I hate feeling unwell like this, nausea passes over me in waves, the back of my throat burns and I struggle to see as the words I am writing move and blur as though trying to somehow escape themselves.
This feeling is a stark reminder that I’m slowly dying. I forget that sometimes, once the chemo pump is disconnected for the fortnight and I’ve showered away the sticky residue from the tapes around my port, the nausea starts to dissipate and I jump back into life, make plans, continue on with the mundane tasks of running a household and carry on as though cancer hasn’t stolen my body.
I went to an eighteenth birthday party on the weekend, the young woman celebrating her adulthood was born to my dear friend T on my wedding day, a running joke that T couldn’t cross her legs for long enough to attend my nuptials.
I cried tears of joy when I’d been sent the invitation, joy that this beautiful little girl I loved as my own, who’s nappies I’d once changed who despite having to face tough challenges throughout her young life had now grown into a kind, intelligent and conscientious young adult.
We’ve lost touch a bit over the last 5 years, T and I. Life, work and physical distance getting in the way. We used to speak every single day on the phone when the children were growing up, about everything and nothing. Sharing our darkness and our light.
We decided long ago to spend our twighlight years together, both our husbands smoke and are older than us and we’d joked that when they succumbed to inevitable lung cancer we’d buy a quaint little federation house in a small town and grow wrinkly together.
I’m sad that I won’t get to realise that dream, that it must stay in my mind as only a fantasy, although perhaps there it is safe, there it can remain pure and untouched by reality, untouched by cancer.
For now I close my eyes and see myself sitting on a porch swing under the tin bullnose veranda of a little red brick house, crickets chirp in the summer evening and we sit together peacefully, two little old ladies watching the sun go down.