Photos copyright: Maggie May
This last week has been what I call my best week. The week that my blood cells start to pick up. (The white cells in particular are at their lowest ebb on the fourteenth day of the 3 weekly sessions of chemotherapy.) I have noticed that I am not quite as lively as I was at this stage on session one, so maybe my seasoned chemotherapy advisors are right when they suggest there is an accumulative effect when each session takes a worse toll on the body than the last. After all, they have been there. They know what it is like.
However, there is a stubborn streak in me that wants to ignore this and pretend it isn't so. You can all laugh at me later, if I am wrong.
I think it must be a British thing to go out walking in all weathers. I tend to think that my overseas readers think that I am slightly mad for doing it.
I was brought up in the days when everyone walked everywhere. When we had babies we were instructed to put them outside in the garden for a few hours in the morning, in their prams, in all weathers. The fresh air, we were told would do them good. Most of the prams in those days were sturdy Silver Cross or similar type models with lots of protection from the elements. Not at all like the modern buggy.
At that time, I was more worried about the 14 yr old boy next door who used to fire an air rifle at targets down his garden, with only a flimsy wooden fence between him and my son.
However my baby survived the pellets that might have strayed over but he did suffer from asthma later on. I'm not sure if it was through being out in all weathers or if it was because he was a passive smoker, like me because his Dad and all the outer circle of relatives smoked back then. It was positively encouraged wherever you went.
Non of this would have happened today in the climate of over protecting our youngsters, never letting them anywhere on their own or to take any risk of any kind, without an adult being present and I look back in horror now at some of the things that we all did in those days.
I was really on the subject of walking but took a little detour. Sorry about that.
Well these past two weeks I have walked out in all weathers and different friends have rallied round and said they would accompany me on walks and I have a few booked in for this week later on.
I have started to wear my wig lately. At first it took a bit of nerve as I feel I look more like 45 in it.......... from the back, that is and I feel like mutton dressed as lamb.
A few days ago I bumped into one of my livelier work mates while out, wearing my wig and she shrieked with joy as we hugged one another and laughed fit to bust.
"What are you going to do, Maggie, when your hair grows back? Only you look so much younger in that wig and so well."
I suppose she has a point but the prospect of having any hair at all seems a very long way off. Too long to even visualise it. No wonder I feel the cold as I have lost all the hair on my arms and legs too so cannot even shiver properly. Not that I was a hairy type, mind.
I was gardening recently. Chopping back the clematis from the bottom of trees and shrubs because I wanted them to bear flowers in the Spring and late Summer low enough to see them. I completely forgot that I was wearing a wig and I nearly lost the thing altogether when it became tangled in a branch. That was in the privacy of my own garden. Imagine walking under some low shrubs on the pavement, as I often do and suddenly having my hair torn off. I must definitely remember to be very careful when doing such things in future.
When I wear my wig, every one assumes that I am really healthy and expects much more of me no matter what I am really feeling like inside. When I wear a head scarf, I have had doors opened for me and even people urging me forward in a queue because they must assume I am a poor, sick person having chemotherapy. So that is quite a useful thing. I definitely won't be wearing a wig when I am feeling weak.
What ever happens, it does pay to have a sense of humour. My youngest granddaughter says, "Grannie, let me see you under that scarf. How much hair have you got left?"
I would definitely like to see the girls' school work and wonder if they have written anything about hair loss and being ill or if they have even drawn pictures. Children tend to tell it like it is. They are not scared to speak the truth the way we are.
Well I have rattled on about hair and chemotherapy yet again.
My next session is on 2nd February ....... if the pre assessment the day before proves I am fit enough. I dread having the next one but would be gutted if I couldn't.
That will be Session Three....... the halfway mark. Doesn't time fly by?
(When you're having fun?)
I'd like to remind anyone who might not have seen my brother Eddie Bluelights on the 100th Sunday Roast, interviewing an old friend David Mcmahon, the Melbourne journalist, writer of best selling novels and professional photographer who we all used to know through our blogging. Why not go over and learn more about him.