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!