Tuesday 11 October 2011

Textual healing.

As I mentioned last week, there are a lot of questions for me to answer at the moment. The one that’s asked more often than any other is, of course, the simple ‘how are you?’, the answer to which can never be quite as easy, given that it’s never the same one day as it is the next – hell, often even one hour as it is the next – which makes responding frustratingly difficult.

This week, however, has been a little more stable than last, given that it’s my first ‘week off’ chemo and has therefore come with significantly less sickness. I’m back at the hospital tomorrow to talk about (read: get seriously kick-ass about) what can be done to help me feel more human during the fortnights that I’m taking chemo pills, and also to have the second of my bone-juice IVs to keep the pain under control (which it currently largely is), so I’ll report back after that with a more detailed update of what’s going on both physically and emotionally. Until then, though, I wanted to post a lovely example of one of the ‘how are you?’ conversations I had earlier this week.

Since I’m famously averse to speaking on the phone, the below transcript is of an SMS conversation (as is much of my contact with friends – no bloody wonder I’m such a fan of Twitter) with my mate Lorna, someone who understands the Bullshit stuff more than most. One of the many reasons I love her so, however, is because of the below kind of conversation. Because Lorna, if you don’t know already, just gets it. And what she said here hasn’t half given me something sweet to chew on...

Lorna: How are you Mrs L? 

Lisa: Aw, y’know, up and down. More of an up couple of hours tonight, mind, which is good (albeit frustratingly disproportionate). How’s you, my favourite Essex girl? 

Lorna: Im alright, you been on my mind. x
I may snog you when I see you, so pucker up lady. I guess it must be a heartbreaking time and you must still be in shock really. Im sure up and down is normal. How is P? 

Lisa: Aye, Im sure it is normal. Were both in shock I suppose, but cant make as much time as wed like for thinking because of all this ruddy illness. Feel like Ive been on a sponsored puke. Apparently I cant even handle the ‘easy’ chemo, paffetic! 

Lorna: I did tablet chemo as well. Seasick mind fuckness? Did they say how the fuck it was missed? All those back scans etc? I’m just outraged for you, outraged. 

Lisa: Yes, seasick! All the fucking time! And they want me on this shite FOREVER? They can fuck off. And nowt was missed – I only ever had two back scans, when it broke, and that area was clear 16 months ago. Whatever’s all up in me is a fast-moving motherfucker. 

Lorna: Man, cancer is scary. It’s like it just hides and pounces, like a cunting ninga cuntfuck. 

Lisa: It’s scarier than even I’ve managed to get my head around yet...  
It can win. x

Lorna: Have they given you the anti-nausea stuff as well? I found chemo pills got easier as time went on. Oh, Lisa Lisa. Why the fuck?

Lisa: They have, but it’s positively not working, need to try sommat else. And why? Because were the best ones. If we weren’t so bloody brilliant in the first place, none of this shite would be a problem.

Lorna: Do you know what I think, Lisa? I think through all this we have stayed nice girls. We love our families, we love our work, we love our lives. Cancer won’t take that away from us. I really believe everything happens for a reason – some of us pull the short straw health-wise, but the long straw life-wise. We are long straws. 

Lisa: THAT, Lorna Lornchops, is going on my blog, because it is absolutely spot on. I love you. x 

Lorna: I love you more and I’m proud to have met you. Take that, Bullshit. #karatechopsit 

Lisa: Do me a lemon, eh? Forward me this conversation on email? I want to remember how it made me feel. (Better.) 

Lorna: I love our new long-straw phrase. 

Lisa: We OWN it.

Lorna: Totes – so every time the short-straw thoughts are winning, you gotta match it with a long straw, dealio? 

Lisa: I will. I’m long-straw surfing all the way now...


The Impatient one said...

That's more the Lisa we know and are slightly (only slightly, mind) in awe of! I was meaning to ask you how they'd missed it... but just like everyone else couldn't quite work out how to ask. It's a sneaky little bastard, that bullshit.
Now, where can I order a big bag of long straws?

jen said...

That's such an amazing quote and just an amazing way to look at it.


Anonymous said...

Long straw life-wise: brilliant in any context, love it. Go girl

Erin Xx said...

Love long strawing it! Think it's gonna catch on! Xx

jenheffa said...

Lorna sounds cool. cunting ninga cuntfuck - I'm so using that at work tomorrow.

Also, loving the use of hashtags in text messages


Anonymous said...

I er, just caught up on the news. For want of anything better to say: AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! :(

My thoughts are with you.

Quarkmonkey said...

"Cunting Ninja Cuntfuck."

I'm having that on a T-Shirt.

Oh, and nice long 'being-totally-fucking-awesome' straw you drew there. Love you Mac.

Anonymous said...

It's been a while since I've been on your blog and though this was an old post at first when I saw chemo badness mentioned. Absolutely gutted for you after your latest news and thinking of you and your family. I've been a lurking blog reader for a few years and kept meaning to thank you for your bloody brilliant writing - now seems as good a time as any. Look after yourself and keep the toilet humour coming xxx

Stereo said...

Both of you are brilliant. Simply amazing. And "cunting ninja cuntfuck" is the BEST thing I have read all year.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa, I think Lorna has just said what I meant.

You are most definitely a long straw.

Apologies again for the crap I spouted last week.

Love Cx

fenngirl said...

My straws have been so bloody short lately. But I read this cunty ninja cuntfuck exchange and decide that I will embrace the long straw and raise two fingers to it all. Thank you, lovely ass-kicking sorts xxx

fenngirl said...

My straws have been so bloody short lately. But I read this cunty ninja cuntfuck exchange and decide that I will embrace the long straw and raise two fingers to it all. Thank you, lovely ass-kicking sorts xxx

fenngirl said...

My straws have been so bloody short lately. But I read this cunty ninja cuntfuck exchange and decide that I will embrace the long straw and raise two fingers to it all. Thank you, lovely ass-kicking sorts xxx

joriste said...

short straw health-wise, long straw love-And-life wise! THAT'S the way to look at it.
Mrs L, you're amazing. And so is your friend. (other friends and family included)
Keep the good thoughts up!
My best wishes to you all.
And thank you for blogging and telling the world.

Lorna said...

I knew my cunting ninga cuntfuck would catch on. I am indeed, quite the wordsmith.

jowooderson said...

Hi Lisa,

I haven't been able to respond to your blog posts until now, but really wanted to, so apologies for that.

Thank goodness I don't have to ask how are you and why, what, where, when etc. But I have been thinking about you a lot and hoping the treatment is going to improve for you very soon.

So on to my little story.

There was once a fantastic editor at Highbury editing a very successful homes title called Real Homes. It got bought out by Hachette while my title folded. The editor went on to do great things at Hachette, while I moved into the world of contract publishing.

A few years later and I hear this talented editor is doing equally great things on a BBQ title and getting shortlisted for awards, while I, coincidentally, am editing Homebase Ideas (minus the awards).

A few more years on, and I go on a little creative writing course just for fun. The aforementioned editor writes a highly successful book about her fight with breast cancer, which is adapted for a TV drama.

Lisa, you're definitely a Long Straw, and Stubby to Middling Straws like me need people like you to inspire us. I hope this doesn't sound too cheesy straws but it's true.

Cheers to that and many thanks,

Jo x