Friday, March 1, 2013

My life as a powder keg, and afterwards...

I haven't written a post here for about nine months, not since last June/July. My blog tends to be more personal than anything else that I write and the problem nine months ago was that everything became a bit too personal when I was found to have a shadow on my lung.

Who can say that they HAD lung cancer? And what does that actually mean? I have lots of questions and not very many answers so it's a difficult place to visit or revisit even now.

I was surprised to find that cancer, dying, death...all those phantoms...were not so frightening to confront. I went into hospital one morning and came out without half one lung less than a week later, and that was, apart from being excruciatingly painful, not all that terrifying an experience. I was so very well looked after by doctors and nurses, and I was, by and large, a very good patient and did everything I was told to do.

Really and truly, my main if not only concern was the distress I was causing my family and friends - my sons, my parents, my husband, my sister... Bad, bad wimcee for being such a nicotine addict for so many years and bringing this on everyone around me.

After my operation the prognosis was that there was no need for further treatment - no chemo, no radium. The nature of the cancer was such -  so new, so small, so contained - that there was nothing to indicate a better outcome if I underwent further treatment than if I didn't.

I had initially gone to my GP with a recurrent pain in my chest - in the left side - which led via tests to the discovery of the shadow - on the right side - which was unrelated. To this day nobody knows what was causing the original pain - possibly the rigours of learning crochet which I took up about that time (and which kept me sane in hospital it must be said!) - but it probably saved my life.

I don't know what comes next with this - the thoracic specialist said before Christmas, 'now we watch, and we wait' - but when my eldest son became engaged to his long-term sweet-heart in January, and my middle son took up a terrific new position in Sydney at about the same time, and my baby boy embarked on his thesis more recently, how could I not feel blessed for having been here to enjoy and savour these moments?

I did a very few markets towards the end of last year, with enormous help and support from the heavenly Helen and the others at the BrisStyle helm, but for now I'm off the marketing circuit. Sadly. Miss the camaraderie very much; miss taking my work to town; miss meeting the browsers and the customers... But I do want to give more time to my parents and to my husband this year and I was finding the markets took bigger and bigger chunks of time.

I am cranking up both on-line stores - etsy and madeit - in lieu, and giving more time and attention to real-time retail through The Collective Store, Bleeding Heart, Rosemount, Reverse Emporium, and other possible outlets instead. And I'm also hoping to get back to painting again this year, or at least working more on the art/craft combination - the soft sculptures and fabric collages and so on that I've dabbled with previously.

So - watch this space!

Life is a very wonderful, precious gift to be cherished but also to be taken at the flood and joyously exploited!