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Monday, 31 October 2011

C'est la vie


Drinking to victory
no matter how big or small.
Celebrating Pink October
There have been a few comings and goings in my life of late. Swings and round abouts, ups and downs. Call them what you will. My little peanut of a brain prefers not to linger too long upon these quandaries of existence. But a couple of weekends ago, as I was running for the lives of others in the Pink Triathlon against Breast Cancer, the very sobering thought that I could be running for my own, tinged my spirits from the usual vibrant fuchsia to an uncertain dusky rose.

Not one to share dilemmas openly or even ask for help in times of need, I went about getting a biopsy in an almost stealth like manner. Such cunning can, unfortunately, not be maintained for long when the questionable growth is situated in prime time position on your snout. Oh well. Luckily I don't harbour great quantities of vanity either but after the cut and slice, I did wonder why these things never appear on your feet or in some other inconspicuous body crevice.

Animosity is a great thing. I was able to go to workshops the day after with the same attitude of nonchalance I used to feel when walking the rain swept streets of London.  The other attendees were too polite and too involved with our combined cause to question my humble appearance.

However, bandages only conceal the superficial wound. I waited for the results with rising distress. It felt as though someone was singing my nerves with a hot little wielding iron like the one he used to cauterise my wound. I could almost smell my own fear like I could my own skin burning. His statements kept rising up in the fog of my anxiety; we should be able to save you, there are various levels of bad, don't wait too much longer, skin graph, lose half your nose...... How on earth was this supposed to be reassuring? I don't have time for this, I thought. I'm a busy mother for goodness sake. Wasn't he aware of all that entailed? I'd lost a close friend to a melanoma a few years ago. She left behind two young daughters. She was only 39 and I think of her daily.I wasn't about to forsake child and family for such an inconvenience. How rude??

But in the end....I didn't have too. I got the all clear. I'm going to be fine...for the time being. But I'm not just fine thanks to the results of the biopsy. I'm fine because throughout this short brush with another of life's uncertainties, I encountered some truly wonderful support, from some beautiful women who in spite of having concerns and tribulations of their own, still found room in their hearts to offer me solace and understanding.

As a writer, inspiration is often found in the most unassuming of places. To find it in the compassion of others is a truly fortunate discovery.