Monday 24 December 2012

The grand plan.

Last Christmas was a weird one. Six weeks prior, if you remember, it had been predicted that I had ‘months, not years’ to live… which doesn’t half screw with your Christmas shopping. Suddenly, every gift took on an added pressure; a sombre significance; a something-to-remember-me-by meaning. And, short of buying everyone a 7-inch of Last Christmas, you just can’t find that kind of stuff on the high street.

Understandably, then, Christmas 2011 held a whole new importance; everyone’s carefully honed plans changing on the unspoken subtext that this might be my last. This year, I decreed, I must savour every moment, leave the organisation to others, and soak up enough seasonal spirit to see me through those I may miss.

Or at least it might’ve gone that way, had I not insisted on such perfection that I spent the average family’s entire Christmas budget on luxury wrapping paper, became obsessed with the symmetry of the lights in our front window, and stressed myself into gaining a stone in cheese. Of further frustration was that, ordinarily, I’d have had all my presents bought and wrapped by November (give me a break, I’m a Virgo) – but, oh no, not last year.

Thankfully, my family shook me out of Obsessive Christmas Disorder with days to spare, devising a rescue-rota designed to keep me away from anything even remotely organisational. Instantly, I had nothing to do but stare at the suspiciously present-heavy tree, chomp my way through all the toffee pennies and dress my newborn nephew in a series of daft outfits. And, of course, it worked. Christmas Day 2011 was indeed every bit as special as I’d hoped it’d be (no thanks to me).

This year, keen to avoid 2011’s mid-December ribbon-tying breakdown, I decided there was no shame to be had in doing as I always did and going turbo-Virgo; planning the hall-decking embarrassingly far in advance and beginning my shopping super early… which is precisely what I did, vowing that, since I’d dodged the ghost of Christmas future, I could revert to normal in 2012, having learnt the lesson that, in fact, any of my previous Christmases could have been my last, and it didn’t mean I had to go into screaming implosion over Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen.

Uncool as being the first to a festive M&S shopping bag may be, however, this year it proved simple good sense, given that the run-up to Christmas 2012 involved a meltdown that had more to do with pain than presents, a fortnight’s stay in Trinity Hospice (gawd love ’em), and the Gamma Knife brain surgery I’d previously mentioned on the blog (which, typically of The Bullshit, uncovered five more brain tumours than expected).

A quiet Christmas Day of just me, P and Sgt Pepper will aid the continual recovery from all of the above (most notably the latter – and, trust me, it ain’t half tough to get your newly-fried noggin around the seemingly simple things it suddenly finds difficult to do: walking without falling, looking at a screen without your eyes freaking right out of their sockets, remembering what you just did…), while a new stretch of chemo beginning on new year’s eve will hopefully alleviate the bracketed binds of this sentence.

But while I may have been forced into being cooler when it comes to Christmas this year; there’s been another worry on my mind over the last few weeks: my absence from the blog. Having spoken about it at length with my mate Jonze (who longtime readers may remember from this post), it’s become clear that things have got to change where my attitude to Alright Tit is concerned. Because, while I may have cured the something-to-remember-me-by, sombre-significance of all things Christmas, those worries appear to have inadvertently transferred themselves to all things blog. Where once I was afraid that a gift might be my last, now I’m fretting that the case may be the same for a post. Where once I was worried that every action must take on a new significance, now I’m fretting about every written word. What if I write my shittiest ever post and never get the chance to rectify it? What if being post-shy leads to another long absence from the blog that gets people worried I’ve… you know? What if the last ever sentence I write contains a typo, ferfuckssake?

As you might have guessed from the pre-Christmas several weeks of silence where the blog is concerned, these are the kind of troubles that can tie a lass in knots. And what’s even clearer is that I simply can’t go on this way, viewing a once-saviour of a strategy as a noose around my neck. It’s just not fair on me or the blog.

How things will change, I don’t know. That’s for the new year to reveal. (And I’m desperately open to suggestions on that front, by the way.) But I do suspect that the correct way to right my perception where Alright Tit is concerned is most likely to do just as I did where Christmas is concerned. Besides, it just doesn’t seem proper to turn something designed for enjoyment into something chore-like – particularly so when there’s a sleigh’s worth of specialists who’ve worked hard all year to prove that poisonous prediction of Christmas yet to come so gloriously wrong.


Rainwoman said...

Delighted to see your post, Lisa, and glad you've ditched the performance anxiety.

Nicole said...

No grand suggestions other than to say I miss your writing and you should just have fun with it. No pressure, no stress, write when and what you feel like. I guarantee if the last sentence you ever blog contains a typo, none of us will judge. And if someone does, feck 'em all anyway! :). Merry Christmas to you, P, and Sgt. P. Enjoy it! Xoxo

marsha said...

Excuse my language, but you are my fucking hero, Lisa. All this, and yet you not only wrote us a post, but also made it so funny and eloquent and amazing.

Those of us who wonder how you are check your twitter feed from time to time. Those of us who care, love you enough that we would NEVER resent a lack of blog posts, so please use it as a thing to help you, not make you feel guilty.

SO MUCH Christmassy love to you


the_jok said...

Happy Christmas Lisa and Whacker. So glad you are here for it!

As to the blog, it has been part of my life almost since it started. As an example as soon as it came up I stopped wrapping and started reading! If the blog becomes an occasional post to allow you to rest recuperate and recover from the latest round of whatever, that is fine. The occasional post would be so we know how you are doing.

I have never meant to cause you issues by being a regular reader or to think I was part of your journey. Although over time I have found that I do care deeply about you both and your journey together. I know that humour helps in times of stress and uncertainty, but if its use has become an issue just stop.
With love

Trish said...

You do what feels right for you Lisa. We are all there with you in spirit whether you update us or not. Enjoy your Christmas. TrishXXX

LunaTechChick said...

Merry Christmas!!! xx =)

Fiona said...

Merry Christmas Lisa. And many more.
With love

Caz said...

Do exactly what you need to do. But...I imagine you've come across Before I Say Goodbye, by Ruth picardie. Her writing was no less beautiful or moving when it became less perfectly formed and edited. We're just happy to hear from you, I think.
Happy Christmas Lisa.

findit13 said...

Here's wishing you and yours a very happy holiday. We're glad to get any post, maybe you could update us more frequently, it doesn't have to be perfection or lengthy. We're just glad your still posting, and I'm sure will be for a long time. Here's to another year, and big plans for the next one.

SallyAnn said...

Merry Christmas Lisa and family.

I hope you can get away from feeling like the blog is a pressure. I (and I'm sure all your followers) love to hear how you are doing and just love to read whatever and whenever you feel up to writing. Whether it's a long blog post or a quick twitter update. Just do what feels do-able to you. Know that many people are holding you in their thoughts whether you write or not. Much love and best wishes to you for Christmas and 2013 and of course wishing you the best possible outcomes from your treatment xxxxx

Unknown said...

Dear Lisa, so glad to hear from you again.
I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year with a good kicking for the bullshit.
Please do write more often! My advice (you asked for it) would be to write shorter entries, but more often to get that writing muscle trained again.
Then the fear of one not so brilliant entry (not that there EVER was one!) might also decrease.
And nobody will ever remember you by your last entry, but for everything you are and wrote.
And should there be a typo, it will surely become THE correct form of the word in question in no time, you are such a trendsetter.
Have a wonderful time

Wardotron said...

Great to see you back in the kitchen, Lisa. Sometimes bite sized morsels are preferable to a stodgy four course dinner. Juhknowhaddamean?

Big hugs 'n shit,


Note Writer said...

As if there would EVER be a typo. I mean let's not get totally ridiculous here. Love you Mac. But then you know that. Muchly. More and then more on top. With cherries. Xxxxxxx

AlwaysStriving said...

lovely to hear from you but I say - do what feels right with regards to blogging, we surely miss you but I wouldnt want you to spend time on it if its not what makes you happy x Happy Christmas

joinourloop said...

Happy New Year! Hope the chemo does it's thing.

It's so nice to read your writing again. I have mentioned this before, but truly I get such an awesome sense of things British from your posts.

As for the blog situation, I relate. I have been unable to post for other reasons but I feel guilty.

Here is the thing, you are a writer who has cancer, not a cancer writer.

You are a journalist by trade if I remember correctly.

So tell the stories you want to tell.

If they are about you and cancer great. If they are about other stuff we will still love them.

joinourloop said...

I think google just ate my inspiring post, so forgive me if it shows up twice.

Here is my suggestion.

Write what ever you like. If it's not about cancer or even you, that is fine. We your adoring readers will still gobble it up like Toffee Pennies! (Some Brit candy I am sure.)

Hope the NYE chemo goes well. I started rads on NYE back in the day.



Unknown said...

Lisa, you fucking rock, you really do! I'm counting on you guys to have a great 2013. Stay inspiring.

Unknown said...

Lisa, you fucking rock, you really do! Your blog is so inspirational, and I look forward to many, many more.

Lots of love


Dave said...

We miss your lovely smile, sense of humor and family pictures.
Had a glass raised to your health NYE. Now on to 2013.
May this chemo be the easiest to endure.
Dave, Sue and Margaret

Fashion Detective said...

Lisa - I always read your posts (it's the only blog I do read - terrible confession to make given my job etc, but don't tell anyone). You know what I reckon? Little and often is better than long and (if this is how it feels) laborious. Even your Tweets make me howl, so maybe regular, weeny updates that keep the blog going strong, keep your spirits up and, let's face it, keep your legions of fans happy as pigs in poo, might be a good blog-tonic? And, of course, a big, juicy long 'un, whenever you feel up to it, remains at your disposal (and our reading pleasure) ;o) Happy new year anyway, chuck xxxxx

Madeleine said...

Just to say I've been thinking of you.

Burly Chassis said...

Me too.

alhi said...

Me too. Is all ok?

LunaTechChick said...

Was just thinkin bout ya. xx

blacksheep said...

Checking up on you every day, feel like a blinkin' stalker! Sending much love xx

findit13 said...

are you ok? its been awhile, and people are starting to worry about you!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and I'm here to stay. I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at age 29. I've just turned 31 and maybe the cancer is gone as far as they can tell. I'm in the wait-and-see stage. Ha. I guess you could call any stag of cancer the wait-and-see. I write a blog called My Butt Hurts ( And I made some art with my bald head (

Thanks for being you. It's always exciting (as exciting as cancer can be) to find another young girlwoman to relate to.

<3 Kamina Kapow

Milla said...

Looking forward to your next post, Lisa.
You've been in my thoughts a lot.
Love xxx

Unknown said...

I have nothing but true admiration for you Lisa what a fantastically wonderfully inspiration to everyone with or without the bullshit the c word both book and programme will change lives heck I've checked my own lady its since reading it so your a hero who has left a very important legacy xxx