Thursday, 31 March 2016

Uno-bap the Robot

Happy Easter just autocorrected to 'happy raster.' Made me laugh.


A few weeks ago someone I know who also lost their beloved daughter in the latter part of last year said to me that he'd looked around himself recently and wondered when it had become lighter? 
What he meant was that when his daughter had died it had been winter and that time had stopped at that point. He'd now suddenly realised that the nights and mornings were becoming lighter and that he'd lost all concept of time. 
It was at that point that I wondered the same thing. Where has the time gone and also how does the earth keep turning at the point your world implodes? It's very much like that grandfather clock in that song about the old man. When he died, the clock stopped. 
But it's only your clock that stops....everyone else's keeps ticking along. Everyone else keeps going. 
That's because they have too. 
That is the way of the world.

We now find ourselves in Spring and with spring comes many things. The little bulbs that have been shivering below the surface push through into the unknown showing us their beauty, all the pastey vampires like myself now have to reveal a little more translucent skin and the kids go off the fucking dial when the clocks go forward. 
But nothing beats Easter!!! 
The chocolate from Christmas has started to melt and reform into some unrecognisable blobs that are half diary milk half tin foil and there's something unsettling about biting off a chocolate snow mans head at the end of March.
 It's time to bring in the eggs!!! 
Why is it eggs we give at Easter? Well eggs are a symbol of new life. 
Spring is full of new life. It's all around us. It's time for a change.
So let me tell you about something that's changed for me...

I am now operable!!!!! 
I can have Voldertit removed! 
I can become UNO-BAP!!! 

You might be scratching your heads here for several reasons. I understand. 
'Wasn't she always going to have her bad-bap removed?' 
'Why is someone so happy to have their boob whipped off?'
'Why can't she think of any other funnier word for her fun-bags?'

Well, I never told you but after Ally was born, Voldertit was so strong, so big, so out of control that it wasn't looking good for me. Inflammatory Breast Cancer  has to be shrunk with chemo before it can be removed and my chemo didn't work so it was looking like Voldertit had won. Then Lung nodules were discovered and I stepped up to stage 4 as a result (I'll never be cured, cancer will always live with me but it'll be hiding in that cupboard that no one ever opens for fear of all the shit falling everywhere) and aggressive treatment began to buy me as much time on this turning planet as possible. 
It is not a given to have a mastectomy with IBC, it's something you hope for.

This month was always going to be that milestone we dreaded but it's been and gone and the boat is a pretty good one. 
I rocked up for a CT scan whereby I was handed a large jug of dye contrast to drink. It was bad. I was gagging as it tastes foul. I'd eaten bugger all, all morning in preparation and Scouse was next to me chomping on a double decker ( my favourite). I looked around for the nearest toothpick that I could stick under his finger nails so he'd scream and subsequently drop the Chocolate bar into my wide drooling grid. 
There weren't any! Dam the NHS and their cutbacks!! 

I then went for a Breast MRI. This was where you flop your tits into two holes whilst lying face down on a gurney and you're squeezed into a tunnel. Then an IV floods your body with 'Gadolinium.' It's a rare-earth metal with the atomic number 64. 
What the hell does that mean right? Who knows but I'm lying there practically converting to Robot status.

The noise of the machine is like a repetitive twang at a million decibels and honestly after listening to it for what felt like eternity I swear it sounded like DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE. Honestly!! It made my 'chemical self' start chuckling away at the irony. All the shit I've been through to this point and the scanner which indicates the progress of my illness is telling me I'm screwed!!! The cheek! 
I am one pissed off Robot and immediately steal Bender from Futuramas line and utter to the scanner 'bite my shiny metal ass'. 

As I am now 80% the chemical element GD, I walk out of the hospital and up the hill towards the car. 
Spring is very much in the air. I notice I'm not wearing a coat and I feel warm. When did that happen? 
My companion nods discreetly in the direction of a rather large lady walking towards us from a distance who is wearing jeans with holes in and mutters something along the lines of 'I always think large people who wear holey jeans look like they've 'exploded' them. You know, kind of like the 'Incredible Hulk'. 
'Yes' I say as I'm mentally throwing my holey jeans in the bin. These steroids have made my legs in 'holey jeans' look like a play-dough fat factory. Good times. 

I go in for chemo number 8 and I'm told that after reviewing my scans with the surgeon I can now have my rotten, malfunctioning cahoona removed!!! AND my lymph nodes are bloody well clear!! The chemo blasted them good and proper. If we ignore the lung nodules crap then this is fantastic so I'm taking this as a victory in this battle. 

I've never cared about what this shit storm will do to my looks so having wonky or no baps does not bother me at all. 
Hell I'd surgically attach a penis to my nose and call myself Nellie the Elephant if it would help save my life. 

So see you later tit! You can hang in the bin with my hair, my previous size 12 body and my old untraumatised bumhole.  

So Let's embrace the change that Spring brings us. Let's eat chocolate til we barf and let's keep as strong as we can without morphing into Robots. 

And to my cancer.... Slide down my fist!

(The most up to date Bucket and Spade list

Monday, 21 March 2016

The Toothless Trails - Trail 1: Weymouth

If you had 3 nights of child free abandon with your oldest friends (they aren't crinkly, they have just been my friends for a long time) what would you do? A spa break sipping cocktails around a pool, a city break cutting some dodgy shapes in a Reflex that smells of feet and regurgitated Reef? Perhaps a spot of shopping and a pedicure?
Well we decided to drag our arses across Dorset in the freezing cold, flooding beautiful scenic points with our foul mouths to stand in the shitting rain having our pictures taken with funny road signs.
We my friends, know how to roll.

It all began weeks before the event. We couldn't plan enough!! Day dreaming of how magical it would be:
I can't wait to not have to count down from 4-7pm when the kids are at their most assholeish 
I can't wait to eat crap all weekend
I can't wait to wake up at 6am and then just roll over without a care in the world.
Mostly I can't wait to eat the pork rolls and the extra pork fat we've ordered from the butcher.......

'do you think he'll give us enough fat? I've ordered pork for 7 people, should we order for more as we know what we're like. The pork will need to cook for 7 hours to capitalise on the moisture vs an hour for the fat to make the best crackling. Do you think we should get more fat? We don't want to not have enough pork fat. pork pork pork fat fat fat!!!!!'

Now I don't need to highlight that we are women that like our food. 
It's important that you know we had a 3 carboots full of food. Pre cooked tagines, home made sticky toffee pudding, a plethora of crisps and nuts (the fallout from Christmas) and enough sweets to send all 7 of us into a diabetic coma. (That should be 8 but Tara couldn't get the time off work - fudge da poleece) Not to mention an online shop arriving later and various restaurant and cake outings planned for the weekend. Yes. We like to eat.

So we all bundle into cars at 9am sharp on Friday morning. I have Ally's Dragon 'Toothless' riding shotgun with me. No one is late, everyone has everything as we've been packed for 300 years. There are literally skid marks outside all our homes and the kids can be heard in the distance "bye muuuuhhhhh"...oh well can't hear. GO!

We arrive at the farmers market for breakfast (obviously - sorry I can't bring myself to write 'obvs') all excited, the dreams of food now unfolding in front of us. We que at the Baine Marie salivating at the thought of a farmers sausage in our mouths. (Oi oi) I look at the chief organiser Lucy, as the colour starts to drain from her face. Oh no, what is wrong with her? She's heavily pregnant so maybe her waters are leaking, maybe she's realised she's left the oven on, maybe she's forgotten to drop a sprog at nursery.... I'm concerned.  I flex a non existent chemo-brow at her as if to ask 'what on earth is wrong' as she declares "Oh shit!!! I forgot the fucking Pork!!!"
Noooooooooooooooooo. One job. ONE JOB!
Not the pork!!!! The ripple effect of realisation can be seen across the faces of all my friends. You can literally hear their hearts sinking. 
'That's just great. GREAT! What the fuck are we going to eat now' ....just as a huge breakfast gets passed across the serving hatch.

Anyway, I promise I won't go into so much detail again but you get the gist. We like food. So while we were shoving sausage in our mouths, everyone is quietly gooling to find the nearest place we can buy pork and pork fat. 

We set off again, bought some car sweets and stopped off for our fat. The conversation started again about whether we had enough fat. 
We then drove to the middle of nowhere and all jumped out to stare at a large field with a penis in. This penis appeared inappropriately erect to me but to be fair it can't be  easy to draw a 2D penis into grass. We were disappointed to learn that the large man also know as the Cerne Abbas Giant has now been fenced off as the great British public spent so much time having selfies with the penis that the paint wore off. 
Gemma tries for 5 minutes to get a photo trick of her being tea-bagged by the Giant. The old lady walking her dog was unamused. 
We were happy to have a group shot from afar....

We then made our way to Piddle Lane and jumped out to have our picture taken at which point half of us were nearly wiped out by a Argos Lorry. Ahhhhhh memories.

Next it was onto Shitterton. I shit you not. It's real. This poor town has had so many signs nicked over the years, the locals clubbed together to have a proper stone one made. It's a shame really as I was so looking forward to putting that sign on the bathroom door. 
Yes I can steal stuff because I've got Cancer. 

After Shitterton, Anna grew concerned that we hadn't eaten for 3 hours and that we should head to the house rental. It was in Portland, and it was perfect. It had a kitchen, a sofa and wine glasses, and it was opposite a tea room. BOOM. We were straight in that tearoom and I was straight to the bog for poo-Nado 8 of the day (chemo ass) and not wanting me to miss out on cake, the girls came into the toilet to take my order without so much as batting an eyelid. True friendship.

So we smashed afternoon tea and then went home to get the tagine on. The crisps came out and then we played home made quizzes featuring the horrors of our friendship. You should try this....make up your own quiz ie 'who was fingerblasted in the store room at Redcliffe bay hall in year 8?' (FYI not me!) so funny.

The weekend consisted of eating, rehashing old gossip, gasping at the new, and talking about the meaning of life. 
Most importantly we played cards against humanity. (It wasn't at all awkward when one question was answered with 'Jade Goodys cancerous corpse'. ) And let me tell you the farting that took place was beyond comprehension!!!!!!!
I know men like to imagine female sleepovers as ladies clad in white cotton underwear, playfully bashing each other with pillows but what unfolded here was women clad in mismatching joggers and hoodies, whafting farts with pillows. Total bliss. 

On the last day for the majority, we went to 'Broadchurch' or Bridport. This was the town where a young man named Daniel Latimer met his demise. This is important as I feel we owe the poor residents of Bridport an apology. Those nutty women you heard for about 3 hours a few weeks ago constantly repeating 'Danny Lat-er-mur' in the broadest of Dorset accents, were my friends. 
Yes it was hysterical every single time someone said it, yes we laughed just as loud each time and yes we are in our 30s but fuck me it was so funny!!!
I guess you had to be there mind!!! Danny Lat-er-mur. 

So after we stuffed a freezing cold icecream into our faces in what felt like a -10 degree wind, most of the girls left. Myself and my friend Vic remained. Vic is quite a deep thinker and from there came the deep conversations. 
'Are we arrogant enough to believe that we are the only planet in the infinity of space that contains life?'
'So subsequently if we don't know, then we can't dismiss it?' 
Which is how I look at heaven and the question of 'what happens when you die?'
I go to this place often because I absolutely refuse to believe that I will never see my daughter again. 
With this conversation inevitably comes the tears and the never ending guilt. The guilt because I miss her so much and I should be approaching my due date. I should have kept her inside.

It was that night that I read about Natalia Spencer and her 'Walk of Love'.
Natalia is walking around our entire coastline to raise money for The Grand Appeal which assists Bristol Children's Hospital. This walk is in memory of her beautiful daughter Elizabeth Spencer who died the day before Ally was born. 
Upon reading the article it dawned on me that she was here in Weymouth and had literally stood in the same spot as us the day before. 
I needed to meet her, walk with her, talk with her. So I messaged and it was arranged.

The next day was another emotional one. Natalias daughter Elizabeth was 5 years old when she died from a very rare condition. Natalia was renting a house of which she moved out of a week after she lost her daughter and was now just walking. And when I say just walking, I mean that in the purest sense. She is literally just walking but walking has taken on a whole new meaning. As a mother grieving the loss of a child, the darkness is all consuming. It leaves you incomplete and you know you'll never fully heal. I've said before that just breathing becomes effort full. 
Natalia is literally and metaphorically putting one foot in front of the other. She has simplified life to putting one foot in front of the other because sometimes that's all you can do. She will just keep walking as others will just keep swimming. 

You have to navigate life the only way you can. You just do it. You just keep going in the hope that one day you'll laugh again, one day you'll look at pictures of the ones you've lost and smile and one day you may get back to being a little bit like your old self. One day. 

But for now, you make plans and you surround yourself with the people that mean the most to you.... Your friends and your family. And you live. 

After all, that's what's important and really what else can you do?

Danny Lat-er-mur