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New Symptoms, Tricky old February Days


February is going pear shaped. The good news is that the russian treatment..skennar (though I keep getting the word slightly wrong..is it stellar, or the chair lift word? Stannar?)) seems to work. It’s early days, and I just had the one treatment, which is a bit like having a tv remote pressed onto various points in the body relating to chinese chi), but I had three face pain free nights which was lovely and miraculous. It’s coming back a bit, but it would be wonderful if it worked long term after more treatments.

But the bad news is that my belly is swelling up and up, like one of Thomas Hardy’s sheep, and I have to have it drained, and no one knows why it’s doing it yet. When a new symptom manifests it is really scary. It’s like a new cowboy riding into town, and you don’t know the size of him, or if you are stronger than he is. You panic a bit, and think the worst. I have to find a way of naming him, of working out what he’s doing here. I need to rally the opposition.

I have had so many symptoms, many of which have disappeared, but I always wonder if this is the mighty one who won’t turn back. Tomorrow I have to go to the hospice to be drained. That sounds so serious, but really it’s the time it takes up that I resent. I like it there now, much more than the hospital. They are very kind and you can literally get anything you like…they’ll do anything for you!!

Meanwhile,the manifesto is in rehearsals. the actors are learning all the songs, and it is great hearing them sung out loud by a choir. Really joyous! Yesterday I was on my way to the hall where they are rehearsing and blow me, I tripped and ended up lying in the middle of the car park with my face in a puddle. All my things were scattered around me on the tarmac. No one was around. I wanted to wail and stamp, and of course I felt stupid and embarrassed. I got up and limped to the rehearsal and sat quietly nursing my gritty cheek, but felt very sorry for myself. Why is falling over so humiliating?

I had spent the weekend at a luxury spa, having holistic treatments and eating pudding in bed…the opposite of lying with ones head in a puddle. perhaps it has something to do with balance? You can’t have pampering without a fall.

Anyway, I haven’t got time to be drained, or to have most of the treatments that fill my week. I want to get on with my First Aid Kit for the Mind, with my novel ( I was thinking of knitting my novel) and with more poems. My body gets in the way of everything! You see how unbalanced I am!

Thanks so much for emails about the plays. I really appreciate them, and try to answer them all, but sometimes I fear that if I don’t do it straight away they get lost in the inbox. I feel as if I am part of a huge creative community of knitters, poets and cancer survivors..a great sea of positive people!