People often ask me how do I cope so well with what is happening?
Initially I consider if they are talking about dealing with a rare and aggressive form of cancer with a very dismal prognosis, or, are they asking me about the loss of my daughter Ally?
What I have established is that 9/10 times they are asking me about Voldertit.
This is because people don't want to ask about Ally for fear of upsetting me. I totally understand. No one wants to be the reason that tears arrive. However, I feel I should point out that I am thinking of her every second. By mentioning her name to me you are not reminding me that my daughter died, you are reminding me that she lived.
You are telling me you are also thinking of her and that is important. You see, Ally exists with me, always.
I want to talk about her, I want you to ask about her, I want her name spoken as often as possible because she is a huge part of who we are.
Every time I look at the boys I wonder how much Ally would have looked like them, what her personality would have been like and what her first words would have been. Would she have recited the word 'Bellend' as proud as punch after hearing it from her daddy just as her oldest brother did? Would she have had my sense of humour and our rogue ginger gene?
I'll never know.
So we go back to coping? How do I 'cope'?
Well someone told me that everyone copes because what is not coping?
I guess it's dying? Some could argue that I'm already doing that... I'm stage 4 with no cure. I'll always have cancer. But then we are all dying right? We all go at some point but maybe we live our lives based on assumption of 'making old bones' and I've been reminded that death knows no rules. It rolls however it wants to. It smokes crack one day and goes to church the next. It does whatever it wants, to who ever it wants, whenever it wants.
Death is very real to me so I put it to you...
Am I lucky?
My mortality is very tangible and will continue to be this way until I'm switched off or I become the epitome of irony 'Cancer-mum who risked life to save daughter who passed away after 8 days beats cancer only to be crushed by unsecured letter 'V' hanging off of 'VUE Cinema' Cribbs Causeway.'
........seriously this has occurred to me!
'Am I Lucky?'
I live with the knowledge that I may die a lot sooner then I planned. Therefore I see the world in a slightly different way. I'm hyper aware that maybe when I do something now it could be for the last time. I don't mean like 'make a sandwich' or 'put the bins out' I mean if I go to the beach it could be the last time. When I take off my shoes and feel cold sand beneath my feet then dust that sand off to put my shoe back on, that could have been the last time I will feel sand.
Now again, that can be said for any of us. What you are doing right now could be the last time you do it (please don't die reading my blog....that would mean I literally bored you to death) because don't forget that massive proverbial 'bus' driving around the world wiping us out one commuter at a time.
That bus!!!!!! Remember everyone it could hit you at anytime!!!!!!
That FUCKING bus is getting more air time then this weird celebrity threesome story doing the rounds.... Can I say who it is? I doubt they'd gag me. Not good for PR......'tragic cancer mum who writes shit blog full of grammatical errors names celebrities involved in (cock)gagging order, is then arrested and forced into a line up with Phil Mitchell then subsequently thrown in gaol whereby her cancerous body shrivels into a skeleton on the floor, when found her twisted corpse had an outstretched finger pointing towards some really dodgy plastic coloured glasses and a Dolce and Gabbana carrier bag.'
No I won't say whose involved because really, does anyone actually give a shit?
So, I digress. Everything I do, I'm wondering if it could be the last time.
It's exhausting but it's also kind of beautiful.
Taking things in on that kind of level is one hell of an experience. I'm planning all these grand trips with the kids and they are so important to me but it's the small things (cliche ding ding ding) that really count.
When I put Tait to bed and he has his milk and is calm (normally he's running around like he's being chased by the dude from Texas chainsaw massacre) I look at him. I mean I really look at him. His fingernails, his eyelashes, his hair and I take it all in. I absorb it and store it in my memory.
When Ally was in NICU I didn't take it all in.
I took in some things but I didn't really get everything locked down that I should have.
I can remember when she was poorly that she looked at me and flicked her eyes from right to centre. That was the only time I can recall eye contact with her and it's crystal clear in my mind but why didn't I take in everything else? It's because I didn't observe things fully until I realised that actually things aren't going to necessarily be ok.
I have been handed a pair of glasses that make me view the world in a different way to this time last year. I was a normal 32 year old with two young children driving her round the bend. Things have changed since then. (The bend driving is still the same)
None of us knows when we will die but we all assume we'll be grey, crinkly and rocking in a chair whilst looking at photos of our great grand children.
Me? In theory I'll be lucky if I make 40.
But I still visualise myself as that woman rocking in a chair, so thankful that I defied the odds and so grateful that I lived my life as a hyper aware. Taking in every detail that matters.
'Cancer-mums last words on death bed: I will remember it all, always.'