Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?

Fear is a strange thing, people are afraid of all sorts of things; heights, spiders, clowns, going outside, staying inside, clowns, snakes,flying, death and pretty much anything else inbetween.  Why are we afraid?  Biologically adrenaline has something to do with it, a racing heart makes us feel frightened, but why do we feel afraid.  Most fear is irrational, clowns wont hurt you, small spiders can't harm you, being inside, being outside, why do these things make us afraid?   A famous quote states "the only thing we have to fear is fear it'self" and this lead me to think about what fear is rational.  I know since being ill I am more afraid, of everything; being alone, stupid scary films I didnt used to bat and eyelid at and all manner of other things.  But mainly I am afraid of missing out.  To sound selfish, I dont want to lose out on my future.  Lots of people get sick my age and younger, but I dont want to go anywhere!  I took time for granted and it appears that none of us know...I am sure with time I won't think about it every day.  Cancer patient or victim, which is it to be.  I dont want to be a victim, I want to fight.  I dont want to give up my goddaughter to anyone else, my best friend, my job and it breaks my heart to think but my boyfriend.  I could lose him anyway, but I want the chance to fight.  Every pain, every twinge instils me with real fear.
So how are we afraid of all these things if the only thing we should be afraid of is fear.  Fear is a powerful emotion, it can be so crippling, life changing and irrational which means overcoming it is not easy.  Having never been afraid of much in the past it makes it a little harder to overcome.  I have known people with real fears and havent been able to understand it all.  Now I am afraid every day, it is a little clearer; and being afraif of fear is the least of my worries.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Laughter, is it really the best medicine?

I love to laugh, always have as far as I can remember; although my mum tells me I was quite uptight as a child!  (I'm sure that I will drag some of those stories up later!  One I recall was when my Mum, Dad, Granny and myself were at a swimming pool and there was a slide there and we all went up to have a go.  It said that you could only sit or lie down facing frontwards and there was no sitting backwards etc.  My Mum and Dad went down as norma then I went down like a good girl ( I was only 7 or so at the time.  Then my Granny took her turn.  My Grandad was in a wheelchair and was just sitting watching on the side of the pool.  Well, Granny started off by sitting up, and forwards.  However by the end she had flipped over and spun round and was flying down the slide upside down and backwards.  The worst thing was she could hardly swim and shot out the end of the slide in a whirlpool of disaster and shot out and sunk like a stone.  My dad was diving down to try and get her as mym Mum was hysterically laughing, as was my Grandad sat on the side.  In amidst this all, with totally seriousness said "You're not supposed to come down that way Granny."  My Dad managed to drag her to the surface, she was fine and was laughing herself, probably didint help her at all!  I didnt see the funny side though until I was alot older and laughed at everything!)
My laugh isn't a quiet affair; I have reduced a whole pub to silence and received a round of applause for my laugh once so that gives some idea.  But is laughter the best medicine.  At work today there were a couple of things which ended up reducing the office to raucous laughter.  In my usual way I managed to cause trouble by trying to fish out some biscuit crumbs that I had dropped down my top! This inevitably ended in disaster and led to a couple of funny stories being told and a smile on the face of all the people there.  This is priceless in the workplace where things can be stressed and the jobs really pressured.  It's especially good when you know members or your team are having a tought time in or out of work.
It's not the best medicine I discovered after an operation!  I made my Granny laugh after she had an op on a broken arm and we thought then that laughter wasn't the best medicine.  I discovered this my self after my first operation, where I couln't blink without being in agony.  It was amazing how long I couldn't, and didn't laugh for.  Probably wouldn't have been so long had I not had a laugh santa would be proud of!
My Granny had her own back as when I was out of hospital my Mum brought Wii resort to the house to play to cheer me up.  There weren't many things that I could do on there if they required moving but my Mum and Granny were having a go.  Then suddenly my Granny when she was quietly driving a jet ski, decided to start flying around like a bat out of hell; I have no idea why!  She was hilarious and the pain I was in was unmentionable.  I giggled a bit then started to laugh and it was just too funny, and I then couldnt stop and anything more than a giggle was agony!  I have to say that I was begging her, willing her to stop as I was petrified I was going to burst something.  I was in alot of pain all night but something felt a little better in my heart.  With time I could chuckle more and it definitely felt better when I could!  But for a while there laughter was definitely not the best medicine!,

Monday, 10 May 2010

To Breed or not to Breed, now that is a question!

With love comes compromise, decisions and life choices and what do we do if the person we want to be with doesn't want the same things as us.  What do we do if they are everything, but don't want the same things....
How far should we change?
I was recently talking to a male friend of mine who was suprised to hear my gorgeous man doesn't want to get married or have children.  He said the total opposite of what I exptected, which was what are you worried about, and said I am suprised that you are still with him.  That wasn't the male perspective I was hoping for!  I wanted "dont be such a woman and those things dont matter", but he said it must be killing you.  And at that moment I realised it was. 
After having the odd man in my life that were so wrong in so many varied and frightening ways, of course fate would furnish me with an amazing man who was the polar opposite where life choices were concerned.  I am now in a place where I need to make it ok, where I can reconcile this to make it alright, but there is no compromise when it comes to marriage and children, one of us doesn't get what we want.  And with the status quo firmly in his direction where do I go from here?
I am partly angry at myself for being a woman that feels the need to get married and have children.  It seems that it not the cool thing to do to want to be a wife and a mother.  Is it so wrong to want to stand up and say that you choose to be with someone for the rest of your life, is it wrong to want someone to say I choose you above anyone, you are it for me.  Is it wrong to want to make something so unique as another person with the man you adore?
It's not just a wedding or a child, it's sharing it with the right person and I want to do that with no one other than the amazing man.  So the only conclusion I can come to is it isnt any guy, it's the right guy, the one I wake up to, the one I miss when I go to work and the one I fall asleep with at night, so I guess it's going to be not to breed and that is the answer to the question.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Is it who we are or what we do that defines us?

Mum, wife, lawyer, Dr; these are all labels we place on people.  But what is it that defines us?  Bruce Wayne says "it's not who we are underneath but what we do that defines us" (I know it's from Batman Begins which isn't a literay great but it gets you thinking).  I am unmarried and have no children so immediately the first two arent even on the table; but should I define who I am by what I do??  In true Carrie style...
What is it that defines us as people?
For those wondering about the latter part of my blog title, has she recently got out of a nasty relationship, no...the Big C has been cancer, is cancer and is the latest thing which seems to be the label I cant shift from myself.  In July I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, I was 30 at the time with no family history so the odds were pretty slim.  Yes I would rather have won the lottery, but that was the card I was dealt.  I have never really thought of myself as having a label; the only thing I have ever labelled myself with is my job title and that wasnt really a conscious thought.  But now I just see a cancer patient.  At work, at home, watching the tv it just seems to be in my head.  Why do we feel the need to define ourselves, why the labels.  Is it true that what we do carries more weight?  I work hard, I care about my friends and family, I try to be a good friend, godmother, daughter and girlfriend aren't these things more important that a career choice or the fact we are married or not?  It surely should be more important that my special gift is growing tumours!
I am sure that with time I will see myself as I used to.  I will be the person I was, and hopefully be a better version with more insight.  The scars on my body are a constant reminder of the cancer but that is something I have, or had, and not what I am.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Trousers, Toilets and Too much information!

To continue and finish the story about the lecturer, thinks didnt improve with him!  In fact, fate consipred to embarass me until I left 4 years later.
There are two parts to this, neither of which went particularly well!  We did an experiment in our second year which involved testing diuretics (tablets that make you pee).  We had to either take a tablet (could be the drug could be placebo) or alcohol to test which had the greatest effect.  As I didn't, and still don't drink, I said I would take a tablet; of course hoping it was a placebo.  The aim of the experiment was to take the tablet/ alcohol,  then every 20 mins for 2 hours we had to pee in a measuring jug, measure how uch we had and take a little sample to our mate who analysed it for electrolytes.  Forget getting rid of animal experiments, what about us poor students!!  So I tolld the tablet and within 15 minutes I knew which one I had, it was the actual tablet and my god did I need the loo!  But we could only go at 20 minute intervals; they pretty much locked us in.  Then at 14:20 we were released and ran to loo's.  The boys were lucky as they had the loo on the floor we were on but I had to rush up the stairs.  I burst into the loo, measuring jug in hand to realise that I had worn the worst trousers I could!  They were combats, with a drawstring then lots of buttons, what was I thinking!  Well I guess when I got dressed it hadn't crossed my mind I would be engaging in such madness, just like I didnt when I enrolled on the course!  Anyway, for someone who normally hardly ever has a call of nature the next two hours were a nightmare.  All the while the lecturer chuckling away at our misfortune!  I got so dehydrated it was untrue and we had presentations to do that afternoon, I could hardly talk I felt so ill.  so he once again thought I was insane.....That was until in the final year when I sealed the deal!
We were in one of our last lab classes with him and we got chatting about some of the other experiments we had done.  To be faie he was out the room so you would have thought I was safe, alas no.  I said "remember the diuretic experiment, that was a nightmare" and as I looked down I relalised I was wearing those very combats.  Just as I started to speak the door in front of me opened as I said "I was wearing these trousers that day and I couldnt get them off quick enough"...he looked at me and just turned around and walked out.  I think we had a certain understanding, but I really wonder what he must of thought of me!  I am sure that what he thought couldn't have been further from the truth!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Tans, Trousers, and Too much information!

Writing yesterday about my friends reminded me of all the great times myself and J have had over the years.  We met at university and were pretty much inseparable for four years.  She and I talked, laughed and worked together over the four years we were at university and to go into normal life not talking everyday or having kunch and dinner together was really strange.
At the end of our first year at uni we went on holiday together.  That in itself is a whole blog of fun but this is about when we got back.  We were away for two weeks, somewhere hot and I tan really easily and alas J doesnt!  When we got back to uni I was still very brown and J was still the same as when we left.  We were sat in a lab and everyone had been asking where I had been and not J, and I kept trying to be diplomatic and say she came too!!!  For some bizarre and forgettable reason we started comparing tans!  I think it was because we were discussing white bits and mine we pretty white!  Now I know that couldnt have shone out at university and got the attention of the lecturers, but from this day I think for one I may have stood out a little!  I wasn leaning forward showing my tan line where my bikini bottoms had been when this lecturer walked in.  I was leaning forward in my chair and pulling my trousers down a little at the waistline at the back.  I looked up to hear..."Stop stripping in my lab class" was the voice that boomed across the room.  I was mortified!  I am a very shy person about my body and I couldnt believe what I was hearing.  He then proceeded to ask what I was doing on December 20th....I stuttered "er nothing as far as I know" and then to everyones suprise he said "can you strip at out cricket club Christmas dinner". 
I honestly do not remember what happened next.  I think I blocked it out to be honest but those words still ring in my head!  I am sure there was laughing, and I am pretty sure that J was thankful, and probably still is that she didnt get a tan!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Age concern!

My work and my recent introduction to my own mortality reminded me of many a conversation with my Mum.  Ever since I can remember she has always said that if she gets dementia or alzheimers she doesnt want to be a burden and I was to put her straight in a home.  There has been no negotiation on this, that's how it is.  It became more of an issue since my parents split a couple of years ago.  She is determined to not to live we me or have me care for her at all.  A year or so ago she wrote me a letter instrructing me what to do in the event of this situation and what her wishes were, and I then brought up the topic of my wishes.  If I want to care for her surely I am allowed?!?!  She refused and said I had to promise, to which I smugly replied she wouldnt know if she lost her mind so I could do what I wanted; not the most mature approach I grant you but I found the whole chat a little odd as she is perfectly fit and healthy and not even near the category of old.  When I received this letter I was both touched and slightly unerved by the whole prospect and tried to gain some perspective and support from a friend of mine and her boyfriend (man-friend really, boyfriend sounds so teen and unstable!)  I was staying with them for the weekend and brought the subject up with them.  They both know my family well so I thought I could talk to them openly about it.  I started to tell them about the letter and how my mum didnt want to be a burden if she started to 'lose it'.  I told them about the letter and that she had told me what to do if this happens...My friends partner cut in and said not to worry, that he was there and would sort out the whole thing.  Now this was a little odd!  He and my friend had three parents between them and for him to volunteer to start helping me with my mum was very kind.  I said thank you and the topic was left.  The next day the conversation came round again to the same topic.  I made a joke about lining up parents to put them in homes and not to prematurely send my friends parents away into a nursing home.......then there was silence.  I appologised and said I was joking, he said home?  I had no idea how he was lost with this link in the conversation.....until I found out where this misunderstanding had come about.  When we talked the first time I hadnt actually said the words nursing home.  Bizarrely, and to this day I have no idea how this came about, he thought I wanted to have her euphanased, put to sleep, put out of her misery.  This was what he meant when he said he would take care of it!  This was even more worrying that the help with the home!  I am still laughing now!  God forbid the day came when my Mum had one of these sad afflictions and I picked up the phone and said to my friend, "it's time"....I think she is safely tucked up in a nursing home when actually he has sent round a man in a balaclava to "take care of it".  I am just glad that I found out when I did!!!  Naturally I told my Mum at the earliest opportunity.  She found it as hilrious as I did, safely confirming that for now nothing had changed and she was still the same Mum I knew and loved.  I just know if my friends partner ever calls round, I doubt she will be answering the door!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Does blogging really make you feel like Carrie Bradshaw?!

After sitting watching ALOT of Sex and the City whilst off sick (more about that later I am sure!) I thought that I haven't written for a while.  At best I dabbled before but I havent written many words of late.  That combined with wanting to keep in touch with my faraway friends I wondered....
"Is blogging the answer?"
I have a friend I knew blogged and after reading theirs I thought maybe it is.  I think alot about everything and things just seem to happen to me; on a daily basis I am heard saying "never a dull moment!"  So maybe this could be the way forward.
In Sex and the City, Carrie manages to pose very interesting questions and answer them, be funny, entertaining and wear amazing shoes.  How on earth do I think I can compare!  I like shoes, although have nowhere near as many pairs, am not living a single girl life in New York and am sure I am pretty boring in comparisson.  On the other hand I am living real life as I am sure many people are and maybe safety in numbers may work!
I want to be able to write down the contents of my brain, wonder openly and share humerous tales which are present and past and hopefully cause a few smiles along the way.  Maybe someone somewhere is having similar issues or worst case scenario everyone laughs heartily at my sorry excuse for a brain and thanks their lucky stars that they aren't me!  Either way I suppose I cant complain!
So considering the options, and short of getting a contract with a newspaper to write a weekly column, then YES blogging could well be the answer!