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Sunday 6 October 2013
The world gets smaller
and so do my expectations and the things I draw pleasure from.
The problem with the chemo and the pills is that I feel on top of the world for 4 days and then come crashing down, blindsided by fatigue and the dark wisps of depression, lingering on the edge of the room, threatening to tinge my sunshine moments with grey haze. I have to stop myself from thinking - literally - because the odd random suggestion from the Eeyore in my brain - this is going to be the last Strictly I ever see, for example - threatens to take away the joy of autumn Saturday nights over the last ten years, the glitz, the glamour, the escapism, the surprises..
So, a busy day, which included the early arrival of Em home from school (YAY!), a delightful and happy visit from G's godmother, H and a quick emergency run to the vet with Trouble. Poor Em had done absolutely everything right when he came back with a "poor de paw" from his walk - salt water to clean, pressure to stop the bleeding, calming him down - but this little nick was a bleeder. She phoned me from outside the back door (I was asleep) and we made the necessary to go down to the vet.
I haven't been driving but this was a Medical Emergency and there was no way I was going to let Em try and squeeze an over-anxious, bleeding dog into her little car so I fired up what is euphemistically called "The Farm Car". It is an ancient Land Cruiser (R reg), which is now officially The Most Comfortable Car in the World. The seat belt doesn't cut across my shoulder; the backwards and forwards thingy is long ago arkwelded into exactly the right position and over a decade of HWISO and I driving it has meant that the actual leather seat fits like some kind of super modern driving seat and is as comfortable as one's own arm chair.
So Em, Trouble, the old car and I rattled down to the vet and we got him all fixed up. (Note to self: remind vet that Trouble can open doors and thinks legging it down the corridor is a game....). Whilst I am very sorry that Trouble hurt himself (and Boy Oh Boy, did he make a really big song and dance about it when HWISO came home later), forcing me to drive the car has been good for me. It now means that I can rattle down to the local Co-Op with a bit more confidence, although I am sure I will need at least 5 spaces to park! I do think the local is as far as I can get though - both me and the car. Farm Car was definitely built for comfort not speed and I don't want to "rattle" either of us with any encounters with foreign lorry drivers on the A14.
So when H asked me if there was anything I would like her to do - could she take me out to lunch? or did I want to go to Cambridge? - I just asked if she could take me to Waitrose. I can't really do more than a couple of hours away from the house and I am incredibly comfortable with H and know she will make me giggle with witty observations and talk through the merits of chocolate puddings for hours, without me feeling (like I do with HWISO) that I am on some kind of mission to see "how quickly we can get this done". She also won't mind if I get too tired, hand her my trolly and card and go for a quick nap in the car. She is impossibly glamourous (without trying) and it will be lovely to see everyone staring at her, for a change, rather than wondering who the hairy faced, half bald, puffy hunched in pain, woman that used to be Charlotte Bevan is.
So my idea of a "good time" shrinks from a day's shopping in London to an hour in Waitrose in Bury St Edmunds and my ideal car is no longer an Aston Martin (HWISO's is a still a Ferrari, just out of interest) but a 20 year old Land Cruiser. Is this a bad thing? No. When you are staving off those evil black fingers, lowering the expectations helps.