Friday 8 June 2012

A matter of time.

Ordinarily, when I’ve been away from social media for a while, it’s a sign that all is not well. As any of my mates will tell you, I have a somewhat useless habit of ‘going under’ for a few days (all right, weeks) when things are particularly shitty, generally waiting until someone forces the problem out of me before I do anything about it. This last month or so, however, has been rather different. My lack of Twittering or Facebooking or whatever isn’t the result of a turbulent period, but instead the result of that most glorious of time-fillers: normality.

It’s all thanks to my treatment break, of course: a timely, precious and enormously appreciated stretch in which my social activity is – finally – more actual than virtual. I’ve spent time back home with the family, been out for swanky dinners, seen more of my mates, had weekend escapes in lovely hotels, spent a gorgeous week in Spain (so gorgeous, in fact, that we’re off there again tomorrow), been to gigs, attended a lovely wedding, had my friend Ant from LA over to stay, thrown a Jubilee party… in short, I’ve squeezed in the all the life I wasn’t able to live while on seven months’ worth of chemo into seven weeks’ worth of chemo-break. It’s been bloody wonderful. And, given that this well-earned rest is teetering on a could-end-at-any-moment precipice, I’m buggered if I’m calling a halt to the fun just yet. Life, I’ve come to learn, is very simply about making time for happy memories and spending time with the people you love – and that’s what I’ll continue to do, until such a time as The Bullshit creeps back to piss on my chips, when I’ll scrap with all I’ve got to get back to this; the good stuff.

The only problem with such a situation, however, is that there are more demands on my time than perhaps ever before. And in these days of uninhibited openness, constant narration, candid diarising and ever-growing friendship circles – particularly through the likes of blogging and social media – it can prove tricky terrain to negotiate, and I’m conscious of coming across as the kind of person who uses those tools only in times of dire need, ditching them (and anyone associated with them) when things are looking up. The truth of the matter, though, is that – as an advocate of the sharing culture that social media has granted us – I want to let everyone in on the good as well as the bad. It’s just, I suppose, that when things are better, and you’re so desperate to drink it up, it leaves less space to do so, and hence just living takes precedence over sharing that living. And, you might say, quite rightly too.

Since we’re talking truths, though, there’s even more to it than that. Because, see, in this wonderful period of living, it’s not just my lack of time to share my narrative that’s making me look somewhat on the quiet side, but my lack of inclination. Since September last year, all I’ve had to think about is how I’m feeling, how long I’ve got, and whether my treatment is worth the trauma. But now, all of a sudden, those things – permanently etched into my mind though they remain – have been allowed to sit on the back-burner, gifting me time to think about the more important things in life, like what to buy people for their birthday, whether my nails match my outfit, and what to delete on the Sky+ to make way for more Jersey Shore …all of which have, on a number of occasions, taken precedence over blogging or tweeting or replying to Facebook messages or emails. In short, I suppose, where previously my brain’s been filled with Bullshit, now it’s filled with bullshit. And so it’s no surprise that where the cancer crap is concerned, lately, I just don’t want to talk about it.

I apologise if that’s a confusing message to send out, particularly when we all know that there’ll shortly come a time when I’ll have to (heck, want to) talk about it once more. Right now, though, I’m just so over it that I’m, I dunno, under it. Which, granted, is a bit on the ridiculous side when you’re supposed to be keeping up a blog on the progress of your health.

Another confusing message I may have sent out – okay, overused – is the one that goes thus: ‘Yeah, definitely! As soon as I’m on my treatment break...’ Talk about stitching yourself up, eh? Because, with the disproportionate amount of time spent in treatment than out of it, there’s only so many times you can come good on that promise – particularly when it comes to the friends I’ve never met; the folk whose virtual kindness has been so helpful to me through years of The Bullshit.

The odd person has become impatient with me – angry, even – as a result of this state of affairs, but what those virtual friends perhaps don’t know – where my real-life friends do – is how much of a knock my confidence has taken over the last few months. Where once I was poised and self-assured and perfectly fine when it came to meeting new people, now I only feel confident in the company of my very closest family and friends. Thus, when you add that side-effect to the lack of time in which I have to see my nearest and dearest before everything goes tits up again, the result is a lovely big dollop of guilt about how my treatment break – my timely, precious, enormously appreciated treatment break – is spent.

In many ways it’s classic me, this, isn’t it: finding stuff to fret about in the very period I ought to be fret-free, but old dogs and new tricks n’ all that. You might call it fatalistic; but I call it funny (albeit the sick side of funny). Because, hey – in the grand scheme of worries, these are pretty bloody lovely worries to have. And let me tell you, it ain’t half nice to know that, even after a months-to-live talk, you’re capable of going back to fretting about daft stuff like how much time you spend updating your Twitter feed.

So I do hope you’ll excuse me if I smirk my way back to Spain this weekend. But please don’t be offended if you don’t get a postcard, eh? Chances are I’ll just be having too much fun to write one.


Margery said...

You look so happy in those photos - please keep on being happy! Seven weeks off - wow. I'm having one week off and making the most of it - glad you are too. Hugs.

bud932 said...

Glad you are having you time. Enjoy ur next wee jaunt to spain and have your head full of nothing but what cocktail to have next xx

Playfull Genie said...

Yeahhhh!!!!! Go Lisa!!! Enjoy Spain and thank you for expressing what I've been feeling about "normality" xxx

Nonamoose said...

Have a(nother) great holiday cus lord knows you deserve it. I'm glad that you are feeling good enough to catch up on some of the stuff you've missed during chemo. Have a wee sangria (or two if you're that way inclined) for me :-)

You look lovely in your wedding finery btw :-)

Love and hugs,
Trace x

Nonamoose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Impatient one said...

Looking Good!

Anice said...

Have a wonderful time away this weekend. Who cares about telling us about what a great time you're having. Have it!
Anice xx

Paul McLean said...

Get a margarita down your neck and to hell with the idiots! You go and have a gre...

D'ya know what? I can't ignore it! I have to say something!!!

Lisa, you know you're a bit of a hero to me... but Jersey Shore???

I think a little piece of me just died!!!

On a more serious note, anyone gives you grief, you let them know that you've a chum from Northern Ireland... That's usually threat enough to the English! ;)

Enjoy España!

Unknown said...

Get a margarita down your neck and to hell with the idiots! You go and have a gre...

D'ya know what? I can't ignore it! I have to say something!!!

Lisa, you know you're a bit of a hero to me... but Jersey Shore???

I think a little piece of me just died!!!

On a serious note though, anyone gives you grief, just let them know you've a chum from Northern Ireland who's just itching for a reason to travel to England... That's usually enough to scare the English! ;)

Enjoy España!

Unknown said...

It is so wonderful that you have this break! And it is great that you let us know that all is well. Lovely pictures!
But that is all that's needed, go now, enjoy the real life.
I am sure everyone here is glad when you are offline because all is well. I dearly hope you are offline for a long time and when you return I'll be here to read about whatever the bullshit throws at you.

FrankieMullin said...

Yay to a brilliant time in Spain Lisa! xx

findit13 said...

Enjoy! Live in the moment, and don't have an regrets about making this time "yours".

MissBizzyLizzy said...

Enjoy!!!!! Enjoy!!!!!! Enjoy!!!!! Don't you dare feel guilty about one single thing. Your post just made my day and hey, if you get a bit busy doing normal things, GOOD FOR YOU, GIRL!!! :-) You just enjoy yourself and fill us in when you want to. Anyone who follows this blog or your tweets tototally understands. Hugs to you and keep up with the normal stuff.xx

janjan said...

Im really really glad that you have used your treatment free break to have so much fun
Whole idea of social forums is that people appear and disappear depending what they are up to
Carry on having fun!!

Zowie said...

Have a wonderful time in Spain! Your post made me happy, enjoy and forget any silly guilt you may have. Much love xxx

HB said...

You wrote a few months ago about, "Taking these broken wings and learning to fly".

You are soaring!!!!

Wonderful post!

Hannah B.

Big Fashionista said...

And why not? Have a lovely break and enjoy every minute.


Anonymous said...

A lovely post. Never feel guilty about taking care of yourself - and you seem to be doing it in every fashion! BTW, you look like the happiest and healthiest sick person I've ever seen. Hope that keeps up!

Lisa said...

Have fun in Spain! xx

Katskia said...

Go you!!! I love reading you but I love that you are enjoying yourself and out and about even more!!!!

We'll all catch you when it's catching up time.


marsha said...

This is wonderful news!!!

If anyone's cross about your silence/unavailability, it's only because they've temporarily forgotten that they (as all of us on this blog do) bloody love you, and that you being happy is the most important thing. Think morally superior thoughts of love and forgiveness towards them for their misguided state (and feel sorry for them for when they realise what nonsenses they are being), then get on with having a lovely time.

So, so pleased you've been settling into normality and had stupid things to worry about. Lord knows you've earnt it and are fantastic enough to deserve it.

Lots of love! xxxxxxm

Clare said...

Understand the dilemma between the real and the virtual world. But go for the real one every time, the rewards are so much greater. And the virtual world will understand and still be here when you need us. Here's to nail varnish that doesn't match and a full sky+ box :) x

AlwaysStriving said...

bugger off and have some more fun would ya

wrystarr said...

Go for it! Live for the moment and always seize the day. Do not be guilty, remember that you deserve this break! Have fun.


Unknown said...

Go for it and be happy you deserve it Lisa. Just had a 9 wk break myself and wish i could have wrote about happy things too ... Back to the shitty stuff for me but hey we will keep plodding on. You are so lucky that you have so many friends and family around to support you and make them happy memmories. Make the most of them and have a fantastic holiday. Xxx