MarySmith’sPlace ~ Cancer Diary 12

Monday, November 23: Last week was what I think of as my ‘medical’ week, starting with the pre-chemo blood check, followed by the pre-chemo assessment and, finally, the chemotherapy session itself on Friday. It’s a sleepless week of worrying about something going wrong to prevent me from allowing them to drip toxins into my body.

This was the last of my prescribed four cycles of chemo. I was asked if I wanted to ‘ring the bell’ but declined. I’m not tempting fate. I did have a happy, school’s out feeling when I came home – which lasted all the way through to Sunday. I should have written my second blog post about being pregnant in Pakistan when the DH was arrested in Afghanistan but couldn’t concentrate.

This is the first time the ‘meh-ness’ has hit so soon, and so hard, after the chemo. Maybe having my flu vaccine this morning hasn’t helped. I don’t think I’ve felt this level of tiredness before. I apologise for not being able to keep up with the blogs I follow at the moment, and not being able to reply to letters and emails. I’ll be back on form before long. I will respond to comments here, though maybe not quite as speedily as usual.

It’s not all doom and gloom and feeling crap. I did manage a couple of walks last week – just as well because since starting treatment I have gained about a stone in weight and feel disgustingly fat and frumpy. With and undiminished appetite, lack of exercise is definitely to blame – and maybe a few more treats than usual. And, today, I’m too tired for Pilates class – when I really need it!

Sandy Hills, Dumfries & Galloway

I have the date for my next scan – Wednesday, December 02 – though as yet have no idea when the results will come through and when I’ll next meet the oncologist to discuss what’s next.  

Some of you may remember back at the start of this, when I was in my ‘I’m-not-going-to-see-Christmas phase, I started blitzing the house, sorting and clearing out photos, letters, books. I’ve calmed down a bit since then. I sold some of my Scottish books to Andrew Wilson at Beltie Books (great coffee and fabulous home-baking as well as books) in Wigtown. Last week he sent me a poem he’s written about me and my books. It’s lovely and made me cry – I still can’t read it aloud all the way through without my voice breaking. I feel so touched by his friendship and his words, which I will treasure, and the knowledge my books will be cherished.

Sadness of second hand books
we had never seen their like before
these books,
they were so wonderful.
she said she could tell us a story
about each book
these ones she was selling;

but each book was itself
a story, of Scotland
no dates and battles, kings and queens
but the story of our people
Blind Harry, Irvine Welsh, Wendy Wood
McDiarmaid, McIlvannie, McCaig

Neil Gunn, every author
that should be known and loved,
and grace the shelves
of every writer on Scotland,
it was a Bard’s collection
yet they filled me with sadness.

they were from a writer
one who penned verses
on Galloway’s Gaelic places
*inflexible tongues could not say them
and memory forgot their meaning
but the Bard remembered

the Bard told their story
and now she was handing the baton
on to me, with her books;
her own battle with cancer
ahead of her, but her books…
her books would carry our story forward.
                                                                        Andrew Wilson

* words from Mary Smith’s poem “Lost in Translation”

99 thoughts on “MarySmith’sPlace ~ Cancer Diary 12

  1. What a touching poem Mary. And wonderful photos of our beloved Dumfries and Galloway. Words. Nature – those are the things that carry us at such times don’t you think? I’d have to personally add music to the list. I remember a moment when I realised a star I was looking at had been here before me and would be here after me, and that having quite an effect. One step at a time. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary, what a beautiful poem. I’m glad you chose to share it with us. As for blogging, writing, corresponding, it will happen in your time and we shall all be glad that you are focused on what is most important to you, and your health. A voter santé

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tears in my eyes, which doesn’t help my typing.
    You’ve no need to worry about not replying as usual, we understand. But it’s also part of you, keeping in touch, being part of the virtual hug circle we give each other.
    And don’t worry about the weight – it’ll come off when you’ve used the stored strength in it.
    Love from me and the boys 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Seems like the poem and that delightful feathered friend are indicative of the love and support as well as hope that surrounds you. Eat, don’t eat. Exercise, don’t exercise. Your life is guiding you at this time. Float downstream with the wind in your hair and allow magic to unfold! ❤ KAB off and toes are in the water.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Take your time Mary, it’s your pace that’s important, we will all be here never the less I suspect. The poem will have touched so many hearts along with your’s – stay blessed. x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Andrew’s words bring a lump to the throat. And justifiably so.
    Please don’t worry about the extra weight. Enjoy the treats, and realise it is a combination of many things: some beyond your control. If good friends and sincere best wishes can possibly carry you through, you have those in abundance, dear Mary.
    Pete. x

    Liked by 3 people

  7. What a touching poem from Andrew, Mary – made me weep a bit too. I felt so honoured when you gave me your Dad’s treasured old veterinary tablet but you know what my poems are like!
    That’s the best round robin I’ve seen for while.
    Don’t about putting on weight, and definitely not about failing to respond personally to messages. We all write to send you our support and love, not to make you feel responsible for replying to us every time – you have hundreds of messages and you might well be too ‘meh’ to respond. Sorry this is repetition but I’m a bossy besom.
    Roll on the scan in December and a good result.
    Love and cuddles,
    Juliet XX

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A lovely poem Mary and I can understand how emotional it was to read…What lovely words. And so are the photographs, wonderful to live in such dramatic and stunning scenery. I know that this is a time of limbo between now and the scan and then the results. You have done the hard work, kicked ass in those boots and the weight is good at the moment. I am not surprised you have been knocked for six having a flu jab on top of everything else.. Hope a couple of days will see your batteries recharged.. look forward to part two of the Pakistan adventure when you feel up to it.. love and hugs Sally

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A beautiful poem, Mary.. Your now on your last chemo… fingers crossed that the results are positive… as for any weight that is secondary as long as you feel well and the sighs are positive then that is all that matters for now… Sending lots of love and healing thoughts… Kick ass lady you got this we all have your back… Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A lovely poem, and an accolade to your strength, the courage and humour you have shown throughout these weeks, Mary ( as I’ve said before, tantrums are allowed). I truly doubt that there is anyone who has been with you – in thought and good wishes – who would be offended if you didn’t reply to our messages. It honestly would be enough just to ;like’ so everyone knows that you know we’re all thinking of you. Love the photos – a coastline so like Pembrokeshire. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A big milestone, Mary. You’ve jumped many hurdles to get here, give yourself a nice rest and space to just ‘be’ – yes, sit on your laurels! I hope you’re feeling more like your old self soon.
    Loved the poem, even if it does cause the eyes to sting a wee bit. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did feel in holiday mode when I left the hospital on Friday until the ‘meh-ness’ set in. It will pass, though I suspect it might take a bit longer this time. I don’t think many people can read the poem without tearing up a bit. Thanks for your continued support, Eliza.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. A beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it. I’m glad you’ve been able to get outside and enjoy all the beautiful things nature has given us. Hang in there and take your time, eat the treats, and remember how many people all around the world are pulling for you and surrounding you with love and good wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sending good vibes to you from Pembrokeshire, Mary. Just go with the flow and know that you’re loved by all these people here. I daren’t go to the link to hear the poem read as I’m still weeping a bit after seeing the words on screen. How wonderful to have a tribute like that! Some people measure their success in money; that poem is worth so much more. Hope you’re feeling less meh soon. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t realise you are in Pembrokeshire, Trish – that’s where Judith Barrow is, too. Maybe I’ll get to see it one day – it sounds like a beautiful part of the world. Andrew’s poem is a wonderful tribute and means such a lot to me. I hope I’m feeling less ‘meh’ soon – it’s definitely taking longer to wear off this time.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Dearest Mary,
    The poem touched me, too, and brought tears to my eyes. I’m happy the chemo is behind you for now and hopeful the scan will bring good news. Please don’t feel you must respond to my comments. Just relax, take care of yourself, and continue to nurture your spirit. Prayers, hugs, and love.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi Mary, I hope that you are now feeling a bit better. I remember that with each treatment, my mom got hit a little harder a little quicker. Happily, this is your last one and I am praying every day for a good scan on 2 December. I’ll be thinking of you. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am, thanks, Robbie. Yes, it hit quicker this time – usually I’m all right until after the weekend but not this time. I’m still feeling pretty tired but as awful as I did last week – and very grateful it was the last one (at least for now). Keeping my fingers crossed now for the scan – not so long to wait. Hugs back.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love your photos, Mary. Especially the one of the Robin. I can remember when we only saw Robins in the winter months, yet I seem to see them all the time now. It’s good to hear that you’re still getting out and about. I’ve always believed that fresh, clean air helps clear the mind.

    I’m so pleased to read that the chemo is now behind you. I really do admire all the strength you are showing during these times. And I’m glad you’re treating yourself to some treats. We all need to reward ourselves, and treats are a great way of doing that. Well, I think so, anyway.

    I hope all goes well today with your scan.

    Take care.
    Lots of hugs to you,
    Hugh
    xx

    Liked by 2 people

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