Dates to Forget


The 30th of November is not a date I relish. I woke this morning knowing that today would be long and drawn out. But I still had a moment to check my social media. As you do. Facebook has an app that, on the whole, I dislike. Sometimes On This Day is nice. Sometimes it brings joy. And happiness. Which is why I have not switched it off. Other times it does not. It is inexplicable to me that I forgot what the date was today. I can only assume that I have been distracted by current happenings. However, Facebook was having none of that. It was clearly desperate for me to remember.

So this morning, as I lay in bed, trying to marshal my thoughts into some kind of order, I was greeted by this:


 You see, six years ago, on this very day I decided to go crowd surfing. Without the crowd. As pass times go I do not recommend it. I was not involved in a car crash. I was not the victim of an assault. And nor was I drunk. I simply slipped over. On our drive. In the snow. This led to: multiple fractures; five operations; chronic neuralgia; word retrieval problems; rubbish vision; and an abiding aversion to snow. It also led to something of a re-invention. That need to create something from the wreckage of your former life is a feeling I am very familiar with. The career I was working towards in academic literary research became impossible as my vision did not allow it. And so my business was born. This I do not regret. I love my job. My business is small but perfectly formed. It allows me to work on good days, bunk off on bad ones, and generally it is the perfect way of living for both me and the Captain.

However, you can see why I do not want to embrace a ‘new’ me once again. The very thought exhausts me. I do not believe I have another facet left to explore. I have been there, done that.

Six years on I am in a very different place. I still have chronic neuralgia. I still have dodgy vision. I still have word retrieval problems. Large chunks of my face are numb or experience ‘altered sensation’ (such a euphemistic phrase!). But having thought I would have to wear a paper bag on my head in order not to frighten small children, I am in position where it is not possible to tell the extent of my surgery. Even when I point out my scars. I am not best pleased to be needing the servicing of the NHS once again and feel it is particularly unfair but then life is not fair, is it?

Just now, though, I am terrified that I cannot get back to my chosen way of life. I do not know of a single person who has not talked about cancer changing them in a fairly gargantuan way. Currently I am so tired, the thought of prepping the 20+kg of Seville oranges I should be tackling shortly after Christmas can reduce me to tears. What I am saying? The thought of Christmas can reduce me to tears!

I do not want to change. I just want to get back to me. I have done recovery before. And I do not like it.

8 thoughts on “Dates to Forget

  1. It is frightening I know. But please don’t be too hard on yourself.
    After chemo in 2009 I could hardly walk, had chemo brain which included balance problems and kept falling over. Only this year have I been able to walk for long periods without having to sit down – sometimes I wake up with pains (from falls) but now I am not back to how I was – I’m different – I’m better. I hope that this can happen for you too. I searched online and through doctors for help. I was given exercises, tried all the brain-training I could get, ate better, took exercises. It was like relearning after amnesia. But believe me if doctors say you will get better, you will. As for oranges and Christmas, get help or get gadgets and do it sitting down or just this one year can you not do anything? – People will forgive you – they forgave me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m learning from my own experience to stop looking too far ahead because when I do it just exhausts me. When I look back now at how I was during the worst of my chemo treatment, I’m amazed that I’ve come out the other side of it intact and (relatively) sane. Taking everything day by day, setting small goals and taking baby steps might seem like cliches but they’re absolutely the right thing to do at the moment. That, and indulging in plenty of whatever you love most to do (in my case, that’s eating chocolate, obviously!) You won’t have to embrace a ‘new’ you. Just the ‘you’ you’ve always been, with a few new experiences to draw on. Keep your chin up x

    Liked by 1 person

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