Happy New Year!
I am well aware that I’m a lousy blogger. I either get far too engrossed in everything else going on or I bore easily. Who knows? Anyway, as I consider this a ‘hobby’ of sorts I won’t chastise myself for my inertia.
I have actually been very busy since the demise of poor Willow and even had some wins on the treatment front.
I was pleased to produce an entry to last years 20:20 print exchange at the end of October (see image above) and to take part in a group exhibition in London at the end of November with my fellow printmakers. An exhausting but positive experience. Given that in June I was convinced I wouldn’t be fit to participate on any level, not only did I hammer the printmaking for two solid weeks, I helped get the work to London in my car (ok, so I rode shotgun while someone else drove) and I managed to assist in hanging it all at the other end. I am lucky to be surrounded by a lovely group of artists, all of whom have been incredibly supportive over the last 7 months. Oh, yeah, and I sold a piece of work!
It was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with a bunch of people from the many different parts of my past and present; though at times I found it overwhelming and often felt quite emotional when I was on my own again.
The blast of radiotherapy to my hip in September continues to hold up (without side effects) and I am running about like a ferret – almost. The pain I had been in, for many months, was at times indescribable and I was pretty certain it would never end. Now, with the worst of the pain under control I feel liberated and consequently am more engaged in my work and able to ‘look after myself’. That said, I still struggle with fatigue and have bouts of agoraphobia, both of which are immensely frustrating.
I have been asked frequently “how’s the chemo going?” – because I guess for most people chemotherapy is the first thing one thinks of in relation to cancer treatment. At some point I probably will receive chemo, but for now I’m given 2 shots of an ‘oestrogen receptor downregulator’ (hormone therapy to you and I) and one shot of a ‘human monoclonal antibody’ (or bone density drug) every month. They’re hopefully slowing down the progression of disease and protecting my bones from further damage. So far they seem to be working. Since the beginning of December my treatment has been given at home by the ‘Christie At Home’ team, a fantastic development in allowing me to feel normal and a real godsend as the hospital trips had become increasingly traumatic events. And don’t even mention the pharmacy!!
Christmas, New Year and my (soon) birthday, have all become new ‘milestones’ that I now collect up and tick off as achievements, simply for making it past them. Word in my cul-de-sac, at the beginning of November, was that I only had weeks to live. Quite how any of my neighbours came to this conclusion, without actually speaking to me, is curious. They must be terribly disappointed to see me knocking about still.