I love spring….
I love spring.
The hopefulness, the renewal of life, the colours, the surge of energy that even we humans can feel, leads to a sense of optimism. To be honest I’m in need of optimism when it seems my spring and summer is likely to be consumed by further treatment for breast cancer, while adjusting to new drugs for rheumatoid arthritis. A powerful cocktail but not the kind you would order for fun. There’s no jaunty umbrella, frozen fruit or champagne in this one. I’m trying to arrange things to look forward to but it’s hard to know what might be possible and when.
So to cheer myself up I ordered a copy of the book Preventable by Devi Shridhar. I know how to have a good time! It is fascinating and well written and captures the reader and in my defence I’ve long had an interest in public health. What is so interesting is how much a recent event like this has changed our lives and relationships too. It seems like another time we sat in lockdown, uncertain and fearful and yet even with falling numbers, the virus remains very present. Yes it’s more treatable but the daily death toll still speaks to its dangers. And yet we feel alien now when wearing masks in public. Lone rangers in masks against a tide of denial. How easily we can be blinded to the risks. But I do get that life has to be more than hiding from a virus. I really do understand that.
Against that backdrop I’ve agreed to more treatment to try to prevent the cancer from returning. The oncologist is very sensitive to my situation and how much my health is diminished and so the treatment is geared to this and I know we all wonder how much I can manage to be honest. But I think I need to try at least as the BRCA2 mutation is proving to be a powerful foe. At times I think I’m deranged to even think about it. At times I think I’m deranged not to consider it. It’s exhausting.
What has sustained me is time with my family; Easter fun, a wee holiday in Crieff and time with both my children and their families for respite and to keep safe while a very welcome wet room is fitted. Friends too have listened and cared while also discussing the huge issues, especially Ukraine, we see and read about daily in the news. I’ve finally accepted we can’t provide a home to a family at this time but I will do what I can in other ways. The small town of Aberfeldy ( now home to some of the family of course) is showing the UK how to do it. With big hearts they have opened their doors. My Grandson ( aged 3) knows the Ukrainian flag that flies from many local buildings and his Mum and Dad have given his kilt ( as well as other maybe more practical items) to a family newly arrived with a toddler. The sight of him speaking Ukrainian and strutting his stuff in a kilt is food for the soul. And don’t we all need that just now. There lots of soul food out there, I know. My plan is to have as much as I can when I can and for now that’s enough.
And finally for something that’s worth a whole blog on its own, this month is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Awareness month. People with EDS have a defect in their connective tissues. It grieves me beyond words that our Granddaughter was diagnosed with this is recent years. It’s such a devastating syndrome and frequently under diagnosed. It’s important therefore that there is more awareness so people can get the support they really need. So I share this for our Phia with so much love , I so wish I could take it away from her.