Very early on a July morning in 2010, in the midst of my initial illness I was up and wondering about the house while others slept. So I decided to take the dog for a walk; exploring a new path behind the house. It was still very early, I think about four or so and the path was decorated by a intricate filigree of spiders webs glistening with dew. The effect was beautiful.
This was the moment I had my first epiphany as I like to think of it. I had been ill for sometime and was now extremely weak and deformed and most importantly to this story very very alone. I remember looking at this stunning picture and recognising its transient nature and realising that my appearance had the same quality; nothing physical lasts forever. In a convoluted kind of way I am trying to say that our beauty can be easily taken from us and that includes the fripperies of possessions. In life therefore the things that are to be treasured the most are the experiences you remember and the people you meet.
Nothing has been more true of this last week. It started with the oncologist appointment last Tuesday when the date for my chemo regime was confirmed. Oh it's today by the way- one o'clock today to be precise. However that day at the hospital finishing with that appointment turned out not to be as traumatic as I feared because the Doctor was lovely, as were the staff in the chemo suite who showed us around. This kind of thing makes so much difference.
So my week off has been spent in the company of those I love... And doing a fair amount of eating out! I have had tapas with a good friend, curry with my family, my first ever fillet steak with my husband (and the chocolate fondue pudding that night wasn't half bad either). Then a pub lunch with friends on Sunday. It's been an excellent week for food but even more so for company really emphasing my previous point.
This is not even to mention the lovely messages I have received from friends and strangers alike of luck and love in the week ahead. I have experienced unexpected generosity and kindness in many forms. Recently as I mentioned my grandparents funded this iPad so I may "work" on the move - writing this is a form of work for me as is Imagine It even if it happens to be something I enjoy. I also received a unnecessarily large gift of cash from a very kind sponsor that I spent having my hair cut at Toni and Guy into an urchin cut.
(see below - for picture!!)
This luxury was born not only from the fact that in about three weeks I will be wearing a wig but also because I realised I had not been to a salon in over two years with the exception of my wedding. Also, I certainly had not had the bottle to reply when asked what I wanted "something completely new!"
I have received many messages of support and letting me know that I am actually making a difference opening my life like this which reassures me and provides the strength for me to face days such as today with good humour...... Ok mostly good humour ... But as much good humour as one can in the face of being pumped full of poison that isn't a cure but try to buy me a little more time.
As people gather around me to support me in ever increasing ways and I watch as the plans for Imagine It and it's team grow and grow, I know that this blog is my part to play in the saga. Hopefully I will watch the web of kindness connect more and more strangers.
If you are wondering how you can be connected then seek out Imagine It at www.imagineit.org.uk or search for us on Facebook and Twitter. Imagine It is gathering an army of members to run the Race for Life under its banner: there are two official teams around the country already and they are growing fast! I have no doubt that with national press coverage this velocity will increase!
However to conclude this rather long post here is my challenge to you....