Well, I haven’t been around much lately, I know. There’s been a lot going on in my life and I’m pretty exhausted, and my creative mojo has fled again for the second time this year… My poor ARTHaven has become the dumping ground it always is when I am not using it, so I thought as a reintroduction to joining the human race again, I would show you just how awful it is, and how little creativity has been going on of late! So here’s the guided tour of Shoshi’s Dumping Ground.
First stop, under the window.
The box with the transparent lid contains the finished cards from my card factory (to which I must return asap!). You an also see my camera case, the purple box that belongs to my lovely cleaning lady – she wants me to alter it for her. Beyond that is a pile of fabric scraps and bits and pieces given to me recently by a lady from church, and under the window, my packing foam pieces that I was making into heat-set rubber stamps, and a pile of dried teabags!
Moving over to the opposite side of the room, this is supposed to be my textile zone and drawing zone, but as you can see, it’s just got stuff dumped on it.
The saddest sight is my main work area. On the desk itself is a collection of dried leaves I picked up outside the hospital a few weeks ago, thinking I would do something with them but now I can’t think what to do with them.
You can see that the dowel that supported my bags of rubber stamps has broken and collapsed. This happened two or three weeks ago and I haven’t had the energy or the enthusiasm to do anything about it. My hubby, bless him, got me a metal rod to replace the dowel, and you can see that on the desk, waiting to be installed.
Here’s a close-up of the wreckage.
How sad is that. It says it all about the state of my creative mojo at the moment!
However, to happier things. I saw the oncologist yesterday and we got the result of my recent post-chemo CT scan, and it is clear, so I have been pronounced cancer free! This is of course very good news, but I am having some problems processing it at the moment as I need a huge mental adjustment to transfer from being a patient (VIP, receiving incredible care and support, all given with kindness and even love, and feeling affirmed and very special) to being a normal person again (ordinary)! I am also wrestling with some feelings of survivor’s guilt, having met some truly amazing and wonderful people on the chemo unit whose stories are working towards an end very different from my story, and whose indomitable spirit and cheerfulness never cease to amaze me – I find myself asking myself “Why me, and not them?” Fruitless question, I know, because cancer is no respecter of persons and the whole thing is a huge lottery with no rhyme nor reason to it. I know I shall move on from this rather complex response to what I know is brilliant news for us, but at the moment I can’t match my hubby’s simple and honest and uncomplicated response of utter joy and relief! I am also wrestling with the fact that my response is a total surprise to me, as I was anticipating feeling the same uncomplicated joy as my hubby.
I have been through a lot over the whole of this year and a couple of weeks ago had an investigation under general anaesthetic which knocked me back somewhat, and I’ve been a bit low in spirits – I think it’s all a reaction to what has been a complete rollercoaster of a year emotionally and physically. I will get there in the end, but for now I need a period of readjustment to my new status as Cancer Survivor and Ordinary Person lol!
I am not feeling brilliant physically either, because I am plagued with peripheral neuropathy as a result of the chemo – this is not the transient, acute version one gets after each treatment, which diminishes towards the end of each cycle, but the persistent, chronic version which is different, and quite intense. I have also developed a couple of rare neurological effects which may or may not have developed because of my existing neurological condition (M.E.). There is no guarantee that I shall fall into the percentage of people whose post-chemo peripheral neuropathy eventually clears up, or whether I shall be part of the significant percentage for whom this is a permanent legacy. Either way, it is a small price to pay for a cancer-free life, and if it does end up being permanent, it will serve as a constant reminder, along with Kermit, my stoma, of what I have been through in order to become a cancer survivor, and I shall be glad of that, because I never want to forget, and I never want to take what I have for granted, and I always want to be reminded to count my blessings daily.