Friday, 16 September 2011

Am I "really" being selfish?

Before I even start this blog I know it will be a bit of a ramble. I have so many thoughts in my mind that I just need to release them all and then see what’s in there. Not sure if that makes sense but I am being selfish for now and this blog is for me. It’s been a tough week and I need the outlet right now.

Firstly I was reminded by a friend last night about the consultant’s analogy when he diagnosed a “cystic tumour”. He said right now they have just a picture of the tumour, much like an aerial photograph from a plane. They can see the factory (tumour) but they can’t see what that factory makes, i.e. they don’t know if it in benign or cancerous cells being produced.

We bought in to that explanation as it seemed simple and plausible. The consultant might have told us what sort of factory it “appears” to be but he didn’t. This isn’t a criticism at all, the consultant was great and Steve almost immediately bought in to him. He was an older gent, much like a granddad; although too young to be Steve’s granddad he had a friendly face and a nice disposition.

Once Steve’s tumour had been identified, in location and size really as we still didn’t have a name. He chose to give it a name. He called it Clive. Clive the clump and, September 22nd would be Clive’s eviction day. Big Sista, (Steve) had decided it would be evicted from the Big Bruvva house.

Steve’s humour was not appreciated by all. Some thought him disrespectful to not take his condition seriously. Steve and I always joked about his tumour, that’s because that the way he wanted it. He figured in much the same way as the monster under your bed (you imagine as a child), is less scary when you picture it wearing bunny ears and a pink tutu by Steve mocking his tumour then it could not harm him.

Even though Steve is no longer with us I still like to think his tumour didn’t get the better of him. It didn’t rob him of his dignity and, I only have good memories of Steve. I reckon most, if not all, of his family and friends also have good memories as none of them saw him “ill”. He carried on regardless. I knew he was struggling. Struggling to stay awake, struggling to keep on walking or talking or being sociable but, Steve NEVER gave in to it. He would not allow it.

When we went to Scotland in April for his birthday he found the constant walking and sightseeing tiresome and difficult. He never let on. Not to our friends anyway. I knew because I knew Steve but he masked it well. Sometimes I wish he hadn’t. Would we have taken it more slowly if he had been honest? Probably. And that is what Steve DIDNT want. He wanted to be “normal” so he kept quiet and I supported his choice.

The same with work. He wanted to be “normal”. On the Friday before he died he “worked from home” as usual. Just 5 days later he was dead. Nobody understood his desire to work and maintain a routine. I did. He didn’t want to let go of the life he loved and never for one minute did he believe that Cancer would win.

Cancer hasn’t won. Because he didn’t deteriorate or become bedbound he will always remain young and vibrant, happy and cheerful. Even on the Sunday, before he died on Wednesday, he joked with a friend (G) and was happy and positive. He was the last friend really to see Steve “well”.

Re-reading that last paragraph is difficult through the tears but that, I suppose, is why things have been so tough. Steve was never “ill”, he became a little poorly and then died. All within days.

Steve “evicting” his tumour was typical of him. Dumb it down so people didn’t worry. He was petrified, (and so was I) but he never let on to anyone.

I received a phone call today from Steve’s Macmillan nurse, she asked how I was. It took me by surprise but, it was lovely to hear from her. She really cheered Steve up and, although he wasn’t in constant contact with her she remembered him when we saw her at Christies Hospital in the corridor and she made a hugely positive impact on Steve. Just being herself. She is a lovely person and SO easy to speak to. I can’t sing her praises highly enough and, on top of all that she came to Steve’s funeral. She didn’t need to and I wouldn’t have thought any less of her if she didn’t but she came. I owe her a HUGE hug when I see her next.

The phone call was lovely and it turns out she has been meaning to call for a while. I know that feeling, I have been “meaning” to message a few of our friends for a while and have even promised to go for coffee with a few but have not got to do that yet. I have not forgotten but I don’t want to inflict my melancholy on them. Some friends just get that from me anyway although I would prefer them not to, sometimes it is impossible to avoid.

Moving on, forward, upward, positively, all “good” words to make me feel better, I received a text from a friend this week to ask about meeting up this weekend. It was unexpected but VERY much appreciated. I have had lots of offers over the past weeks and months and I love all of our friends for that but I guess it’s just “pot luck” at the moment if they catch me on a good day or bad. If it’s a good day and I say yes then I tend to not go back on that. On a bad day I’d probably decline an invitation, even though I know I run the risk of not being asked again. I just hope people understand that I am trying. I WANT to feel happy but sometimes my heart, sometimes my head and sometimes both say NO!

Fortunately right not I feel the bad days are getting fewer or not quite as deep. The good days have not increased proportionately but, I am now experiencing “neutral” days. That’s a bonus. The “happy” medium between both ends of the scale.

Well, for now that’s about it. I do have loads more swimming around in my head but I guess that’s enough for now.

Love to you, whoever and wherever you are, I know you care because you are reading. I care that you care enough to spend your time reading. Thank you, sending big hugs xxx

Mark x

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