The first round of Xeloda tablets are done and dusted. I have a week off, before the next chemo fortnight begins. I didn’t want to take these pills. This journey is stretching out and my patience is waning. But I complied. And apart from a slight headache and some tummy rebellion, my body coped pretty well. So here I am, enjoying the glorious sunshine and sipping rooibos tea in my patch of garden.
Once I’d settled into a routine of twelve hours between the doses, I simply integrated the dreaded pills into my day. I think that’s the lesson. What one resists, persists. For a while, Xeloda is an important part of my life. And that’s okay. I was a ‘muller’ by nature. But cancer has taught me how counterproductive that really is. Why spend the day worrying about the pills I need to take? The late summer is beautiful, I have enough food on my table and there are even a few toilet rolls left in the cupboard! Due to the threat of Corona, I’m also fairly housebound. My doctor has to keep reminding me that even though I feel as fit as a fiddle, my immune system is compromised. I’m fragile…for a little while.
Despite feeling as if we’re all in a Sci-Fi movie, I’m embracing the new way of life. My cupboards have never been tidier, meals have become more creative and editing jobs allow me to work from home. I’m blessed. Archie too, loves having all the doors open and extra treats in his bowl. He is even tolerating me in his garden these days, without pouncing on his ‘prey.’
Old fashioned phone calls remind me of my childhood. And yes, it is a great way to still be in contact with friends. In my gut, I feel we are listening to each other more. There is a deep sense of love and connection…which was always there, but has been brought more keenly into focus. Do I not feel the grief and panic around me? Of course I do. Like everyone else, I am updating myself about the virus on a daily basis. But morning and evening news is enough. Minute by minute is simply too stressful and we all know how that affects our immune systems.
There are already so many unsung heroes out there and I’m hoping their stories will surface. The doctors, nurses and all in the business of healing, do so with such grace and bravery. They are just as susceptible and yet their dedication doesn’t falter. I’m also hoping that the worrying thread of selfishness, (think soap and loo paper,) will be replaced by compassion for others. We are all in this together. Our circumstances may differ but our lives are of equal importance.
Archie has come to check up on me. There was no lunch snack in his bowl and he’s being really verbal about it. I fear this household has been changed forever. I think the world will emerge as a very different one too. And despite all the fear and grief, I hope we’ll be able to take away some lessons and embrace our new earth, together.