’ve moved through this, that it is a facet of you, not a diamond you’re polishing and refusing to let go. I hope there are days, when you forget entirely but be mindful of just what you’re forgetting.

and now I’m getting to the point of this letter! We’ve been bitten on the butt by writing before, we know this. There’s a post written pre-chemo Reality Check that you’d merrily delete. It’s about remembering why you’re doing the Chemo, to LIVE….. eventually. You’d delete it, not least because A. only needs to raise an eyebrow when, after each new round you swear you’re not doing it again. This list below though, take it out occasionally, remember how lucky you are to feel well.

1) I hope you remember when you wake-up each morning to make your first thought a great one, preferably about how nice it is to be healthy. Don’t wake up to a worry. Also, isn’t it great not to have to scan yourself and figure out the aches, pains and fatigue or struggle out of sleep from a pill induced semi-coma? Jump out of bed or snuggle back in but saviour waking up!

2) Isn’t it amazing not to have a lot of bodily functions, pain levels, your very life being regulated by a thousand and one different pills, chemicals and supplements? You no longer shake, macaca stylee, while you walk!

3) You REALLY missed swimming, running, dancing, skipping and walking – in short everything that whirled and whipped your body around. You couldn’t physically do it back then, you can now – sure you want to sit on your ass right now?

4) Remember when we took baths to help try to take the constant ache away? You don’t have to do that now! How awesome is that – go have a bath for fun!

5) You lived for most of a year with a significant amount of tubing between your arm and your heart cavity. It was sore, unsightly, you had to wrap it in plastic to wash and it really hindered your swimming. You can actually just jump in the shower or pool now – yay!

6) You’ve been bald, puffy faced, invisible or pitied. It’s time to dial down the vain. Work on the insides of you, you silly thing. But oh, when you do get a chance to dress up – have the BEST time!

7) OK tough love time – DON’T be too thin or too fat, be honest and be healthy. Don’t pretend to be comfortable if you’re not for society or anyones sake. Don’t lie to your self. Don’t starve yourself (even if you’re heartbroken), don’t over-eat either, even cake. You have an honest-to-god, happy weight. Be sensible enough to maintain it – actually you don’t have a choice because of lymphoma risks etc… You know what you need to do, just do it.

8) Your hands and feet used to be numb and tingly, Your mouth was often grey and dead looking (you’re taste buds stopped working too), Your nose would drip, Your eyes would be dry – the secret life of cells when they are being bleached by Chemo. Be kind to your cells now – Get enough Sleep.

9) Remember how tough it was when you’re brain was lobotomized? You longed to read but couldn’t? How about you turn off youtube, Facebook and the weird website you’re looking at and lose yourself in a book.

10) So you’ve caught a cold/bug/stomach flu – I bet you feel rotten, I am sorry for you but you know what? You’re not actually going to die, Chemo didn’t kill you, so this probably isn’t either. Drink a lot of fluids, sleep and it’ll end in a few days. People don’t need to hear you complain.

11) You no longer have to go through an often embarrassing list of side-effects on a 3 weekly cycle. Your bodily functions are your own business. Plus you no longer have to factor in where Bathrooms are – Hurrah!

12) It has been an awful long time since you’ve had to jam a needle into your own stomach. You did this on and off for approx. 6 months, you NEVER got used to it. Aren’t you lucky you don’t have to do it every day, forever?

13) A lot of people have worked really hard, for a long while, to put you back together again. It’s been tough handing over to them, to feel so out of control; well, you’re back in the driver’s seat now – take responsibility for you.

Future Polly, I hope you’re enjoying life. I’ll write again.

Love,

You. Me. Us.

 

pollygosh_gratitude

Gratitudes, platitudes and the lack there of.

I’m writing this on the evening of Chemo 5, the new treatment option has a perk – vegetable brain kicks in a little slower. I thought I’d take advantage and write while the goings good. The only other perk I’ve noticed with chemo and I have been desperately trying to find one – no more cellulite, it actually has reversed. I’m wondering if I should write to the beauty magazines about it. Grasping at straws here….

I have been reading my old posts, which actually aren’t that old (but a lot can happen in only a few short months, as we’ve learnt), I read the earlier posts and I think to myself “gosh, how lovely and naive”.

There’s a photo I look at too (I think the last one to be taken pre diagnoses) I stare at this photo and my heart aches for that Polly, a women I liked a great deal but don’t feel I know anymore. She’s happy waiting for her mexican food, thinking of churros and hot chocolate to follow. Happy to be with the chap taking her photo.

I think it’s fair to say PollyGosh has hit a darker time. Inevitable really, I so wished to  be a sunny, funny positive light through all of this. I know it makes for a more reassuring read. I’d of loved to be a role model and a guide. Turns out I’m just someone kinda young, going through something hard and I’ve no idea how to handle it any better than anyone else.

I know the posts of late are difficult and unsettling. I’ve debated on occasion making Pollygosh a private and  truly personal space, but people are still reading, so I guess that time hasn’t come yet.

Though you wouldn’t know it at the moment, I’m a big advocate in practicing gratitude; talking to a neutral person, exercise and practising gratitude, are the 3 things I tried, that worked (in that order) to help bump me out of my depression last year.

I read, that to list of 3 things, each night, that you were grateful for could bring about the most positive change in your life. I’m not sure if that isn’t a little simplistic but it certainly helps. To acknowledge your luck etc is a fine way of ascertaining that not everything is as bleak as it could be.

I’ve found this hard of late. Which is hard for me to even admit to. When I wrote about grief, I wrote that simply because you are feeling it gives that feeling legitimacy. Sometimes it’s difficult to marry this view with what I’m feeling at the moment and with finding the gratitude.

The truth I’ve been afraid to write about is I’m not sure I’m even going to like myself very much after all this. It’s a little like being forced into a cocoon hoping for a butterfly but being equally sure a flesh-eating blow fly could emerge instead. A blow fly? What on earth am I meant to do with a blow fly?

I have lost my infinite patience, I have become bratty, bitchy and more forceful in my opinions. I get exasperated by other people’s inability to see how delicate life is, to cut through the petty problems, to look at the bigger picture and realise what they have. I’m not always as scared to voice my views either.

It’s funny the less inclined I am to practice gratitude the more evangelical I am that others should. I want to shake people. As my body is able to do less, I want others to do more. This summer, the worst feeling has been the idea that life is passing me by, things are moving on and I am simply unable to keep up.

Last year, while I was in the depths of despair, my father left an article by Caitlin Moran on my pillow. I believe it was called “advice to my 13-year-old daughter in the case of my death” or something like that. It’s brilliant. I still have it tattered and battered and folded away.

My favourite piece of advice “Stay at peace with your body. While it’s healthy, never think of it as a problem or a failure. Pat your legs occasionally and thank them for being able to run.”

Pat your legs occasionally. I love that. Totally forgot to do it but I love it.

So I thought to try to maintain some semblance of the person I liked, to hope for a butterfly, I’d finish with the list below.

My hard-fought, gratitude list:

1) That while I’m going through this intensely scary and tough treatment, I am safe in my bed; no coups, no bombs dropping, not worries about how the medicine I need with get to me.

2) That this is happening to me, not a loved one or a child of mine.

3) That prior to my death (which maybe the only, too late time it happens) I have witnessed an out pouring of love and support, the likes of which I’ve never known. It is humbling and precious.

4) My men, they carry the weight of all this. They do it without complaint, without an awful lot of help or recognition. That is love, I am most grateful for it.

5) The friends and family who email, ring and visit. The out of the blue flowers and care packages. I am always touched. It always lifts the mood to know that I am thought of.

6) The thought deep down, I don’t even know what yet, that something good must come out of all this.

7) My medical team, though presently what they tell me is deeply frustrating, I have always felt listened to and my feelings taken into consideration.

8) That my bounce back after Chemo 1 and 2 were sufficient that I could hold on to normalcy for longer.

9) That one night, 5 months ago when I wrote and published a blog post.

10) That this too will pass, maybe not as quickly as I hoped but sometime and the rebuilding of Polly 2.0 or 3.0 or 4.0 or whatever version we are on will commence.

pollygosh_twist-fate

Just Can’t Get it Out of My Head

I can’t decide if I want to be cremated or buried. Hmmmm I have a feeling I need to walk this one back a bit.

If you can believe it, this all started in a totally un-cancer related way. It did start in a waiting room however. I have a dodgy ear, had it for years, it needed checking out and as I love a good waiting room (especially on a day when I’m feeling well), – here we are again.

We can blame this all on Kylie and the lack of a good crossword puzzle. Dad and I completed the puzzle in record time, which led to me discovering  Kylie on the front of Good House Keeping. Good House Keeping? Damn, didn’t it used to be Elle? or Cosmo at least? Now she seemed to be ‘guest editing’ the home decor section. Kylie had cancer once, this was not looking good for the home team.

I digress. While mooching about Good House Keeping, the page falls open on to a ‘Cancer Special’ – I’m not sure if this is just an every month thing; has the age range of GHK gotten really old (again poor Kylie, or do I mean poor me, she was a childhood hero)? or if I just got very, very lucky but anyway….

I’m normally well trained to flip on by this kind of thing. I don’t find it helpful; ’10 things to say to your cancer riddled friend’, ‘I found a lump under my Breast Implant, it wasn’t serious but it could of been – my breasts were fine before but I’m a Z list celebrity and my self-esteem seems inexplicably linked to column inches and my breasts (plus I can cry on cue)”

The photos these sorts of articles use, I mean really, Two young women hugging in a relieved way – all black and white, all vasaline lensed. It was a stock photo of two people who had never had cancer. The cancer surviours were on another page. You could tell because they looked entirely too made up and were not shot in soft focused. These were ‘real’ women.

I digress, again! This was not a good article, the way you could tell that, aside from the above, was the use of attention grabbing ‘Cancer Odds’ in font sizes bigger than anything else on the page. ‘Cancer Odds’ are only comforting to people who’ve never had cancer. I don’t think they’re even comforting then. Does anyone ever look at Odds about their ‘estimated’ life span and feel anything other than unsettled?

I hate cancer ‘Odds’. I must of said this before somewhere on here. Cancer ‘Odds’ are my pet peeve. Mainly because my Grandma was given 6 months to live, she took to her bed (quite literally) and 18 months later she was still there. They can be very wrong. Also, this is life, not a Derby.

There are ‘Odds’ on everything. The act of living is a very risky strategy. ‘Odds’ after lumps though. It’s a bit more personal, a bit more lived in. I tend to avoid these ‘Odds’.

Only this day, I didn’t. It isn’t really a secret that I’ve been *cough* having a tougher, less ‘Pollyanna’ time of things of late. A slight maudlin attitude has been pervading little blog.

I’m not going to recount these Odds here or ever. Dad has done a stellar task putting it in context. I have excellent and reassuring Doctors but it makes a girl think.

Well, the whole having cancer makes a girl think. I’d decided to put off this kind of thinking until after Chemo, one hurdle at a time. However, as we’ve learnt I get a lot of time for thinking and mortality makes it into the top-five more often than not.

So, I’ve been researching Wills, Power of Attorney, and planning my funeral. The sorts if things every 34 year old is doing, right? right?  A. loves coming home from a long day at work to discuss such things. He doesn’t find it depressing at all.

On my best days I see these things as empowering; everyone should communicate their wishes to their loved ones. Especially, while they still have all their marbles; though arguably, as I spend an inordinate amount of time wandering from room to room or staring into the fridge for hours – with no idea what I’m looking for, my ship has sailed….

I’m truly am an advocate, an evangelical even of pre-planning, I believe I spent most of the funeral telling people to get their ducks in line, so to speak.  Mum had very clear instructions which were useful at a very difficult time. It helped us feel we were honouring her as she wished, a final act of love. Did I do it myself? No, I was 31 and grieving.

It took a lump and surgery and Chemo and ‘Odds’.

Only, on my worst day, it’s scary, defeatist AND I can’t decide whether I want to be buried or cremated. There are pros and cons to both. Ideally I’d like a Viking type arrangement but I’m not sure that’s even legal.

Anyone got a compelling argument either way, answers on a postcard please. Oh and I’m contemplating a Kylie track, in honour of a great lady.