Wednesday 29 October 2008

Something changed.

Right now I should be sitting in the stalls of the Savoy Theatre with my mate Leaks, overhead-clapping along to the Take That musical. Instead, I'm flat out on my sofa in my pyjamas, feeling like I've been hit by a truck and having spent a decent portion of the day with my head down the toilet.

It's entirely my own fault, of course (and not just for buying tickets to see the World's Cheesiest Musical). Earlier this morning, I told Dad that I was feeling 'pretty chirpy' because I was 'finally getting to spend time away from the flat tonight'. Idiot. Will I never learn? You'd think I'd know by now that The Bullshit eavesdrops on all my conversations and uses the gleaned information against me. ('So you think you're having fun tonight, do you? We'll see about that.')

Understatement alert: cancer is really starting to piss me off. Now, not only does it owe me several months of my life, but tickets to the Take That musical. Which (sod's law) will have finished its run by the time I'm well enough to go again. I tell you what, Bullshit, fix me up with a meet-and-greet with the real Take That and we'll call it quits, eh? (Well, I've exhausted the hell out of the Dave Grohl appeals; might as well try a new tack.) I've had quite enough of cancer thinking it can waltz in and muck up my plans. And actually, it's not just my plans that it's changing, but me as well. Lately I've caught myself making decisions and doing things that Old Me would have barfed at the thought of. Maybe that's the reason I puked so much today.

Pre-sickness, I made a phonecall that put the wheels in motion to do something so completely out of character that I reckon my friends will be far more shocked by it than they were by my breast cancer news. I'll not ruin the surprise for them now (besides, it might not come off, plus I'm still a little freaked out by it myself) but suffice to say, it's something I said I'd never do. But then, so is getting a tattoo. And yet, here I am, collecting images of the nicest-looking star designs I've seen in a neat little folder on my desktop. Which, I have to say, freaks me out even more. Neither of these very un-me things can even be blamed on the spur of the moment. I'm actively thinking them through, doing my research, planning the arse off them (actually, the forward planning offers a small glimpse of the Old Me). And that's not even the end of it – New Me has even started baking. Old Me was happy to tell anyone who'd listen that the kitchen was purely P's territory; New Me is emailing her mates for icing recipes and sending her husband to work with a different Tupperware (Tupperware!) of cakes every morning. What have I become?

Cancer changes you. That much we know. But are these things my way of proving this fact to the world? Are they borne out of sheer boredom? Or are they really just subconscious decisions that, while surprising, are probably pretty inevitable given the life-threatening-illness shizzle? Because, while thinking too hard about the New Me stuff does, as I say, freak me out a little, I have to admit that all of these new things feel perfectly natural to me. My life is different now, I've accepted that.

That's not to say that I'm happy with it, mind. I'm actually pretty fucking angry about it and, if I'm honest, really bloody panicky about what kind of life is waiting for me once I've stamped on The Bullshit with a killer heel. The life I'll be going back to isn't the one I left behind. I'm not really sure what it'll be, but it's definitely not the life I'd carefully mapped out for myself (and don't underestimate my mapping-out abilities – pre-Bullshit, I'd done my darndest to life-plan the whole shebang and, both professionally and personally, it got me a long way). Which is precisely why, when I next see my consultant at the hospital, New Me will be doing yet another previously sworn-off thing and finally taking him up on his offer of seeing a counsellor. Old Me tuts and rolls her eyes. New Me wonders whether it's appropriate to bake your therapist a cake.


Anonymous said...

Such a shame about vomiting instead of Take That... rubbish.

I think the therapist is a brilliant thing to do though. It’s like contracting out some of the miserable stuff. Paying someone to absorb some of the anger. And remember, if you don’t like them, you can just get another one. It’s a bit like shopping.

Tattoos, baking and therapists are fine, just ease up on the Tupperware x

Antipodeesse said...

Yes, the Tupperware - at YOUR age! - is seriously worrying. You should definitely leave Tupperware to old biddies like me.

Can we have a cake recipe though? What's your favourite?

Your sense of humour is sheer delight. I am planning to name a cake recipe after you.

Anonymous said...

Therapists rock ....... just don't go expecting them to 'solve' anything and the results will be even more enlightening. Remember, even without The Bullshit you change as you travel through life - you've just had a concentrated period to process it. Take care, you're doing just grand xxxx

Anonymous said...

take that tour, summer 2009, wembley! it's a date surely? x

Anonymous said...

Just picked up Glamour to read your blog...I'm 34, two children under 3, just been refered to breast cancer unit. I am petrified. I have never read anything so intensely as your blog - you're ace and if nothing else you've reminded me it's cool to own tupperware and bake. I've never baked for my therapist though because she'd probably have me sectioned under the Edible Offences Act! You've really made me smile today xxx

Unknown said...

Baking is the new cool. I made chocolate brownies at the weekend. Yum yum.

And as for tuppaware... I must admit I put a brownie and a banana in a tuppaware container for my lunch today.

The banana is still there, but the brownie didn't stand a chance with me about.

Anonymous said...

Hiya. im 16 (nearly 17) and my mum is recovering from breast cancer. Ive been reading your blog since you started and youve made me laugh so much..You sound fantastic and i wish you every happiness. Theres still tickets for take that..Go and enjoy yourself. Ha. You sound such a lovely person whos dealing with it all so well, Infact you sound a bit like my mum when she was going through the 'bullshit'. Id love for you to carry on with your blog after youve conqured the bullshit to see how your getting on and how the new you and tattoo is getting on! Lol. Take care..Keep that smile on your face..Your making everyone smile :) Chloe x

Megan said...

Tupperware all the way. i still use a lunch box i'm that cool!

by the way, you haven't blogged for a bit, people will be getting worried!

65-roses xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

Just finished your book; it was brilliant as I am on the one journey this year and I am 36 years old with no children and that is something I have to live with now. But I have found a doctor in Miami who can restore a breast with fat grafting and you regain full sensation so that is the way I am going.