Sunday, 13 November 2011

The worry.

It started with the worry. Not that worry is something that’s become new to me since The Bullshit came along, of course – I’m a born worrier. I even was as a kid.

My Dad’s always had the kind of job in which he’s been required to travel which, when I was little, tended to mean extra presents whenever he returned from somewhere far more exotic and interesting than Derby. My favourite of all the gifts from far-away lands, however, was my worry dolls. I can’t tell you exactly where they came from (what can I say, geography’s never been my strong point) but I didn’t just adore and cherish them to the point that they’re still kept in my bedroom drawer; I used them too. And, lately, with far more worries on my plate than I adequately know how to deal with, I’ve been thinking a lot about them.

The idea of the worry dolls was thus: each night, before I went to bed, I’d take out one tiny, inch-long doll per worry, hold it between my thumb and forefinger and whisper to it my fear which, while I slept, it would work on while lying on my bedside table, making my worry better by the time I woke up. God knows what I told them – perhaps that I was worried about my schoolwork, that the boy I had a crush on was looking like he’d taken a shine to someone else, or that Mum would find out that I’d secretly started shaving my legs – but that’s not the point. The point is, the worry dolls worked. Not in a way that magically dealt with my concerns, making me suddenly ace my exams and become the buck-toothed object of affection in Year 7, but rather in a way that gave me a strategy with which to deal with worry; finding a place for it that was separate from everything else while still acknowledging its importance.

Fast-forward to today and that strategy has changed: my worry dolls have become a therapist. Several therapists, if the truth be known, each of which is there to deal with a different aspect of my current shituation, giving me the space, time and opportunity to offload my altogether more grown-up concerns in an appropriate manner. Last Monday’s session – in which my tendency to worry to quite unnatural levels was the main topic of conversation – was one of the most revealing yet. My initial worry about the brain MRI for which I’d been referred had, it seemed, mutated into a much bigger worry about what might come next.

‘Talk me through it, exactly as it happens in your mind,’ said Mrs Marbles.
‘You’re going to cart me off when you hear this,’ I said.
‘Far from it,’ she assured.
‘Well, you asked for it,’ I said, before walking her through my frustration at having to wait so long for an MRI, my fear of finding out my results so close to Jamie and Leanne’s due date, how afraid I was of hearing about an incurable spread to my brain on the same day that their baby was born, how I feared having to break the news to my family amidst what should have been unspoiled joy, how I was worried that a brain tumour would cut my likelihood of living years to a likelihood of months, how P would cope after I’d gone, how I was so anxious about the admin that would follow my death that I’d begun scribbling down all of my email address and password combinations in case P needed them, and how even that seemed such scant help that I’d talked myself into a suffocating panic attack by imagining a scenario in which our wireless router needed resetting and I hadn’t left P with instructions of how to do it, and…
‘Okay, I think that’s enough,’ she said, stopping me.
‘I told you,’ I said. ‘It’s incessant.’
‘And it’s in your nature,’ she observed, ‘to plan ahead with your worry. But you have to realise that none of this is anything you have any control over… except perhaps your scan.’

Which – following a conversation in which she talked P and I through a technique of stopping worry in its tracks and instead containing it for a scheduled time in which we could problem-solve the things over which we had control – is how I came to make the phonecall that brought my scan forward. Because at least then, I reasoned, in the unlikely event that there was bad news to hear, it wouldn’t come at the same time as my nephew’s birth, given that his due date wasn’t for another two weeks.

But, of course, it did.

It’s going to be some time (perhaps even never?) before I decide how to best to put into context what happened next. My first reaction was that only the world’s most evil, most cruel twist of fate would see to it that I was told that I no longer had years, but more likely months to live mere hours after I became an auntie. But then – upon speeding from one hospital to another to meet Corey James, my nephew and new best friend – I gave eternal thanks to the universe for gifting my family with the most precious, most beautiful reason for all of us to keep going.

Discovering that I have a rare, extensive and incurable tumour in the meninges of my brain was the most terrifying, most harsh, most upsetting, and most horrendously sickening moment of my life. But discovering that I have a nephew – a perfectly gorgeous little boy who I love so much and who, at mere days old, loves me right back – was the most beautiful. Without him, I dare not even try to imagine what kind of unbearable hell any of us would have found ourselves in over the last three days. Even with his angelic presence, this weekend has been impossible to get through. I’m not sure how we’ve done it. I’m not even sure if we’ve done it.

Ordinarily, I’d have a cohesive, smart-arsed, tie-it-all-up-nicely way to finish this post. But today, I haven’t got either the ideas or the inclination… I can’t write; I can’t think; I can’t talk; I can’t even be. Ordinarily, I’d have sent a funny, reassuring, long-thought-through email to break this news. But today, I can’t find the jokes or the consolations. I can’t even find the effort. Ordinarily, I’d have shown everyone the way we’re going to do this; offered comfort to those who needed it; reacted in a way that’d have given us all a clue how this is going to go. But today, I can’t do any of those things. 

Today, I’m not letting you know how I am; I’m just letting you know. I’m letting you know that my cancer has spread to my brain; I’m letting you know that that it’s had a far from desirable effect on my prognosis; I’m letting you know that I’m due to be starting a new treatment this week that will hopefully shrink the tumour enough to postpone its effects for as long as possible; and I’m letting you know that I am – as are my family – devastated to the point of not knowing how to carry on. But I am going to carry on. We are going to carry on. For you, Corey James. Because, regardless of the unspeakable shit that’s been thrown in her direction, the most important thing for your Auntie Lisa to worry about right now is staying around long enough to make you feel as loved as she does.

69 comments:

feline9 said...

*hugs**

liljan98 said...

I wish there was anything I could say or do to help you through this, but I'm at loss, except to say, I'm so so sorry! ((((HUGS)))

Leah said...

There are no words. I just... Jesus. I'm speechless and I'm teary and... Life is just unfair. How you wrote that blog post is just amazing, Lisa. Why you aren't just lying in bed raging against the world is beyond me.

I'm so sorry Lisa, so sorry that you learnt this news just as Corey was born, so sorry that you even HAD to hear this news in the first place. It makes me want to swear.

*Hugs* xxx

LunaTechChick said...

xx

janjan said...

Im really really sorry to hear your news *big hug*

Helen said...

I have no words. None. Only tears and anger. I love you LL. Always and forever xx

Kat B said...

For one bizarre moment I thought someone had posted a link to Sarah Beeny's dating site as a comment.

Then I realised it was an advert. Oh.

Thinking of you all and sending very much love to all Lynches and families Lisa. Very much. Kat xxx

Mean Mr Mustard said...

And in the middle of all that, you still write like your laptop shits linguistic gold dust.

Fucking hell Mac. Fucking fucking fucking hell. There's no words obscene enough for how fucking wrong, how unfair this is. And no words big enough to properly say to you how much we love you and how much we're here with you.

So, inadequate as it is to say...

1. You rock.

2. Fuck.

x

Kat B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

I really don't know what to say. You are a very strong lady & I'm so sorry to hear that this devastating disease has spread. I wish you well in your on-going treatment! Will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. Xxx

FeeneyFooFoo said...

There r no words - u r in my thoughts for what it is worth

And congratulations on the birth of ur nephew

Xx

Becky. said...

sending you hope, luck and strength x

Sha said...

Trying to think of something to say and can't other than people care X

Alysonsblog said...

God knows I wish I could say something to help you in even the smallest way - but it sounds like little Corey James is going to give you a strong will to keep fighting on. xxxxxx

Judy said...

I don't know what to say but I couldn't read that post and say nothing. I'm so sorry you've had such awful news and am sending you all the luck, love and kick-cancer wishes in the world. You are such an inspiration xxx

candygirl said...

So sorry to hear this Lisa. You are blessed to have such a loving family and husband to support you through this trying period. As you said, you will carry on, you have too much love to enjoy not to carry on and at the end of the day that's what this funny thing called life is all about.... love. xxx

Fashion Detective said...

I've just found your blog Lisa but it has absolutely rocked me to read about your experiences and what happened this weekend. Just wanted to send my support xxxxxxxxx

English Mum said...

Well firstly, congrats to you and yours on your wonderful new arrival. He's a lucky fella to have such a wonderful family. And shit, I can't find the words to express how sorry I am about the other news. Sending hugs and hope x x

little_ape said...

There are no words, just a whole lot of love... An ocean full of it.

X

Burly Chassis said...

For you, Corey James.

Samantha Edwards said...

Devastated for you Lisa and your whole family. You are all in my prayers tonight. Fuck Cancer !! You do not deserve this shit! I am holding you all in my heart tonight

lilianavonk said...

One of the greatest compliments I've ever gotten was when you said you liked my comments best (regardless of whether or not you say that to everyone, it still made me feel like Queen of the World).

But the words don't come now. Only the tears...and the rage, which actually I've been feeling for a while, actually. Now whenever I see someone on tv who has survived cancer, I somehow can't feel happy for them--only enraged that they got to survive, instead of you.

Something similar happened when my friend Jamie--who was like the cool, funny gay brother I always wanted--passed away at the beginning of 1994; that was the year that the drug cocktail was introduced and saved countless lives of people with HIV; I knew I should be glad that so many others were helped, but at the same time, there was a boundless cold raging fury in my heart: "Too fucking late for my friend, innit?"

I will try to take my anger and do something constructive with it. You deserve that at the very least. Along with more love than my feeble words can ever express.

GLOBETROTTGIRL said...

Sending healing thoughts your way, brave girl. XO

Chloe Kniveton said...

You are truly inspirational.

My thoughts are with you and your family xxx

Jane said...

I too am so so sorry to read of this development.

You have your priorities right in the sense that you have been boosted by the birth of your nephew. A new life is always a gift.

But I can't help but be angry about your news. Your news is my very worst fear. You take your anger and worry and put it into getting better and getting the very best treatment there is on offer.

xo

Eve said...

Just... shit. Fuck, Lisa. Wish there was something even half-decent to say. Tears and rage, same as everyone above. I am so sorry for the the news, the timing of the news, and everything else besides (I don't know how to even begin to cover it). An incredible blog post, as ever, but I don't think that quite cuts it. You are in my thoughts. My love and thoughts with you, Corey James, and your family. xxx

deb said...

Couldn't read and leave

Just want to scream at unfairness. So sorry about your devastating news.

Welcome Corey James.

X

twirlyaitch said...

You are so amazing and so many people have a lot of love for you. Don't try to be there for other people to help them through their own shit, you already are. You replied to one of my tweets one day and it absolutely made my day (week/month...) Sending so many hugs & so much love xxxx

Twelve52 Blog said...

It feels so stupid to say that I'm sorry, but I truly am and I want you to know that I'm thinking of you all. I lost someone very close to me to cancer this year. Her final words were 'just keep going' - sometimes it's all we can endeavour to do.

Fen said...

One day at a time lovely lady. Sending you lots of love x

The Impatient one said...

There's something that we find difficult to say sometimes, because we think it goes without saying, but we should anyway. It's "I don't want to lose you".
You've been a rock of support to me through my wanderings through the dark scary forest. You've been the voice of calm, of sense, and of humour when I have needed it most. Although we've never met I (like many others) have come to view you as a friend, as a part of my life which would always be there.
I can only imagine what you and P are going through in the tiniest way. But I am rooting for you ever inch of the way, because I don't want to lose you.
With love x

Freudus said...

Speechless. Love to you both as always. xx

emeraldy92 said...

Hi!

I, too, am one of those distant in the background readers but simply cannot stay quiet now. I am devastated for you and your family. I feel like I know you even when I don't. I was diagnosed with BC last year when I was 25 and only recently discovered your book through friends who have also been in the same situation. It was so reassuring reading your book and knowing that somebody else knew what I was going through and that I wasn't going crazy with the ways I had reacted to things or the thoughts rushing round my head. I only wish now I could reassure you the same way that you did me. I am devastated that it isn't possible. I am sending you all the best hopes, wishes, hugs, thoughts, strength and thanks from my very gut and I am only sorry that I cannot do anything else! It is so unfair! With huge love and hugs! xxxxxx

RachelM said...

Fuck!!
I really shouldn't read your stuff at work; it always messes me up one way or another.
But seriously, my life has been a rosy bed compared with the shite you've had thrown at you and your loved ones, you have shown me that with sheer bloody mindedness and a heart full of love the 'best' can be drawn out of anything.
Thank you so much Lisa for all you have given, and I only wish that love and respect were cancer-killing death rays cause if it were the case I think you would be immortal.
Love and huge hugs to you and yours
Rx xXx

francesca said...

i've typed, deleted, typed, deleted a million times and i still can't find the words. i'm so so sorry. just ... urgh ... gutted for you. and sending every bit of love and prayers and cake and shoes and everything else nice to you and your family xxx

Pearl said...

Oh Lisa. Oh fuck. This is just horrible. I'm so very very sorry, for you and for your wonderful family. I've met very few people with your capacity for living their lives well and fully, for making the most of life, and for doing ordinary things and making them beautiful. This is just so fucking unfair, but I hope that your gift for living is going to carry you through whatever happens next. So many good thoughts coming your way. And I will stop now before I cry in front of my male intern and freak him out completely. xx

GiddyGirl said...

Bastard, bastard cancer. I just don't know what to say. This shitty disease affects far too many wonderful people. Like you. Keep giving Corey James those precious hugs and keep fighting Lisa. Much love xxxx

findit13 said...

I'm so sorry... Sending lots of love your way. Stay stronge, and give little Corey James a kiss and cuddle. Its a great way to spend some time, and it will bring some warmth and peace to your heart.

Narelle Cunningham said...

I know nothing will be a comfort to you right now, especially not the words of a stranger, but I wanted to you know that Corey James is a lucky, lucky little boy.

No matter what happens to you now, you leave him a legacy - your book, your blog and your fighting spirit is a gift that should, and will, inspire little Corey James to be the best he can be. Auntie Lisa will be his hero growing up because she not only fought cancer, she managed to put into words the heart-aching emotion and struggle she went through in dealing with it. Not many people can say the same. Those words have touched and brought comfort to a lot of people all over the world.

You are an inspiration and Corey James is blessed to call you his Auntie.

Emma said...

I read this last night and thought I'd try and think of something to say to you today - I'm still not sure what to say! Lisa, you are a wonderful and inspirational person and I'm so sorry that you're going through this. Thinking of you and your family at this time xxx

lifelovelollipops said...

I wish I had something profound and wonderful to say, but words fail me. Just know that I am sending huge hugs and love across the ether x

gibbysgal said...

I have been following your blog since the very beginning - when a friend of mine, who happens to be a friend of yours, recommended it to me. I have read every single post you've written. Yours is the only blog I follow. Heck, I'll admit I didn't even know what a blog was until I started reading yours. I have sincerely grown to care for you as though we really were friends - and I am devastated to hear your news. I've never commented before as I never felt I had anything truly worthwhile to contribute - but today you need to know that you are loved by more people than you can imagine. You have allowed all of us to know you and learn from you through your utterly incredible way with words, and the beauty is that because of this, your little nephew will know you and love you too - and he will be so, so proud that you are his Auntie Lisa. Wishing strength for you, your family and friends. You are a special lady. x

Madeleine said...

Devastated for you and your family to read this.
Hope little Corey-the-nephew will get to know you as much as possible.
Hope the drugs and treatment are good, effective and time-buying.
What else to say? Good luck in this next phase of the shituation.

wb said...

Shit! If love could cure you Lisa, you would live for ever! Much love to you and your special family xxxxxxxxxx

Freda said...

Lisa, you are so brave to keep trying to look forward. As lots of people have said, "there are no words." I am only one of your readers but you have made us all feel connected, keep going and be gentle on yourself.

Laura said...

As an atheist, if I'm wrong and you happen to meet God, call him a cunt from me.

L x

Pauline Castledine said...

Lisa... i am so sorry to hear your latest news... everything has been said... cancer sucks!!! sending you, your family and your new baby nephew a gentle hug xxx

SallyAnn said...

Lisa, I am so sorry to read this shitty shitty news. I have been reading your blog since I got your book upon my own diagnosis in 2010, and at the risk of sounding stalkerish I even joined twitter just so I could follow you. I hate that this is happening to you, it is so horrendously beyond unfair.

I hope so much the new treatment is massively successful and you kick arse as you always do. If it matters, so many people are rooting for you. Congratulations on becoming an auntie (what a cutie he is!) and wishing much, much love, luck and best wishes to you and your family xx

Frau Feli said...

I wish you the very, very best! My congrats to your cute nephew. And even if its not your thing, I can't think of saying anything else than: I'll pray for you.

Ana Isabel Canhoto said...

I have been following the blog since the release of your book. I couldn’t believe your ‘luck’ when you fell and broke your back. I was ecstatic when you announced you would be an auntie; hopeful when you told us about the options to manage your bone cancer. Now, I am incredibly sad to learn about this latest twist.

Here is hoping against hope that the disease will progress slowly, that some crazy treatment is found to keep you well and around for a long, long time.

You are the consummate storyteller. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.

I never met you and, yet, I feel lucky that I know (about) you.

SB said...

As someone said up there, Lis, we just don't bloody want to lose you. And JB and I mean that with every single ounce of our being. Not only because we love you (we tell you enough that we hope that's a given) but because ours, and more importantly, our boys' lives, are better just for having you in them. And that is really all we can say. That, and that we will be with you, and P, every single step of the way. We all will. Nothing will stop us from travelling this path with you Lisa - and definitely not the fucking bullshit. This is all so hideously ridiculous.
Oh, Lis.
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Eilis said...

bollicky bollicky bollocks - Lisa, you are amazing and I hope its a small consolation to know that you have this whole on line community (and the people we tell about you) sending you strength and love to give cancer a huge kick in the bum.

Sophie said...

Life is shit, life is wonderful.

We have been diagnosed almost at the same time. I have been following your blog very early in its process, pre-ordered your book. It took me a while to actually open it as I was scared, because I knew I was going to be looking in a mirror. I considered suing you for exposing my state of mind...
Corey James is so lucky to have you as an aunt. Kids to keep us going and almost force us to keep positive.
I am now waiting to hear the result of my MRI as the shitty thing might have spread. Maybe I should take a leaf out of your book and start visiting Miss Marbles.
Big hug Lisa; P is blessed with a wonderful wife and you have such a loving and caring family.
Welcome Corey James, keep making Lisa smile.

Vicky J said...

Have sent you a couple of e-mails previously, I won't comment on the health news as I haven't a clue what to say however I did want to comment on the news about your nephew. I wanted to say that as a new Aunty myself (Jack's 8 weeks old now)I'm certain Corey will give you and your family lots of much needed smiles at a time when it's needed most and the best thing is he won't even realise he's doing it!! Aunty cuddles rock xxx (From Vicky J)

Sam said...

We have a family friend who is not good at finding words to say to others in times of trouble. He instead flaps his arms up and down and calls it "doing a penguin"

Right now, my lovely, I too, am "doing a penguin" .......

MBNAD woman said...

I've spent days trying to find the right words but they won't come.
Just thinking about you and your family.
Mad x

Lou said...

I've been following your story since I read your wonderful book. I was so very sorry to hear the news that the bullshit was back and as for this latest twist of fate, well, it's hard to believe life can be so unfair and cruel.
But as always I am in awe of your tremendous courage, a courage which has nothing to do with cancer - you're just brave - not to mention talented, funny, clever and clearly so loved and valued by all who know you.
Will be thinking of you and your family and wishing you all the very best.
xx

A Hong Kong Gardener said...

Oh Lisa, I am so sorry to read this.

I'm afraid I agree wholeheartedly with Laura.

Love to you and P

and I know you'll enjoy that wee boy.

x
Donna

Clare said...

Fuck. Shit. Bollocks.

I don't know what else to say and now I feel lame for not being able to give you something, anything.
Thinking of you all x x x x x x

Chez said...

Only just got back home after a few days away with no t'internet access....Firstly, 'Welcome to the world Corey James, beautiful baby boy'....secondly, WTF?
Words fail me but thinking of you (& P & the rest of your family), as always. With lots of love to you all. xx

Clare said...

and now I am back, because I am angry as hell for you now. You have been on my mind all day, the fury getting bigger and bigger at all the twatty unfairness of it all.

I swear, if love cured the Bullshit then you would be the healthiest person on this planet right now. But by God, rest assured we are all behind you 1,000,000% and I could scream at the top of my lungs for you right now.

ks said...

Lisa, I hope you realise what an impact you have had on so many people's lives. Hang on tight to those around you and remember your friend's words-you may have drawn the short straw in health but you have the longest straw in love in your life. Hang on to it! You are amazing!

soph said...

If 'Ghost' taught us anything, it's that saying 'ditto' is the lamest thing of all time.

But Narelle has managed to express what I've been wanting to say since reading about the spread of the bullshit.

Your influence goes way beyond a loyal Twitter following, a bestselling book and/or creating the only blog worth reading regularly. You're in the way that we live our lives, the way we cope with (albeit way less significant) hardship and that's a legacy that will live on for years and spread like one of those dodgy pyramid schemes.

I'm sorry, Lisa. And not just for effectively saying, 'ditto' to someone else's post.

Happy Corey Time. xxx

SallyAnn said...

Hi Lisa, I posted on Monday, sorry for posting twice, but I was just wondering if you have heard of Cyberknife? It is a new kind of radiotherapy that is very promising. I don't know if it would be suitable for you, and if it is your doctors may have already discussed it with you. However I just thought I would mention it just in case, as not all PCTs do it and so not everyone has heard of it.

Once again I am really sorry you are going through this. Fucking bastard cancer. Much love and best wishes to you xxx

Claudia said...

Hi Lisa,
I have read your latest entry with a heavy heart. Why, why, why, why, why?

When you blog you write a story, you initially do it as a way to get stuff out. Crazy thoughts in our heads. We then discover people are listening and are reading what you write, we then give advice, opinions. Stick on our strong face as we feel ourselves turning into a beacon the 'face' of the trauma that we are going through. After a while it loses its appeal and we kinda, in a subconscious way, hope that it will eventually have a record of a 'happy ending' and we can pass some other poor sod the 'beacon'.

But you know what Lisa, sometimes, for people like you and I we get given the double whammy. Super crap with a crusty coating of crap.

Why is it that everyone else gets the good news? Why can't we?

But you know what really sucks? I honestly wouldn't wish this crap on anyone. So I end up thinking why not me?

I view of this its completely fine to write what you want today and any other day you like, don't try and polish it up when you can't and I really want to say that I am as sad for you as me.

If at the end you know that you did everything you could then that is all we can ask. This thing called life is really not controlled by us after all.

Wrapping a whole lot of love around you through the cyberspace. If I were with you I would also be quite content for us both to sit and have a good cry.

Claudia xxx
http://vincenzobenedetto.blogspot.com

ijustateachocolate said...

Hi Lisa,
I only discovered your blog this week. Timing, eh? B£@@&y thing. You've been in my thoughts ever since last Tuesday.

Sending positive vibes and loads of good luck your way. Anyone who listens to me (!) this week knows about you. There's a multitude of people thinking positive thoughts for you. (Yes, I can talk the back end off a donkey. No escape!)

Take care and keep trogging!

Cate

LINDA from OEKE said...

I've never visited your blog until today (and for the life of me can't remember how I found the link) but I could not go past without saying I am truly, truly very sorry. I have read back through your bullshit (hope it's OK to use that term too) and you have such an amazing, funny way of looking at things - some would say an amazing mind - and now the bullshit has gone to your head too.

I wish you and your family all the very very best and hope a miracle occurs for you and you are still blogging away next year telling us all you beat the bullshit for good.

Warmest wishes, Linda

Foxie said...

I'm a closet reader who always feels I don't really have anything of value or interest to add, or that what I want to say has already been said much more succinctly by others but I felt I had to comment on reading this...

Your story I think touches me that little bit more as we're the same age, and I try to think how I would cope in your situation... I'm not sure I would.. Although I guess everyone feels that way until they are forced to deal with it

Your nephew will grow up surrounded by love and in time will read about his aunty Lisa, and will no doubt be inspired and in awe of you...

Love and hugs from Devon x

meezursrules said...

Lisa ....

....your humour, strength and sheer love of life are inspirational.....

....no one ever deserves cancer, let alone the diagnosis you have just received.....but someone with your strength, appreciation of your life and love of living deserves it least of all....

Don't let anyone dare tell you how to be, or question whether or not you have 'resigned' yourself to cancer.

You're you....you're reaction is you....and you're a bloody strong woman.

Take Care

Anon