Cancer in the Time of Covid
…and other adventures
One year. One WHOLE year today since I found out I have cancer. A year since I was doodling about at home alone, day six of a seven day self-isolation, itching to get back to work and help with Covid, when my phone rang. My GP telling me I had cancer, likely metastatic melanoma. It’sContinue reading “ONE YEAR CANCER-VERSARY”
It is the next day, April 2020. It has been 36 hours since my operation. Today, my brother is coming to collect me and drive me 150 miles to his house. I am getting ready. Washed and got dressed without falling over: check. Nurse has kindly put my shoes and socks on (I can’t bendContinue reading “NHS: Part Two”
Poetry with Goats is a project I started a few days after I got my first diagnosis back in March 2020. I volunteer to help look after goats in a woodland and, in the first lockdown, it seemed the, erm, obvious thing to do to read poetry to them. I may have just had aContinue reading “Not Done”
My eyes open. There is movement, voices. I am being wheeled somewhere. It’s ok, it’s ok, the voices say. All I know is that I am very cold. I am shivering violently. The movement kerthunks to a stop (the bed brakes being applied) and a masked nurse cocoons me in blankets. Head, body, legs; IContinue reading “Fluid”
My eyes open. My bedroom ceiling is there, I move my body and it obeys as normal, my feet know the familiar, worn carpet as I walk to the bathroom. I am dreaming. A week ago I woke up just the same. I got out of bed just the same. I was thinking about work,Continue reading “Dreaming”
My phone rings whilst I am mid-Zoom conversation. A withheld number. It is early Monday morning, less than a week since I had that fateful phone conversation with my GP, just a weekend since I had the whole body CT scan on Friday to look for cancer spread. I am waiting for the results. IContinue reading “Action”
Waiting. Those first few days. Straight after I told my parents, I had the same conversation with my brother. Same screen, different face. Same flinching head-bob. Same stumble of words, same horror hanging in the space between us. I’m sorry, brother, I am. I love you. He stuttered, repeated himself, um, um, right, um, right.Continue reading “Waiting”
This blog has been on hiatus. It has been on hiatus since the summer, when I first felt well enough to start writing about my experiences. That window of wellness did not last long and now, here I am, ever more bruised, desperate, scarred, cancerous, hopeful and still – still – gloriously, ridiculously alive, allContinue reading “HIATUS”
I wanted to go back to work. I wanted to see my friends and colleagues again, to banter with them, to laugh and joke, to talk about how best to help our patients; to not be a patient myself. I wanted to see them to explain why I was suddenly disappearing, now, in the middleContinue reading “NHS: Part One”
There they were. Mum and Dad, their faces expanded on my laptop screen, nostrils looming (Dad), worrying about hair (Mum). A Wednesday. Two days after lockdown. I had called via FaceTime to find Mum pottering in the kitchen. Is Dad there, too? I asked. Can he come? He came and sat down, both of themContinue reading “Screens”
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