I hope you are all keeping healthy and happy.
I haven’t posted on my blog again for ages, I’m not sure why but it just hasn’t felt right for me to do so.
The truth is that I am still feeling somewhat out of kilter and discombobulated (isn’t that a fabulous word)? Physically I feel pretty good and, as people keep telling me, I look ‘really well’ but the truth is my head is in a mess. Maybe I haven’t posted because I don’t want to sound miserable and I don’t want or need sympathy, it’s just the way things are at the moment. It’s no great shakes just something I need to work through.
I really thought that once I had finished all the treatment and started to feel better physically everything would be just hunky dory and ‘back to normal’ in no time at all, but that’s not how things are. Right now I feel like I don’t know where I am and half the time I’m not even sure who I am. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But that’s the nearest I can get to describing this feeling of being lost.
I am pretty emotional too and I can’t seem to keep myself on an even keel. Sometimes I am sinking into depression for no reason that I can think of. I don’t mean the crippling “can’t even get out of bed” type of depression, but the just the sensation of everything being flat and uninteresting. I know it will pass and it does, but when it happens I don’t really want to have to interact with other people, and that’s tricky when I have to go to work and help to sort out other people’s problems.
I remember when I was first diagnosed with cancer the nurse told me that it was going to change me. I had no idea what she was talking about and I think I just dismissed it. BUT now I completely understand what she meant, it’s just that I can’t really explain it to you.
I think partly it is down to confidence (or lack of it), having 8 months of treatment has certainly bashed my self esteem a bit, and I don’t feel that confident in my ability to do things as well as I used to. There is also the uncertainty as to whether the cancer will come back or not. I always try not to worry about bad things that ‘might’ happen, because in my experience they usually don’t and worrying about them is just a waste of time, besides if they do happen you just have to deal with them anyway. I try not to worry, but I don’t always succeed. I think probably the longer it goes with things being OK the more assured I will feel.
I am still being creative but for some reason at the moment I don’t feel like sharing what I’m working on, and I don’t know why that is either. I’m working on my radiotherapy mask project, which is turning into something of fairly epic proportions! It’s still not anything like I’ve imagined or planned it to be but I think I just have to go along with it. Rather than me trying to shape the project I just need to let it guide me where it wants to go because it’s going to go that way anyway…
I am also working on another project with a bit more ‘depth’ to it and I probably won’t share that or much of it until it’s finished either (this one could take years). What I want to do is work through something, I’ve picked a theme and I’m just seeing what ideas come to me around that theme. Then I am going to look at some other artists who I really like and see if and how I can use their work to influence my own art. I’m hoping that this will help me progress and grow. It think it might also be my route for re-finding myself – the ‘where’ and ‘who’ I am. Wish me luck!
I’m back at work full time now, but because it’s such a struggle I am using up all my leave from last year so I can take breaks when it gets too much. Like for example today I couldn’t face going in because I’ve had a really crappy weekend, with a very low mood, so I contacted my manager this morning and told him I needed to take emergency leave. Fortunately for me he is an incredibly understanding and sympathetic person so that seemed to be OK.
T is still off work and having major problems with the cardio medication, but fortunately he finally got to see a GP who understood and between them they are working things out, it’s just taking a bl**dy long time!
I did eventually get around to writing to the local hospital to explain why I insisted on staying under the care of Southampton hospital when the radiotherapy treatment finished. The feedback I gave included the good as well as the bad things I had experienced at the local hospital. Last week I went in to meet up with the Specialist Nurse and her manager to discuss my rather long letter of feedback. They seemed to take it all very seriously and were very apologetic, hopefully they will use it to make improvements to the service that people receive there. I hope so anyway.
Two good things came out of it for me one is that I am now enrolled on a Surviving Cancer Information Programme (SKIP) which starts at the end of October and I think that will help me to cope better, and in the meantime I have been referred to a psychologist for support prior to the programme starting. So hopefully things will start to improve for me soon. I think I could probably work things out by myself over time, but I am worried that I am messing things up at work and letting people down so I think I need a bit of support to get me through this tricky bit of fully getting back into the swing of things.
The page above (completed in May of this year) is from my small journal (6″ x 9″) and below are the before and after penwork images.
Take good care of yourselves my lovelies
Big love from me
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