A Xeloda holiday

I’m on a week’s holiday!

‘Where could you possibly be going?’ I hear you ask. Nowhere. I’ll be staying at home. But for seven whole days I don’t have to take Xeloda. No itchy feet or lingering headaches. No alarm clocks set so that the timing is just right. No metal taste to contend with. Bliss.

Don’t get me wrong. I am eternally grateful for the chemo. It’s doing its thing and I’m surviving. And the side effects are pretty manageable. It’s just the idea that for one whole week, I don’t have to subject my body to the medicine. I could even have a glass of sulphur free bubbly, if I had any.

Archie also knows that this day is different. As I swallowed the last two tablets of round three, he came to sit on my lap. That doesn’t sound like a big deal I know. But it is. My feral little hunter has never ever done this! It is a luxury I hope to experience again in the not too distant future.

The small luxuries of life bring so much joy in this time of corona… Well for some of us, cancer/corona time. A square of chocolate has never tasted as velvety as it does now. The Autumn sun on my body makes me wriggle in delight. Fresh linen for the week is a treat and a fluffy mulberry towel is ready for after my nightly shower. I stoke the fire and try to knit above Archie’s head. But it’s not going to work. Archie has never seen wool and knitting before. He pounces on the unravelling ball and for a few seconds we have a tug of war, until I give in and focus on what’s important.

The slower pace of life is encouraging me to notice. I take in the lemon yellow orchid on my desk and pause to admire its beauty. The fuchsia blanket on my bed gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. The files of teaching notes look odd on my bookshelf. They can find a new home now. I have a sudden urge to paint a huge picture of galloping wild horses and hang it over my bed. (I can’t even draw a stick figure properly, so not sure how this will happen.) I am becoming more aware of my space and what is no longer needed there. I’m also keen to bring in what I do want.

The lockdown is making me more mindful of the many things I have. There is enough  food in my kitchen to last at least a week. Fresh fruit and vegetables are at hand for each meal. I can have an egg for breakfast every morning, if I wish to. Many of my fellow South Africans are on the brink of starvation and the pandemic has brought this reality into stark focus. I need to be part of the solution.

When this time is over and our new earth opens up, there will be much work to be done. There’ll be a new normal and we’ll look back in amazement at the path we’ve walked. I’m hoping that the reset will include an eradication of hunger, not only in our country but across the whole world.




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