Where to begin? I suppose the idea of doing a blog has arisen out of a need or desire to have my voice heard. Since being diagnosed with cancer – for the second time – I have often felt that I have lost my place in a society that relies heavily upon ‘status’ to identify oneself. Indeed I have pondered for a long time on the sensation of loss. For a while I have thought about things from the perspective of ‘losing’, but have I really lost anything? In many ways I’ve gained a lot through having cancer: a greater perspective of myself, the appreciation of friends and family, the ability to concentrate on the present and the recognition of hither-to unknown reserves of inner strength. This blog is likely to jump around time wise and may be of interest to no-one, nevertheless it is ‘out there’ – a bit like me!
So I’ll start a little story which goes like this…once upon a time there was a girl called Alison. She was fed up with London life (sorry Mr Johnson) and, on a whim, decided to shake things up with a little study trip to Italy. Her adventures took her to the south and a city called Salerno. A good time was had and she decided to try and forge a new life abroad. To this end she enrolled in a TEFL course and got a job teaching in Sicily.
All was going well (well, not really: bad pay, l-o-o-o-n-g hours, an inclement winter) when, one evening whilst watching a film, she discovered a lump on her breast……
The big C.
Jump to the almost present. A barrage of tests late 2009 led to ‘results day’ in January 2010. Strangely I can’t remember the exact date. I remember being called into the consultant’s room. I remember thinking that it was ‘nothing’. And then she told me.
And then everything changed.
And then I had to call in my ex from the waiting room.
And then I had to translate the news into Italian.
And then I had to call my sister.
And then I sat in the hospital pharmacy with a prescription list for various pain killers and sedatives. And then I looked at the people around me and I saw how everyone was carrying on with their lives. How nobody had noticed. How everything and yet nothing had changed. And that the world had only stopped for me.