So after posting my last blog and after closing my laptop I couldn’t quite shift the feeling of suddenly being so negative. My Counsellor would probably tell me “You’re allowed to show your feelings, your real feelings. You don’t need to put a smile on” – she often has to remind me of this. I accept I’m going to have my moments and I need to address those as they come. But tonight i want to focus on the positive.
Unfortunately I don’t keep an actual diary. I stopped writing my diary the day treatment started. I guess part of me doesn’t want to mix my old life with this alternative life I’ve been living this year. I’ve just looked at my calendar and wow where has the time gone? It’s been over five months since my last operation. It’s been almost six months since my tumour was removed. I remember so clearly laying in my hospital bed wondering if I’d ever feel right again, or if I’d ever eat normal food again.
I still can’t believe how well my body has recovered. Tonight I’ve had dinner which was chicken stir fry – although my parent’s had most of the chicken. I was just happy to have plenty of spring greens, bean sprouts and other veg with lovely rice noodles. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is to me. Back in September I would have been terrified of eating vegetables. I’d be nervous of how my body would cope. In fact I was nervous of probably any food apart from toast. But gradually I’ve introduced fruit and vegetables back into my diet. I now insist on plenty of veg with my evening meal and am researching recipes to keep things interesting. Finally I seem to have turned a corner too. My body has got used to the veggies I am feeding it and it seems to be coping. I now take great delight in planning the family meals each week. I look up recipes, I make sure the food will suit me, but also keep my mum and dad happy. Sometimes I’m super strict and other times I allow a bad day i.e. my mum gets to eat quiche. I need to learn what works. I know it’ll keep changing and what didn’t suit me a week ago might in a month or so. I’ll continue to research what I should be eating, but I’ll also listen to what my body needs. There are a few things about my diet which I’d like to continue. I’d like to continue not drinking fizzy drinks, alcohol or caffeine. I don’t know how I’ll cope with this lifestyle once I’m up and running again, and perhaps out with friends. It is something I’d like to carry on with though.
Physically I’m improving too. At one point I wouldn’t get out of bed. I’m not sure if that was me recovering and my body just not being ready or if I’d reached a real low point and just didn’t want to get up. I’ve reached a new point though. I now get up every morning, and I don’t go back to bed until bed time. I spend the day downstairs and sometimes I go out. Lately I’ve started seeing a Counsellor every Tuesday. I make the effort to walk to her office. It’s the only time I’m really alone. I love it. I walk at my own pace, and I listen to my iPod. I think about everything that’s gone on and sometimes tears fall without me really knowing why, but it’s great to be outside and on my own. Just walking. Other days I do the same walk just because I can. There’s no appointment or destination to reach. Eventually I get tired and things start to ache and I notice my pace becomes slower so I turn around and go back home. I love getting home knowing I’ve done it.
Then there’s the social events. I’ve not been on many but the ones I have managed I’ve loved. Walking with Sara on Newland’s Corner and catching up. That was my first real trip out. The fresh air was amazing and it was incredible to feel how shocked my body was at having to work. We then finished the day off with my first meal out – a sandwich but still, I hadn’t made it. Going out with Helen to the American sweet shop and buying all sorts of treats and gossiping. I felt human. Followed by lunch out which filled me right up. It was just like old times. Then there was my first night out and a late night too. A trip to the pub with Mike for a catch up and dinner. I’ll admit I was nervous. I was nervous about being out in the evening and with so many people around. I was nervous about eating out too. I was also a bit nervous seeing Mike as even though we keep in touch it had been months since we’d last seen each other. I shouldn’t have been nervous though because it was a lovely evening. Dinner was tasty, and my body behaved. I drank a litre and a half of water and laughed pretty much all evening. My poor scar and stomach muscles took a proper beating that night. I hadn’t laughed like that in a long time. Then there was the other night out, which had been booked for a long time. In fact the tickets were booked whilst I was in hospital in June. It was Newsroom’s Got Talent which was at the o2 Indigo which is a charity event to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer and Leonard Cheshire Disability. I was supposed to attend the event with Nicky, who has been amazing support to me this year and we were planning on getting together to finally have a proper catch up and celebrate how far I’ve come. Sadly Nicky was unable to attend due to not being very well herself. The night would have been a lot different if she had been there but I still had a lovely time. What made the evening for me was meeting members of the team from Beating Bowel Cancer. I met Mark, Miriam, Hazel and Lilian – they were all so welcoming and lovely and it was brilliant to be able to put faces to the names/voices. I also met that night Holly and Angela which was probably the highlight of the night for me. These two wonderful women have been brilliant support to me when I’ve needed it the most. When I’ve been at my lowest or worried they’ve been there to offer support and advice. We didn’t get long to talk and it was all a bit rushed but it made my night and made the commute into London and the tiredness worth it. I’m hoping to visit their office sometime in December and meet the rest of the team and have a proper catch up.
My most recent outing was into Woking town centre to meet up with a colleague who I’d not seen since April. It was a proper girlie catch up and gossip just like old times. We also admired my hand bag a lot.
Now things have quietened down a bit. My trips out are to counselling, massage or E.F.T (I pretend it’s spa treatments and realise this is as close to Tamara Ecclestone’s life I’m ever going to experience).
My next night out I’m hoping it’ll be to a comedy night to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer. I’m hoping some friends will join me – not only should it be entertaining but we’ll also be raising money for a brilliant charity. It’ll also be a night out in London. I’ll be honest, I miss the place a lot. Even though I’ve got used to a very quiet way of life I miss London, I miss how I can feel just comfortable walking around.
I’m excited that my trips out have been successful and my body has coped. I’ve had no problems with food and have always coped/managed. I accept there might be the odd occasion or two where things might not go according to plan but I’ll learn from those. I’ll remain positive though and I’ll push myself to make sure I keep improving.
Now for the best news. My sister is coming home and she’s bringing the crazy dachshund with her. Perhaps he can accompany me on my walks.