Many people go through life with a naive state of mind about the negative things. [Cue: The Kooks-Naive.] They often think 'oh it won't happen to me, I'm okay' or 'I won't be that one in however many' but you never know. I was always very naive about skin damage. As a child and teenager I'm pretty well travelled I guess, and every time I've had the chat of 'put suncream on, the risks of skin cancer..' BLAH BLAH BLAH. It became a ringing in my ears. I've always thought 'ouch, I'm burnt. But OH WELL it'll fade into a brill tan. Woop!' I'd also watch all sorts of disease-charity ad's on TV and think 'that's such a shame, poor people' and never really do anything about it. Give the occasional donation to various charities etc. But nothing major. You don't really realise how much it really helps. It just sort of hits you when you realise that, suddenly these charities are helping you whilst all along you don't really think twice. I'm newly diagnosed and have already majorly benefitted from various charities. My brother, Cameron has always been involved in charity through school (he even has a hoodie. BOOM.) and he's just set up a fundraising campaign for Teenage Cancer Trust and will be raising money to help make cancer sufferers' lives a lot better. I think it's an amazing thing he's doing and would appreciate any donations at all. You can get further information at: http://www.justgiving.com/laurasroadtorecovery
Anyway, although I'd much rather have my old life back and never have ever become ill and have this happen to me, I try not to think 'why me?' and 'what if..' too much, although of course I have thought, 'why me of all people?' before, but it just doesn't help. There are good sides to it, for example; The Make a Wish Foundation offer sufferers of various diseases a wish, it could be anything from an iPad to a weekend in London and meeting various celebrities. Of course, if I were to ask anyone 'would you rather suffer from cancer and meet Cheryl Cole, or lead a normal life?' they'd probably respond with the latter. But if you're already diagnosed, something like that would really lift your spirits and make you feel better about everything. Dame Ellen MacArthur is also very involved in charity work for cancer and has her own charities. Each summer she runs a yachting holiday where her and her crews take young people sailing for a week on a yacht. Ellen MacArthur visited TCT in Sick Kids last month and I was lucky enough to chat to her, she said that the holidays are brilliant fun and really help people meet others like them. Another I've heard of is the Find Your Sense of Tumour conferences. This annual four day conference gathers people who have or have had cancer from all over Europe and gives them a chance to meet others and share experiences. There are various activities and guest speakers with entertainment in the evenings. Meeting people who understand what you're going through can really boost your self-esteem and make you feel better and even understand things more. I've recently spoken to a friend of a friend who was actually at the same school as me who suffered non-Hodgkins Lymphoma which is similar to my disease but less common and more tricky to treat, and hearing about her experiences has helped me quite a lot. Obviously, I'm quite early on in my treatment so I've not yet experienced many of these things, but at some point in the future I'm sure I will.
As you can see from this (edited) picture, I get a bit flushed whilst hooked up to chemo (I also had to crop out my beautiful drip with my line coming from under my t-shirt.) And when I say 'a bit flushed' I really mean, my face turns BRIGHT purple or red. It's beautiful, really. When I get about..three minutes of warning that press are here and I'm in hospital, obviously having made no effort. SHOWELL. So yeah, that's a picture of (one of) my wonderful consultant(s) and Dame Ellen MacArthur. So basically whilst I'm receiving chemo, I'm a bright red, shiny, too-tall-for-her-bed, sleeping lump of Lymphoma. Brill isn't it?! But it's a hospital, you can get away with that. In saying that, you could probably come into hospital with a foaming mouth, green skin and eight arms and they'd not even take a second look. Normal patient yeah? Don't be silly, there isn't much in hospital that's normal, but it's cool, you get used to it! My ward is currently half decorated in accordance to the Royal Wedding with the other half full of spring chickens and Easter eggs. I s'pose that's not too un-normal. It's just been Easter...and the wedding's next week, but still. It's when you find the kitchen full of Will and Kate mugs with a Will and Kate cake for dessert and coordinating napkins and soft toys on the beds, then things begin to get weird and you start getting nightmares where every man you see is Will and woman Kate. Bring in the Will and Kate version of Barbie and Ken. (or is that Heidi and Spencer Pratt? HAW HAW HAW)
It was funny, the other day when my mum asked if needing my line replaced would delay chemo, my consultant replied with 'no, we have nurses who can Laura's chemo over the weekend [Royal Wedding weekend] I mean, it's not my fault Will and Kate are getting married next weekend' We laughed, even though you will all be sitting there with completely straight faces, you know that awkward moment when you say 'lol' to someone and you're sitting there almost asleep, this is one of them, yeah, soz.
Anyway, the lack of excitement and imagination in today's blog is mainly due to the lack of excitement and imagination in me along with the lack of..well, everything else. My. Brain. Is. Mush.