I hate my oncologist visits. Not because she’s not my favourite in terms of warmth and empathy. Well that too. But because immediately it all becomes real again. As much as I feel an observer, there are those moments I feel so nauseous I have to excuse myself as I sit in the waiting room, surrounded by bald heads, decaying spirits and hopeful faces. The smell, the smiling nurses, the ‘to us cancer is personal’ slogan. Still too fresh. Still nauseating. A stark reminder of what was and will be. But what I hate even more is receiving a message the next day to please call the doc rooms to discuss my blood work. I love the ‘all looks good’ calls.. For fucks sake. I know better and I don’t live in constant threat of doom, but in that moment my world crashes. And it takes all that is me to bring myself back to for goodness sake girl, pull yourself together. Anyway, cancer markers good, thank fuck, calcium levels out of normal range, need to be rechecked in four weeks to make sure not indicative of something out of the ordinary. For fucks sake like what. What is ordinary. What is normal. I’m just, today, me one, cancer O. Fuck yeah.
And I got a glimmer of something I liked in my oncologist. Maybe it was the smile reaching her eyes as she told me she found me inspiring and will be using me to encourage so many of her patients who don’t go the whole way. She means no nipple tattoos. Cos they’re obviously not nipples, just like my boobs aren’t boobs. So women just don’t bother. Especially older women. Well I did and its made a heap of difference to me. I like me a little more. In that moment I’m not reminded of the horror immediately. And the moments are all that matter. I like her for seeing me this time.
14 January. My mother-in-law is an inspiration to me, and to anyone who meets her. At 85 she has more energy, a sharper wit, a better handle on a manual vehicle, a keener mind, is better read and more informed than many her junior. In fact, that’s all got nothing to do with her age. She simply is a woman to behold. And be loved. I am grateful she is in my world, to inspire me daily, to guide me and to give me hope. And always a new perspective.
14 September. I am grateful for inspiring friends who are hell bent on doing something good for the world, who enable us all, who just get on with it. And who are determined to have a damn fun time doing it too.
I am grateful I am not alone in my complete adoration of good coffee. I loved reading this today, it was exactly as I felt. Sometimes just for that moment coffee is everything. It is as if there is nothing else.
I have met some fabulous women here. Inspiring, interesting, capable, creative, nothing is too much for them women. I am grateful for the time spent today, alongside some of them, at the worlds best ever homemade lemonade stall. You women really do rock and are inspiring in your selflessness. And even if there had been vodka in the lemon slushy machine I couldn’t have had a better time.
I met two older women yesterday who really made me stop and think. I have become boring. I have no funk. I love a woman with a classic look but with an edge. A little funk. I’ve lost mine. Francesca is a 50 something year old who arranged a fabulous birthday lunch for a friend of mine. She wore a black edgy coat with high boots, black jeans, a classic black fedora style hat, an artfully tied loose scarf, funky blue ray ban readers. But it was less about what she wore but how she wore it. With flair, with confidence. She was stylish, quite classic, but funky. The other is also 50 something and from one of my favourite decor shops. She was wearing her hair parted and twisted into knots not unlike Bjork, a black jacket with a flair, over a black knee length skirt with a flair and heavy docs. She also had ray ban style prescription frames. She also looked stylish, classic, yet quirky. And age appropriate. And was confident about who she was and her style. She liked my Number Six Karen Walker sunglasses (yay me), and we got chatting about teenagers, docs, converse and style. I realised I’ve allowed myself to disappear. And allowed my kids to censor me. I say I’ve lost my funk, but I’m actually not sure I’ve ever been funky. I think I would love to be. I love all things creative, I appreciate talent and anyone with an effortless style. But I’m not visually creative in the obvious sense of the word, I’m too restrained, too self aware, too risk averse. And I’m cool with that because thats me. But I used to like my style too. Classic with a little twist. I’ve lost my twist. I think I got scared of standing out. I lost me while trying to assimilate. Into all my new worlds. So maybe when I hit 50 I’ll be inspiring too in a funky classic way, because I’m determined to get my funk back. My twist. And not give a damn what my kids say. Or anyone else.
I am very grateful to my niece Georgia who is doing an assignment on life changing experiences and is using me. I am grateful not because I think I’m worthy, but because it sent me on a trip down memory lane as I had to source photos for her. And it reminded me especially oh how much I love and am grateful for my never straight never curly hair, my not quite as thick as they were eyebrows, my sparse eyelashes. Oh, and my health. Thanks Georgie for reminding me how much I still take for granted and how much I have to be grateful for. And that includes you.