Monday 8 March 2010

Stronger than me.

‘I’m glad the f-word is back,’ said a family friend in an email she sent me this week. ‘That means to me that you are in a fighting mood and ready to do battle.’ And she’s right. Because in the post-shit-news routine of shock/terror/upset/anger/practicality that I talked about in my previous blog post, I clean forgot the thing that comes next: pure, unreserved, belligerent kick-ass.

I can’t honestly say that I’m like that normally. If someone bumps into me on the tube, stops suddenly in front of me in the middle of the pavement or trolley-barges me in the supermarket, I’m not exactly likely to put up my fists. (That said, I turn into The Hulk when people forget to indicate/won't stick to their own lane/fail to wave thank-you when you’ve given way. With the security of 4,000 pounds of encased aluminium, I’m a foul-mouthed, badass bitch.)

But while I’m far from a timid wallflower, that degree of kick-ass isn’t something I normally possess. Much like Peter Petrelli’s abilities, it’s a power that only presents itself when absolutely necessary. It came in handy when I had to force myself out of the door for chemo on a Friday morning. It helped when P and I had to suck it up and get on with baby-making after our second miscarriage. And it showed up in spectacular style when I caught an especially rubbish boyfriend in bed with his ex.

I’ve been thinking a lot about ex-boyfriends lately, as it goes. Not like that – more in the sense of wondering, if I’d still been with any of my few ex-boyfriends today, how they’d have handled The Bullshit. And, in the nicest possible way (well, not in the case of Cheating Ex), I’m afraid there’s only one answer: dreadfully.

I am, of course, inconceivably lucky to be able to call myself P’s wife for more reasons than just his dependability, support and calmness in the face of The Bullshit. (He also happens to be compassionate, sexy, hilarious, sweet-smelling and generally down-right wonderful.) But how fortunate that, in light of the stuff that he and I have had to deal with, he is indeed all of those things.

I’ll say it again: the news we’ve had recently is NOT a cancer diagnosis. But, like I also said last week, there are undoubtedly parallels between learning that you have cancer and discovering that you have up to an 80% chance of getting it again. And so, much like I was in June 2008, now that I’ve brushed aside my fears and am existing purely on kick-ass, I’m back to worrying about how everybody else is handling this. Particularly P.

Much like mine, his initial reaction to The Gene News was very emotional. (He won’t thank me for saying that.) But also in resemblance with each other’s early responses to my dodgy genes are our feelings about the way we’re going to handle them. First off, there’s no option for us but to deal with this together. (Last week, P even talked about ‘when we got cancer’, and I loved him that little bit more for it.) And, though it’s wholly pre-emptive thinking – given that our appointment with the oncologist isn’t for two weeks – we’re each of the opinion that whatever it takes to reduce my chances of a cancer recurrence, we’ll do it. Hell, even if it meant chopping off an arm or locking myself in a light-starved room with only What Katie Did Next for comfort, I dare say I’d go for it. It might not come to more surgery, of course. (Mind you, that’s probably like the ‘might’ in ‘you might not get breast cancer again’.) But if it does, we’re ready. Or, at least, I am. And that’s what I mean by worrying about P.

See, before I had my left tit removed, I was concerned about what it would be like for P to have somehow found himself lumped with a one-breasted reproductive-vacuum of a wife. But now, The Gene News has pushed things one step further. Because what we’re looking at today is the prospect of not just losing my right tit, too, but potentially also my ovaries and/or womb. And that, I’m sure you’ll agree, does not a hot wife make.

Personally, I like to think that my ladybits aren’t the things that make me a woman. (Don’t hold me to that just yet, mind. That’s a concept I intend to dedicate a lot of thought to. Prepare yourself for the return of Mr Marbles.) But does the same apply for P? Might he wish that I looked different? What effect might the loss of my girly essentials have on our sex life? Might it be like new year’s eve without the fireworks? Hell, might ‘new year’s eve’ even be possible at all? Thus you see what I mean about being grateful that it’ll be P – dependable, supportive, calm P – who’ll have to deal with those things. But of course at the same time I’m not grateful at all. I’m cross. Because nobody deserves to have to deal with that shit less than him.

So can I see Cheating Ex being able to handle all that? Can I bollocks. Can I see P being able to handle it? Course I can. Because the thing is, P's kick-ass powers rival even his wife’s.


SB said...

Oh my gosh I love you. And I love P. And I am crying. Admiration doesn't even come close to my thoughts on you two.

SB xxx

Anonymous said...

Nearly thirty years ago I was diagnosed with a disease that was going to change my life. I was young, good-looking and extremely vain, recently married to a handsome, intelligent man. One of the hardest things for me was accepting that my good looks would be prematurely compromised. I did worry that my husband would go looking elsewhere. How sad is that?

Anyway, he's hung around for the last few decades, never wavering for a moment. At my lowest ebb he has been there. I know I've been lucky and I suspect that you have too, in a perverse sort of way. Do what you have to do. Have the surgery, if necessary, and stay alive. My life has been good. I've travelled a lot. I've had a good job. I look forward to an exciting future. I do know how difficult this is, but nobody can plan their lives completely. You can handle everything that life throws at you and so can P.

Anonymous said...

You DO kick-ass. And obviously so does P. And you will both kick that Bullshit's ass!

quarkmonkey said...

I've been saying you kick ass for years.

And not just in an Eric Cartman referencing way either.

I love you guys...

burlychassis said...

Love it. Love it, and love it again.

Thinking aloud, I reckon an amiable chat with the good genes, a withering broadside to the bad genes, and a hug with the rock known as "P" may be the way forward.

Hey, hangonaminute, I think you knew that already. I'll get my coat..

Anonymous said...

Chances are P wouldn't cope if he was with one of his ex girlfriends either. Cause they're not you. You are a girl version of P and he is the boy version of you. You Two are a perfect match and a hot wife you will always make. X

Paula said...

Turn it around Lis ... if ... God forbid ... the shoe was on the other foot and P had got some kind of Bullshit ... then there is no doubt that you would be there for him.

But .. on the other hand ... I too have had those conversations with myself ... trying to convince myself that boobs are only boobs ... haven't got my head around that one yet ...

P x

alex said...

Oh you silly talented whore, you always make me think (it's rather painful) and put me on the verge of tears. Just like you and P, I wish you didn't have to handle this and cope with it but I know you will.

Besides as any friday night in Romford will show you, ladybits does not a lady make.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry about your losing your 'girly' bits - they do not maketh the woman - I lost all mine and I am totally the same person and my husband says I've not changed a bit - he's a bit of a dear like P too. It's your mind that makes 'you' and you will always be the same loveable, sometimes angry, always funny, highly courageous person that you already are.

Wardotron said...

P is awesome. And to think he was raised on a diet of chips in the back of a burnt out Montego! Amazing.

Ant said...

Yep I knew it, you've gone all 'finger', or as it's more commonly known, "fuss and nonsense". I would expect nothing less from you.

As for P, are you sure he's actually not a covert superhero? Seriously, love you P. And Mac, while you're back there, looking for a superman costume in the cupboard, can you have a rummage and see if there's a spare one of the P species knocking around? Lovely, ta, thanks a lot. xxxxxxxxxx
P.S You are a hot woman. Nothing can change that.

Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law had post cancer surgery years ago that removed (and/or put out to permanent pasture) most of her girl parts.

Like you she's one hell of a woman. She and you are more than a set of expendable malfunctioning organs. And as my brother says with a wink and a cheeky grin "There's more than one way to skin a cat you know."

You are Lisa the Writer, heart and soul - no doubt.

Wishing you loads of love and support for whatever life throws at you. X

Oh look out Bullshit, here come The Motherfucking Lynchs!!!! said...

Been meaning to say, just in case you have misunderstood the statistics like I did when i got ill... If something raises your chances of X happening BY 80% it doesn't mean there is an 80% chance of it happening. If say your chances of recurrence are 1% (I have no idea what they are) then being raised BY 80% means they're now at almost 2%. If that makes sense...

Hope it's of some reassurance lovely. xx

Katrin said...

I do not usually share this kind of information on the interwebs, but I was diagnosed with a rare disease when I was 17 and had to have my ovaries removed in order to avoid cancer. Don´t let anyone tell you that you´re not a proper woman afterwards, it´s bullshit (not that bullshit, but still bullshit).

Should you need to get rid of any ladybits you´ll still be the same person - woman - as you were before. I´m quite sure P did not fall in love with your ovaries in the first place, he fell in love with you. And still is obviously.

That being said, thank heavens for husbands like mine and your P who are indeed gems. My hubbie knew of my "handicap" all along the way and never cared. Actually, I`m sure he thinks of me as his hot wife! And so will P!