Step away from the cake!!!

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Today I took my emotions out on some cake. It wasn’t the fault of the cake, there’s nothing it could have done to change my actions, so I don’t want anyone to think bad of it.

It was just there at the wrong place wrong time. I blacked out and some sort hunger rage came over me and before I knew it I had crumbs all round my mouth and the table.

I have no remorse for my actions and I may have polished off a egg custard tart too but that’s neither here or there.

The moral of the story is that emotional eating is bad and you shouldn’t do it good and you should definitely do it. Cake and tea makes everything better (for the duration of the cake and tea no guarantees afterwards).

#sorrynotsorry
#WhoKnewTheyMadeDuffins

P.S I just dragged my cat out of the bathroom on the bathroom mat whilst singing “A whole new world” she wasn’t as delighted about the prospect of being a princess as I would have hoped. Made me want more cake and tea oooooorrrr to make her the outfit and video it I’m not sure which one more 😉

Cancer means never saying sorry!

That’s the quote right? I got it word perfect, didn’t I? 😉

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“I’m sorry”  is said ALOT in the first few months of a cancer diagnosis, then less frequently after, but still ALOT. Always meant with love but always with a tone of pity. It’s a statement taught to us from a young age. An over politeness. Although you may have said it a thousand times before, when you’re on the receiving end constantly it becomes a red rag. I like to call it a filler quote. One we say when we don’t know what to say to someone, to fill the silence and give some comfort to the recipient.”You’ll be ok” is another example of this, however this is more about the person saying it. “You’ll be ok” stops you saying, what you’re saying and finishes the conversation. Thus protecting the person from listening further to something that makes them uncomfortable, anyway I digress.

You lose your identity when you get cancer (I’ll talk about this in another post). Although I am not the one with it, I watch him struggle to get his identity back, we also lost it as a family and I’m not even sure I know who I am any more.Your life becomes a sea of sorrys, pity and people pussy-footing around you when all you want is normality.

Turns out you can get away with loads when you have cancer. I honestly think, if my dad walked up to someone that knows his “situation” and he shaved their head they would let him do it coz after all “he has cancer” (ok that analogy doesn’t work unless you know that he’s a hairdresser).

Anyway my point being you should allow someone personally affected by cancer some leeway to act a bit strange, but don’t let them shave your head (unless you want them to), don’t let them punch you on the nose, or do an improv contemporary dance, about the way the leaves grow on trees in the spring (ok maybe let them do the last one. Sorry you’ll probably have to sit through that). The key is normality, if they are being a jerk tell them so, they will probably thank you for not treating them like they are going to disappear any second.

This comes with a discloser: read the situation. If they’ve just got bad news or suffering from scan-xiety from some big results coming up that’s prob not the best time to tell them they are being a jerk. Everyone needs some kid-gloves and a hug sometimes.

I often use humour to cover my uncomfortableness of situations, you can find me cracking a joke at a funeral or when someone falls over in front of me. It turns out that for all my indiscretions apparently joking when someone is saying “I’m sorry” about your dad having cancer is frowned upon. Who knew cancer wasn’t funny eh? I never got that memo.

When people used to say to me “I’m sorry” is used to respond like this:
“Why are you sorry?” “did you do it? If sooooo you better tell me now, coz if I find out you lied later on there’ll be hell to pay” as I look up and find horrified faces from people that think I should be a hot mess on the floor not cracking jokes (bad ones at that).

It is the pity I can’t take, the awwww poor them looks and comments. 40 years ago this year my parents married and then after a few years my sister came and then me, our family was complete (with exception of a few mad cats and two honorary boys that came along later). We are a family that not only love each other, but like each other and that is more than a lot of people get with their families we’ve been blessed with the years we had. Although we aren’t going to get the years together we hoped for, there is no need to pity us we had a BLAST.   

The little things in life

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I’m not writing this blog for sympathy, or to depress people or some sort of sadistic punishment to my myself but only because I know life goes on. I know that eventually I’ll forget the finer details, the things that were so insignificant before, but when something like this happen you realise how important they to you. You want to drink in every little one that the people you love, make. I know I’ll forget how I felt at certain times in my life, I’ll forget that smile he just gave me as i sit in the cyber knife reception and he goes off for another scan, and one day I’ll forget how his voice sounds, because that’s how life goes on.

I’ll never forget how he is as a dad, how he makes people laugh where ever we go, and subsequently how many people love and care about him. I’ll never get over the pain of knowing that he probably won’t be there for the happier times in my life, that if I’m lucky enough to have any, my children will probably never know him (he would be an amazing grandad).

Eventually we will stop being the cancer family and a new dynamic will form. Despite all the heart ache that comes with this disease, there’s so much humour and love born out of it.

A lot of people I have talked to ask me why I’m not angry this happened, why I don’t hate everyone and everything.  Don’t get me wrong I am angry this happens to ANYONE not just us. When you’re given a terminal diagnosis you’re incredibly luckier than a lot of people. “What???” You say, “what is this crazy woman going on about.”
“How can a terminal diagnosis be a blessing?”

I have two people very close to me that both lost their fathers suddenly to heart attacks. No warning, just brutal reality. From happy family life to painful grief in less than an hour. So if you remove the pain aspect of cancer, we are luckier. We know how precious those moments are with him and all our loved ones. We know how you never leave without an I love you, or in an argument. How nothing is important in life apart from the people in it and how you can’t ever have a plan for your life because things always change. We know how precious the time we are given is and we don’t waste that. There will be no regrets of the time we spent together at the end and no missed opportunities to say I love you!! If that isn’t lucky I don’t know what is?

Life is precious there are plenty of people who know it is and wish they got more chance to live it. Don’t miss the finer details, the bits in between the big stuff. One day they’ll be all you wish for. That’s why I’m writing this so I don’t forget the little bits in between whether good and bad.

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“You’ll be good for another 10 years”

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That well used phrase in the title will haunt me forever. Such an innocent statement, that is full of hope, joy and jest. However it is such a dangerous sentence when used by the wrong person.  Following on from the previous post here is the fine print in our story.

My lovely dad hasn’t taken a day off sick in 30 years. This isn’t a exaggeration. The only reason why I didn’t say 30+ years is because he took two days off to be in hospital due to a bad chest infection but was back to work within three days.

Two January’s before the one just gone, he had been feeling run down and achy so went to the doctors for a full check up. The results came back and the doctor said these words: ” Mr Carter your results have come back clear, you’re good for another 10-15 years. You are healthy”

Had they said this to a hypochondriac, or dare I say it: the majority of women, it would have been taken with a good old pinch of salt and back to the doctors we go when we still dont feel good.
The problem was they said these words to a man that doesn’t like going to the doctors to “make a fuss”, from a generation that takes statements from authority as gospel and who is fully stubborn. So off he went with this statement. He ignored the fact he didn’t feel any better weeks/months later and put it down to getting old because the doctor said he’d be good for at least another 10 years.

In the September a friend of my dads died of prostate cancer. He’d been ill for a year and he died a year later. At the funeral his wife begged the men in attendance to go get checked out by the doctor. Two years before this, I had asked my dad to get his prostate checked due to the fact my bed is against the bathroom wall and he had been getting up in the night a using the toilet more frequently. So when he had a check up he told me the tests had come back normal and I was relieved. 

However the words at the funeral obviously struck a nerve with my dad because he made an appointment to check his PSA levels were fine in the full check up he’d had (PSA is the hormone that indicates how your prostate is behaving). Upon going the doctor said “oh no sorry we never do that in a full check up, was that something you wanted?” and so he had it done. Two days later he got a call back to come in ASAP.

It took them a week to tell us it was malignant cancer and four to tell us it had spread to his bones in several places and it was terminal. 

As you know from my first post im a biologist, a human biologist that has extensively studied cancer biology. It’s up there with the worst things you can be (cancer biologist probably being the worse) when someone you love is diagnosed with cancer. They say knowledge is power but in this instance it’s enough to ruin you.

For four weeks I looked people in the face and lied. Told them not to give up on hope to just “wait and see”. Although I knew the prognosis from the first set of scans, thats not what they wanted me to say. They needed me to say that he’s gonna be fine, I couldn’t say that because he wasn’t. So hope and lies was all I had to give. 

A little while after we found out, Rob had been scared (by me I think) into going to get a few niggles looked at, at the doctors (different county, different doctors). Paranoia had fully set in and I forced him to let me go with him. He had a full check up and was fine. As we reached the door the doctor stretched out his hand for rob to shake and said:

“as good as new, you’ll be good for another 10 years”

I said to him please never say that again, and proceeded to cry.

Its such a harmless sentence but said by a doctor can have such a horrible outcome. It still haunts me, I very much believe you cant change the past so why worry, but if that doctor hadnt have said that would he have gone back sooner?

The thing that upset me the most was that he said to them “but they told me I’d be good for 10 years. So I had been hiding the fact I didn’t feel well and ignoring it because I didn’t want to moan” Had I have known that he just “didn’t want to moan” I would have screamed it from the rooftops until someone listened.

Note to anyone reading: the sentence ” you’ll be good for another 10 years” is like a cars MOT it’s out of date as soon as they hand it to you.

Little girl lost

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I remember the look on their faces and the quiver in their voices as they asked me if I had, had a nice weekend away with Rob (my boyfriend). I sat down, then told them breifly what we had done and following it up quickly with “so what’s happened? why you pulling that face?”

They looked at each other then looked at me,  “I had some tests done at the doctor, and i’ve just got the results back” my dad said with a long pause after. “You’re scaring me, what kind of tests? whats wrong?” I said. “Well I had my PSA checked and its abnormal” he replied. Now with the quiver transfered to my voice ” I thought you’ve just had that checked? They said you were fine? What kind of abnormal?” “Well” he said “so did i, but i hadn’t. They checked it on monday, the normal range is 4-6 mine was 287. Im having a scan tomorrow” 

My head started spinning at 100mph all these questions I needed answers for. However as I looked at his face, I saw how scared he was. He rubbed my mums back, kissed her on the head and looked like he felt guilty for the upset he’s causing. In that moment I stopped being a human biologist that needed answers, and transformed into a two year old little girl that had lost her dad in the supermarket. I was just screaming out for someome to help me.