Karmasutra: When life fucks you in all kinds of creative ways.

I’ve realized something curious lately.  I find it relatively painless to say I have a brain tumour but virtually impossible to say I have cancer.  Why is that?

Cancer is such an unpleasant word.

I’m not saying ‘brain tumour’ sounds poetic or alluring. But telling someone you have a brain tumour is a little like declaring you have crabs or chlamydia.

The shock value is mildly entertaining due to the gulps and gasps and the lack of clichés available. 

Whereas with the word cancer there are many vexing metaphors.

 For example:

‘Oh poor you, you have a long bumpy journey ahead of you!’

Or

‘Oh poor you, you need to be a warrior and fight this battle!’

These violence and journey clichés are questionable to me.   

After all, this isn’t Game of Thrones. 

What if you knew your cancer was terminal yet everyone’s telling you  ‘Be a warrior, be a fighter’…   Surely when you’re teetering on the edge of your own existence you’d feel you’ve failed because you know for sure you’re losing the mother-fucking stupid goddamn battle.

On the upside of brain tumours… Most people know fuck all about them so you don’t get so many clichés.

It’s especially advantageous to spell out exactly what tumour you have as many have long Latin sounding names and this adds to the theatrics of the moment.  

Technically mine’s not called Bambi, her real name is Anaplastic Astrocytoma, and she’s a rare one, it’s guesswork even for the experts.  

But one thing I know for sure…   Shoving 2 sticks of unsalted butter and a pickled onion up my ass will not cure me.

Obviously this is just my personal view and I’m sure there are some out there who find my taxonomy objectionable. 

But that’s ok because ‘Ego irrumabo non facio.’ 

(That’s pidgin Latin for ‘I don’t give a fuck’.)

In other news I’m counting the days until I get a month’s reprieve between radio and chemo.  

I’m going to board a jet plane and head home to Blighty for 3 weeks. Against some of my doctors’ recommendations but again… ‘Ego irrumabo non facio’ as my body requires M&S food, country walks, country pubs, London and the Sunday papers. 

Oh and there’s quite a few faces Catwoman is desperate to lick. 

MY HUSBAND CALLS ME CRAZY… BUT HE WAS THE ONE WHO MARRIED ME!

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I really hope my life doesn’t flash before my eyes when I die. There’s some fucked up shit I really wouldn’t want to see again.

A brief conversation I had the other day:  Brain Tumour Person I recently met: ‘Do you ever feel like you’re living on borrowed time?’ Me:Aren’t we all living on borrowed time whether we have a brain tumour or not?’

I’ve become a brain tumour crackerjack overnight. Go on ask me a question, any question?

I’ve already completed my Mastermind application and feeling quietly confident. Although hesitant about the general knowledge round. It’s very sexist, always too many sport questions.

The other subject I’ve been considering lately is death.

I know it sounds melancholy, but it’s a fact of life.

Some people live their life the same way every day. They get up, they put up with a load of shit, they go back to bed.

That’s not me… I live in the moment and I’m not putting up with anyone’s shit… Not anymore anyway.

Never a forward planner… I’ve been winging it most of my life…  Career, parenting, marriage, eye shadow application, virtually everything. 

Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.  Just ask any of my husbands.

I live like this because I don’t see the point in planning too far ahead…  Anything could happen tomorrow.  And I think I’ve verified that point recently.

Everyone considers death at some point and I bet anyone reading this has asked themselves at least one of these three questions:

Who would play me in the movie of my life?

Which one out of all my friends is going to pop off first?

How will I die?

Do I look fat in this?

Sorry, the last one was a back-up just in case no-one has actually contemplated any of the first three.

When I was diagnosed and told what the worst possible outcome might be, I started to view death with a sceptical scrutiny.

Obviously I’d miss my loved ones terribly.  But that aside, when you die you die and if there’s diddly squat on the other side you’re not going to know about it…  And if there is… Well I hope it’s going to be a fun fluffy floaty around kind of place.

And I’m not sure if I do believe in reincarnation… I certainly didn’t when I was a hamster.  But then I look into Reggie’s eyes I swear I see Burt Reynolds in there.

My friend Bella (The Cheshire Cat) has just informed me that she doesn’t believe in life after death.  So I told her if there is, I will send her a Chanel handbag in the post as a sign.

One thing I do know for sure… When people have died I haven’t remembered them for the car they drove, the handbag they carried, the facelift they had…  I remember them for how they made ME feel during their time here.

However, that absolutely doesn’t mean I’m offering to give up my handbag collection.

And here’s a little tip I recently picked up… If you don’t want to die alone…

Don’t be a cunt.

some fucked up shit

‘There is a place, like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery and danger! Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily, I am.’ Alice in Wonderland.

I fell down a rabbit hole, banged my head pretty hard and found myself in a whole new world. 

But I’m not Alice and this definitely isn’t Wonderland. 

I’m me and the person I was 4 months ago is not who I am today.  Although do I still look for the humour in everything? Abso-fucking-lutely!

One of M’s lovely friend’s asked him  ‘How the fuck can your wife have brain cancer and still be funny?’ 

Well isn’t everything funny if you can laugh at it?

I’m surrounded by lotions and potions and murky green cocktails which all say ‘Drink me goddamit!’

My reality has changed forever and there will be no going back to yesterday or how I was before Bambi arrived on the scene. 

I’m still me but I’m a slightly different version of me.  I haven’t gone crazy, my perspective on things has just changed.  

And I’m sensitive, seriously, to everything:

Sound, light, alcohol (fucks sake), information, judgment, slap and tickle, negativity, CAFFEINE big time, sugar, blar blar blar.. 

And I’ve come to a fork in the road because even though I’ve been led to believe that 6 weeks of radiotherapy, followed by 12 months of chemotherapy are my best chance there is another option.. 

I could take the holistic route. I could stay away from sugar (because it feeds cancer), turn my back on cakes and bread (because wheat and grains have an inflammatory influence on the human body).  

I could take a billion supplements, oxygen therapy, consume every derivative of cannabis and eat those fried sea cucumbers.  I could also wrap my head in tin foil. 

Some people might think I’m bonkers because they see clearly which road I should be taking. 

But when you’re stuck in the woods you can’t always see a clear way out.  

I have to make that decision yesterday because it’s now or never. 

Am I going to be a scaredy kitty Catwoman, as lost as Alice or as mad as the Hatter!  

But as the Mad Hatter said himself  ‘The best people usually are.’

Ultimately recovery doesn’t just happen it takes a plan and a support system surrounded by love. I’m so blessed to have the latter, but now I just need to find my way out of the woods and formulate the former. 

And so the next chapter can begin.. Of which I’m more terrified than the last. But chin up, tits out and onwards. 

I might have been born in the shadows of Windsor Castle but I knew I’d burst into the sunshine eventually.

Not sure if it’s my eloquent British accent but honestly the US medical system have treated me like a princess throughout this freaky fiasco.

I have an exemplary A Team Royal Entourage, which must at the very least match that of HRH Megan, the new Duchess of Sussex.

I‘m being cared for by unquestionably brilliant people..   Neurosurgeons, neurologists, oncologists, radiologists, doctors, nurses.  Not to forget my incredible group of beautiful friends who are flying in from all over to cook for me, enterain me and walk the dog.   

The only team members missing from my ‘inner circle’ are the stylists, make up artists and hairdressers.

I even have a PA, Chauffer and Chief Protection Officer (AKA M), which incidentally came in handy today when a suspicious looking package arrived from Latvia.   

I suggested M put on his bicycle helmet – take said package to garage for inspection and controlled explosion.

Instead he bravely opened it on kitchen counter with a pair of kitchen scissors. 

Rather than an assemblage of brightly coloured cables and alarm clocks the box revealed a lovely selection of heart shaped beach stones sent to me by my gorgeous sister-in-law as a symbol of our love and the personal significance they hold.

I’ve also discovered that having a brain tumour is a full-time job and having an efficient PA to pick up the slack is imperative– there are appointments to be made, insurance companies to negotiate with, thank you notes to write.. It’s round-the-clock non-stop. 

I barely have time to squeeze in a mani and wax – although I might not need that for a while once the chemo and radio kicks in.

It’s time for M to iron my pjs and run me a bubble bath now.

Good night all, I hope you have sexy dreams or flying dreams (they’re my favourite kind).

P.S. There are no mother-fuckers or cunts in this post because some of my friends mums are reading my blog and there’s concern my cursing is offensive. 

Sorry about that! 

If you’ve never seen a pair of toy poodles chatting to each other in French – you’ve never dropped acid.

Honey go put the kettle on – this one’s going to take a while.

Today felt like a day at the Academy Awards.

The results were in.   And waiting for results is a bit like waiting to find out whether you’ve won an Oscar or not.

I even decided to get proper dressed for the big event.  Gigantic pants and baggy sweats really weren’t going to cut it today.   It felt good slathering myself in Tom Ford and slipping into a little silk cami.  

The drive west was smooth. M has had to revise his driving style from deranged bedlamite to plain-sailing slow-lane chauffer in order to cater to my need for seamless gear changing due to wobbly brain issue.

Arriving at my doctor’s office we were escorted into a private room to await the entrance of the chief.

Time for a quick selfie in big examination chair to share on WhatsApp group with my girl gang back home.

Soon my two new favourite people in the whole wide world entered and we got down to business. 

Results were dispensed and I was given the all-inclusive synopsis of the invader of my synapses AKA Bambi.  

It had been concluded that she was a rarity who had mutated from a few pretty pink star shaped cells. 

I guess at the end of the day – if you’re going to get a brain tumour – what more could a girl ask for than a limited edition, sparkly one.

Then we got back to the important matters of English literature.. My brain surgeon is a literary treasure trove and the fact that he quoted Tolkien and my blog in the same sentence.. Made me feel extra special.

The ride home was fairly benign until suddenly an enormous real life Bambi ran into the road. Oh dear!! M slammed the brakes.  How paradoxical..  I’d never want to annihilate a pukka Bambi.

So next up is a spicy little cocktail of radio and chemo.  I have no idea what this entails.  Is it comparable to mixing acid and ecstasy – I can draw on a past experience for that one.

Finished off the day with my love, my friend, the biggest plate of sushi and the teeniest glass of fizz.

I felt so giddy with optimism that when the UPS man arrived with a package I took it from him and said ‘Thanks, love you. Bye.’