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Posts Tagged ‘synesthesia’

Self Portrait, Emma Butler-Cole Aitken - British Society of Master Glass Painters

Cancer changes you.

Life after treatment will not be the same as it was before. As I approach radiotherapy I look on it as part of my journey – and I find myself reflecting a lot on what lies beyond.

Many women speak about the journey beyond breast cancer being harder than the journey through treatment. Beyond Breast Cancer is one of the most popular blogs I have come across.

In many respects the treatment phase is the safest. Life is scheduled and controlled by skilled people whose job it is to make you better. And any cancer cells are being hit with drugs, surgery, radiation – blasted from all angles.

Friends and family rally round to support.

But what next?

Months of silence and not knowing; waiting for the first annual review.

Am I a cancer victim, a cancer survivor, a woman who had cancer, a woman in remission? I feel differently about each statement. I have written before about the language of cancer. The names we give ourselves link with an emotional response – and so I want to choose my words carefully.

What I think affects how I feel. My body responds to the thoughts and feelings I have. And how I think and feel and respond affects others around me. We all know what it is like to be in the presence of someone whose mood dominates the atmosphere, even though no words are spoken.

I am me.

18 radiotherapy sessions gives me 18 steps to frame and reframe my thoughts about who I am and what choices I can make about my journey beyond breast cancer.

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What do you do to escape from reality?

Hercule Poirot solves that problem for me.

ITV3  is running through the series of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. The programmes have been my escape from reality over the past months – my treat at the end of a day when I can switch off my brain and my body and enjoy being entertained.

I love the theatricality of it, the costumes, the colours, the slow pace, the gracious politeness of the detective magnifique, and of course the fact that he always solves the problem in the end.

No-one raises their voice. The murder is clean and the body dealt with respectfully – no post-mortem dissections to shock.

Curled on the settee with a mug of tea, I feel safe as a spectator in this predictable environment.

The memories are now locked into my mind. In times to come, when I see or hear Hercule Poirot, in an instant in my mind I will be back on the settee, thinking the thoughts, seeing the pictures and feeling the feelings of these safe moments in my journey through treatment.


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