Two things have come together recently that have brought me to a decision. The first thing was coming across an old white thin muslim blouse – well, I say old, but it dates from 2012. The summer thereof! It still had a spot of blood on the sleeve from the only day I ever wore it. That day was at the end of June 2012 – the day the Olympic Torch came to my hometown. It was a hot summer’s day, and my skin had broken out in tiny spots all over my body. Spots that, if touched even only gently, bled profusely. Just the brushing of fine cotton on them would set them off. I had only bought the blouse that morning because I knew that I wanted to watch the Olympic Torch being brought into our town, and I had to have my skin covered. At the time, I dud wonder whether white was a good idea because it was highly likely that, however careful I was, my skin would start to bleed. Indeed, each morning when I woke up, my pillow would be covered in blood from the many little spots around my neck and hairline. At that time, we thought it to be some kind of allergy or insect bites. We had fumigated the house throughly just in case. Of what, we did not know. But just in case anyway. We had only just moved into the house, and so in our minds, anything could have been the case.
It was a beautiful day, and the crowds were all in good spirits, but I must admit, I did think more than twice about whether it was a good idea to go and stand for a long time in the middle of a huge crowd at the side of the road, in the heat. I had been feeling very tired of late, and sometimes quite faint, but I had put it down to the extreme stress of the move we had just undergone, and all the heavy lifting that I had had to do, since my husband was now in a wheelchair. I was caring for him 24/7 as well as trying to unpack and get the house in order. A bad removal firm had not helped much either, but that is yet another story. However, it was going to be a once in a lifetime experience, and I was not going to miss it. So, I donned the brand new blouse, and joined the throng.
As I had expected, my skin did erupt but, strangely, only one spot in one place. But that spot is still there and when I came across the blouse the other day, memories came flooding back. The bleeding spots turned out to be a blood cancer – Lymphoma. It was not diagnosed until the June of 2013, by which stage it was very advanced. In fact I was at death’s door and, in the words of my haematologist, my fate was “in the lap of the Gods.” At one point, he was squeezing my husband on the shoulder, and wishing him “Good luck.” Upon finding the blouse, and my memories being re-ignited, I had the most powerful urge to write my story. I had considered doing thus before, but the yrge was never so powerful.
Then, today, I had a discussion with somebody here in WordPress resulting from a question that had been asked of somebody, abd the result was that I KNEW I must write my story. BUT with no holds barred. It is NOT a pretty story, but I AM still here to tell it. As most of you know, the cancer and the chemotherapy left me wheelchair bound, and blind, with no feeling in my hands and feet, and with fibrosis if the lung, which makes breathing difficult at times. I often suffer from low oxygen levels, and often I have to lie on the bed for much of the day. But, despite it not being a pretty story, there are nuggets of pure gold within it. I have been tried and tested beyond measure, but somehow or other I have managed to come through, and my sense of fun and humour is still intact. In fact, I am still a child at heart. Hence the silly flea limericks that I like to write! And so, I want to tell my story. Both for myself, and for others.
I intend to post it on my Blog. But just in case there are people who wish to avoid it, for whatever reason, I will mark clearly what it is.
I am hoping that my story will be inspirational as much as anything. So please, if you feel able, join me in this journey. And let us together find the gold amongst the dross.
Prepare for Blast Off!