I’ve had a bit of time to myself today. I read a book, watched some TV, and pottered about – but I’ve been a bit fidgety. I had a visit at lunchtime for a few minutes from someone I’ve not kept in touch with as much as I’d like but who has been a big part of my life for a number of years. Unfortunately it’s made me quite introspective.
Every so often, I get a little bit too much free time to think about things and I get grumpy for a bit. This afternoon’s been one of those times. The challenge is to fight the urge to curl up and feel sorry for myself about all the things that haven’t gone to plan this year. (Girls do that apparently, I’m told we pick a thing we don’t like and then collate it into a list with lots of other things we also didn’t like).
For the last 12 months, possibly more, I’ve withdrawn into myself when I’m not trying to stay busy by organising some kind of massive social event. I need to involve myself in planning fun things even when I’m not feeling entirely fun or funny myself. For whatever reason (and there are probably a few) I wasn’t happy for some time over the last couple of years and that felt wrong; I reasoned that if I wasn’t feeling right I could take drastic action and correct everything, like I did a few years earlier when I’d felt so down.
So I did, I took action and I made some changes in my life. I’m still making them. And it’s hard on me and on the people who love me. When I look back at where I’ve come from it fills me with terrible sadness about the difficult choices I’ve made because I take all the responsibility for their impact (whether that’s fair to me or not, I don’t know). I don’t always feel certain about my decisions at the best of times, but the people who know me know that I try not to live with regrets, so I don’t make decisions lightly and I don’t enjoy re-visiting them once they are made.
Cancer doesn’t allow you the luxury of making decisions. It takes choices away from you and it makes you wait. And whilst you’re waiting you can either keep busy or you can go into meltdown. Luckily for me, I’m pretty good at keeping busy so I’ve done as much of that as I can, by filling in forms, making phone calls, planning and putting things in diary entries, shopping, emails and chats online.
What I will be grateful for (fingers crossed) is that most of my cancer is gone and that I’m going to nuke any last remaining trace of it over the next few weeks. Grateful that my friends and family love me and have been there for me, regardless of how often or not I’ve kept in touch with them or how my behaviour over the last months has made them feel.
Some of us don’t get the chance to make amends or to recover from cancer. A friend who was at school with me was one of the unlucky ones who didn’t survive her cancer. Being Boring was her favourite Pet Shop Boys song. At least I get to sit here and be bored. This one’s for her. x
Now I sit with different faces
In rented rooms and foreign places
All the people I was kissing
Some are here and some are missing
In the nineteen-nineties
I never dreamt that I would get to be
The creature that I always meant to be
But I thought in spite of dreams
You’d be sitting somewhere here with me.
‘Cause we were never being boring
We had too much time to find for ourselves
And we were never being boring
We dressed up and fought, then thought: “Make amends”
And we were never holding back or worried that
Time would come to an end
We were always hoping that, looking back
You could always rely on a friend.