Lisa always told us 'it's all about the people', and that's why I, along with N and F are sat here composing what will be the final entry on Lisa's blog.
So it's time for me (aka Hubby) to tell you (the people) that yesterday afternoon, just before 3pm, Lisa passed away peacefully at home.
Those of you who have followed this blog will have witnessed Lisa's courage and strength over the past year or so. It is that courage, strength and well, sheer bloody mindedness that has driven her to excel at everything she turned her hand to during her life.
Since Lisa's passing, I have received many, many facebook comments, emails, cards and letters and I'm sure there will be many more 'whispers in the ether' - telling me of the wonderful experiences people have shared over the years and how their lives have been touched by Lisa.
I for one feel so, so lucky to have had almost twelve wonderful years with her, and words cannot express the emptiness I feel right now. My life and that of our two children changed forever yesterday and I know that memories of times past will help fill the void.
So it's time for me to sign off and put the kettle on and have a nice cup of tea.
That's all folks!
A wonderfully thoughtful friend bought me a Dictaphone so I can hold a sleek shiny device in my hand, lay back and look like (maybe not look like exactly) Barbara Cartland, while I proliferate my writing en-mass into the world without the need for the usual taxing manner of pen and paper. It's good for up to 17 hours playback time apparently (Beloved by Toni Morrison, only took me 8 hrs to read aloud!), but sadly the product guarantee "does not cover the product [for what, exactly?!] where the fault is due to misuse, abuse, use in contravention of the instructions, [etc...]."
But said Dictaphone may be in danger of being too complicated for it's own good.... I'm already having urges of killing it after what feels like 3 hours but is probably only 5 mins, so have just roped poor S into trying to figure it out. (T, now you know what your next task for me is, ha ha!). S has left and now we're still non-the-wiser, so kids have got it now lol. Let's see how far they get...
Health wise, I'm still losing weight, so the agenda has changed from trying to get my body all alkaline, to just trying to get it to take on weight and build muscle again. My dad is running round like a lunatic trying to get a palatable menu together for me, while mum is tapping her EFT silently in her arm chair - I can see it all now, where would I be without them?! God I love my parents soo much! I hope they know that - really really know that. Any way I've had to tell dad that there'll be no Lisa to alkalinise soon, but given that I'm ravenous, eating isn't an issue at all, and am pleased to report that normal pees and poohs, burps and farts are at last returning! You may well laugh, but I was getting worried!!! I have blurred vision still, but no pain at all, no nausea, and no sweats - whatever happened to those I wonder?!! - sleeping well, despite a bit of a late-night panic attack caused by a thick phlegm ( loverly, sorry) that threatened to drown me :( Enough moans for one day I guess. Take it easy and writers.... write!
You see, you are never too ill to be naughty and yesterday is living proof of that. Okay... so I didn't murder anyone, but I did go to Mac Donalds for a chocolate milkshake, for which Doctor Young (remember the PH diet?) would have me hung, drawn and quartered. Today I am behaving myself again, eating properly and trying to keep my system alkaline.
The visitors keep coming, which is lovely and I'm not knocking it, but I am getting really knackered now. Sometimes I feel as though I'm being killed with kindness.
There's so much I want to say, I hardly know where to start. I'm conscious that poor F is in the kitchen while I'm sitting here dictating to poor J (F should be safe enough with hubby in the kitchen, though, jejejejeje).
At least my skin is in better shape than it ever has been, what with all these lovely skin creams - do keep them coming! - I had a shower last night, followed by being slavered in Molton Brown body souffle. It was hard work, what with all this bloody muscle wastage an 'all, but I did it, and felt soo luverly afterwards!
Haven't read anymore of the Seagull book yet, but did watch Lost! I tell you, I thought I was going completely mad watching that! It was like, is it the morphine?! And wtf did they do to America's Next Top Model aka ANTM? It went all futuristic (silver hair for the 2 Js no less. It was quite good, mind) I loved watching it with my Big' un. A little bit of normality with the kids is important I think, especially with nurses passing by the house twice a day, every day.
N.B. The nurses have all been, without fail, lovely/friendly/kind/efficient/accommodating/etc. and, unusually for me, I'll swallow any buts!!!
Note to any one recently diagnosed, start with the diets today! Don't leave it until you are throwing everything back up, oh, and start the visualisation and keep it going! I only say this because it does get more difficult to concentrate!!! (Or is that my female 'butterfly' mind perhaps, that flits and floats - and always did, regardless of morphine/meds/etc.)
I still awaken every morning, with an ongoing narrative, telling me what to type here on the blog though. The old mind is alive with thoughts of love, success, health, and someone - would you believe?! contacted me through facebook, to say how angry they were about my tumour/condition etc! I don't want to sound all cliched here, but I do truly believe that my illness is a lot to do with forgiving myself and other people... indeed when I first had acupuncture, the Chinese Lady told me not to get angry with it. I'm not angry at all. Really. And not even trying to be all goody-two-shoes either! I heard it said, early on: 1-in-3: why not me?!!!
So, all that spiritual work I meant to do on myself as a screwed up, lost teenager, is being done now...earlier, as I staggered down to the end of the garden reciting, "I can, I can, I can!" The I-Ching says I'll be fine if I do the work, and it's always been right so far!!!
More tomorrow! xxxxxxxxx
... but I must admit it isn't easy - though I just made it to the end of the garden again without throwing up/falling over/crashing into anything/etc., (ahem... where's me medal?!). My vision is blurry, and cannot think how to clear that - other than to get people to type for me!!! I'm truly disappointed that I never made it to the riding school this morning, but there'll be other days where I'll be fitter and can enjoy it more (ha ha!).
My best friend, Desi, from Spain came over on Friday evening, from Mijas Costa. Only she could miss her flight (etc.,) ! She phoned us in hysterics from Malaga airport on Thursday having had her usual dramatics, "bu I-I'm here in time" (20 minutes before departure) "
No love that's late!
To cut a long story short she arrived safely a day later but still had to leave on Sunday morning. We didn't have much time together, but it was quality time... a Spanish lesson or two was knackering. It was lovely to think about all those times in the past that are responsible for the novel I am now writing, and I am looking forward to her being able to come over and see me again, determined as I am, to live that long.
The house here has been chaotic, I hardly know what I have done to deserve all this attention. Ha ha! (I keep trying to remind myself that people would visit anyway even if it were an ordinary dose of flu - yeah right!) And not just because it's the big C.
(Can you believe this? Hubby and I are actually arguing over blog now which I think is a fabulous sign of health!)
I'm sure Julia Darling didn't have this problem.
Please forgive me, but I've lost a whole load of days on the blog again due to loads of scrumptious visitors.
Saturday - Desi here all day. Did some Reiki. My supervisor came from college with her husband, it was lovely (thank you for the poppy cake). We talked about lots of secret writerly stuff - but all a bit Top Secrety still so can't talk about yet.
Sunday - Walked to end of garden again, still eating, still throwing it back up. Couple of unexpected visitors and got quite knackered at one point.
Monday - Spending today with Hubby. We did our wedding albums which I think is quite good going after only nearly ten years of marriage! But in typical fashion when hubby got everything out, he discovered that I'd already done it. Oops! I never realised just how organised I was/am.
The main problem I'm having at the moment is trying to see straight because something insists on making my vision blurry! This makes me quite tired but anyway...somebody sent me 'Jonathan Livingstone Seagull' by Richard Bach. Isn't the Universe a funny place! People have been telling me to read this book for the last year and now that my eyes are blurry, the bloody thing arrives through the post, but I've read to page 24 and decided it could be a book about becoming a writer. Why on earth didn't I give more validity to my writing all the way through? Why has it taken this to make me see that our, i.e. women's life writing, does matter?! I think the French are calling it 'autofiction' (?) but it's basically about using your life in your fiction, which is what I've always done. Hoorah! Does this mean I've been ahead of my time LOL, or does it just mean I've got no imagination. In my defence it could just be about the way of saying things and seeing as I adore words, surely they should matter too. Read the seagull book and take up flying! I dare you to find the time.
A little word about procrastination, it really isn't a good thing! Even if it's only being used to gather your thoughts, imagine how many books I'd have written now if only I'd actually done some work and let it fly rather than immediately believing it to be crap and binning it. It's only now, when time is so pressing, that I realise it's all about,
and a healthy dollop of terror. After all what else is there?
I, personally, am looking forward to a healthy dollop of terror on the slopes in April, regardless of what the medics might be thinking.... I need to concentrate on rebuilding muscle again, and I'm using my time in the evening to visualise this tumour in the frontal lobe, (named Billy by my little one), buggering off!
It's stupid o' clock (again - oops! 6:30am, or something and I'm back in bed after wandering around the house in my knickers trying to find a pen soooo badly - as you do at 6 am ! Oh! And a banana, 1 piece of Green + Black's chocolate / milk (blue one of course). And something to write on !
Found Bramble and breathed a sigh of relief - what with all these nurses in and out all day ( well okay - it feels like that from the perspective of the sofa, so there ) .
Grabbed my copy of Auto/ Biographical Discourses : Theory. Criticism . Practice by Laura Marcus out the family bathroom on route back to bed, because what else do you do in my current position (?!) if not read ?!!!!
I wanted to think about, why write ? That old burning question, that has consumed my entire life. Why write ?
Why feel such a need to commit to paper these thoughts, these micro-flashes of electrical energy in a brain that now contains a tumorous mass which threatens to undermine whole heaps (now that scares me senseless ! ) of mental faculty, sending Lisa to the bin.
( So then I breathe really deep - and remind myself that The Universe has never let me down yet and never will , so it's okay. I'll get out everything I need to - we'll see, honest. Have faith. Cool calming, reassuring faith : it will be okay ).
Such a lot to say; please forgive me if I get sidetracked a bit !! )
Oh, yes ! So why write ?!
Is it like those women of old - wanting to preserve for posterity, a record of what my life was like for my girls - so they may be strong , and forceful , and strike a balance between their femininity ( they are both sooo beautiful ! ) and their strength (we all have quite a mannish side too I think ) , so they can see - This is perhaps the reason for ALL my writing ha ! ha ! - that in life, things happen, and we're all on a road going along, totally blind, and things happen and we think - Oh God ! This is so bad I cannot live with it/through it/past it/etc. It's the end of my road - or even just wanting it to be so, but stay on the road: keep putting one blistered foot in front of the other and every time, you'll see -that if you can care to keep looking , the road always opens out into the most beautiful little cul - de - sac, or glade, or even just an entirely new turning will appear offering comfort, shelter and joy you couldn't have even imagined previously. It's true. I know.
Even illnesses ( I believe even this now - we'll look back and laugh at it. That Hesitant Scribe one's a crap writer - only published her cos she was dying LMAO ! )
Biggest examples, I can think of just off the cuff:
1. Ex husband stabbed me. V.Bad.
2. Had tetanus jab: Direct outcome.
3. In Spain got self hung by arm on barbed wire fence - don't ask - suffice to say you're never too old to do stupid shit !
4. No medical , but didn't need a tetanus anyway thanks to No.2
5. Outcome: celebration and healthy wound recovery !
1. Didn't want to leave Spain - December 1996.
2. Had had such a bad time at school in Liverpool as screwed up transatlantic adoptee ( 1976 I came to the UK for the second time and got bullied in school until 1987). I had poor O' level/GCSE results so couldn't get a job, other than shop/bar work which as single parent in Spain with a 2 1/2 year old was no good at all !
3. So cut a long story short - went to UK again sobbing as if the world were over.
4. Back in the UK had to make the best of it so went back to 'night-school' and got A' levels.
4a. - met hubby. Awwww :-)
5. Went to uni, supported by hubby.
6. Rest is academic my dearies !
Okay, so it took work and tears but heck - just look at what's achievable in spite of what's in the way.
Miracles are all around - my life is testimony to that on every level.
How can you be happy and dying ?
I dunno -
1. By looking back and feeling so grateful - make a thanks list whilst still alive.
2. Still breathing ? Then you're still alive so try to be happy about it. Because the truth is you won't be alive forever.
3. Faith I'm safe . Alive or dead, no importance - I'm safe.
P.S. I think the best way to stay alive is to avoid all eye contact with health professionals !
I'm going to run out of titles soon (ha ha ha) but am actually typing this myself today - woo hoo!!! And am watching nutrition intake (porridge/wheatgrass/spirulina crap/etc., very little) versus outgoing (vomit - none today so far, but then just tasted my first organic raw juice drink OMG!!! Juice drink - now there's a fine line between wanting to live and drink that or never have to drink again!!!, wee - very little, poo - none! [do you SEE what I have been reduced to in my topics of conversation ???!!])
Also watching physical activity levels - again, not a lot here. Still going to loo alone upstairs, and after making yesterday's list, put on shoes and walked to the end of the garden. So, I'm sitting up, albeit on the couch chatting to people- still like Piccadilly Circus here oddly, but as I said the other day it is ALL About the People, friendships and relationships, everything we do/say/read/feel/care about in life is for or because of people, whether we'll admit/face/see it, or not. People who've been diagnosed out there - watch the stages of how people are with you and where possible, covet the one's who cherish your dreams as well as their own - hence so many gorgeous people have typed for me this past few days when I couldn't, value your opinion and/or have opinions that are valued by you, and of course all the Love Stuff - I have a lot of love for people, and like to pride myself on showing others that it is possible to have a difficult time (or even lots of them) in your life, and survive it because people have always been there to teach me that.
I started writing my novel as a thank you to the people in Spain who met me as one severely damaged and broken individual and helped to make me whole and confident again. The most important lesson of all was how to trust because after what I'd bee through - for anyone who may be interested out there? was hard that palaver with the mad Algerian
actually someone commented about an Albanian(?) for some odd reason, but no, there's a HUGE cultural difference there, for one I learned French and Arabic Swear Words, not Albanian, ha! ha! will let you off this time but please read carefully ;-)
Anyway, still trying to fathom what to do about novel - it's finished in my head and ends up being half fiction half autobiography, whilst this blog that started as a writing experiment is now urging me, not only to write, but to keep on writing AND living, to keep on analysing the wonderful life I've had and ever helping me to be a writer who wants to show a brighter purpose - tall order but I'm up for it because I never had to endure a war-zone but I did grow up in a bit of a Scouse mini-Beirut! And lots of little things add up to be bigger things, no?! I no matter how bad things have gotten/been someone or something has always assured me that the Universe is unfolding as it should be and that I'd look back and say thank you and mean it!!! And, no lie, I always have done even now, up to and including all of this health stuff. Honestly, you just have to look really hard sometimes!!!
For example, my adoption was a dreadful thing years ago but is now a wonderful part of who I am today. Not to mention the fact that I have an extra family now - whom I think the world of - and it was a really amazing tale of fluke and fortune in finding them online in a trace!! We went to see them in the 2nd year of my degree because my birth-mother was dying, but she's a tough old boot (I'm banking on it!) and is still here some 7 years or so later!!!
3 days and a pc and one super hubby needed for searches BTW
I'd wanted to work with adoptees and tracing one day, cos I think it is important to know where you came from psychologically even though I believe it doesn't matter spiritually but there is yet another novel to be scribed!
Righto, left hand worked very hard now needs a rest, as do eyes etc!
Thank you to everyone who's still with me/here/reading/laughing/whate vering
Everything's gone a bit mad! I hardly know where to start, and yet every day I feel a little more tired - and it isn't as though I'm like er... doing loads either, but keep drifting off - that's got to be a bad sign, hasn't it!? ha ha!
Speaking of drifting off, it's now 20 past 11, and this is the first chance ~I've had to come back to this post!!!! And only because the fabulous Nee Nee is here, making me porridge... tis official - I am like proper poorly now - have hardly eaten all day, am n0w 7st 10lbs too, but still getting to the loo on my own, and now thinking of getting to the riding school again somehow, at the weekend? As for riding, it depends on, whether or not I can get the strength back.
For anyone reading this who may have just been diagnosed with multiple tumours and has, heaven forbid, started having 'symptoms' I reckon this here is a bit of a danger stage: I still don't understand why, and I'm not questioning it, but when everybody starts popping in to see you with such wonderful presents/cards/flowers/fruit and even the GP has you scheduled in for private weekly home visits, not to mention District nurses twice a day it makes your head almost start excepting a rather immediate demise.
So folks, this is where I am now having to learn to strike a balance between mentally fighting back and physically fighting back whilst at the same time realising I can't e mail everybody back at the moment. I just haven't got the strength to do something as simple as digesting food AND email someone!!! So please don't be offended if I don't always get back to you in these few coming days - I'm not planning on going anywhere, just on spending a few days getting well enough to do all replies the following week!
Actually this blog will be the one thing that keeps me going I think and I want it to be useful for anyone else in this position - with multiple tumours, whether they die or not, to show that, even though it sometimes feels as though your funeral is being planned around you, ("WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIE?!") You need to keep wanting to live, and have a plan to keep you going (my dad, "Now that you're not eating anything let's start back on the nutritional war").
1. Keep breathing.
2. And eating - doing proper hardcore cancer fighting, for which I am even prepared to ingest spirulina and wheat-grass juice!!! Joder!
3. Doing EFT Tapping to help body to retain nutrients.
4. Positive thinking - and this is why I so want to talk about this here and now, because I am not in pain, feel loved and useful, have no regrets - other than got to finish my writing, etc., so it almost becomes like, "ok, we're ready now!" and the medics. when I ask them, okay, how long, like exactly (you know me, I want it down to the last millisecond), they all ask me, how long is a piece of string!!!
5. Need to plan a trip out of the house (and already, in a week or less, this is starting to look more and more difficult/challenging.
6. Need to spend time with family that doesn't feel like a death bed scenario from Dickens' or somewhere!
7. Close thine ears to any tollings of any bells!!!