So because I have a new fancy dress and shoes for the upcoming wedding, the man cub has decided that none of his previous suits (last count – 4) fit / are suitable (I mean some aren’t great), so we need to go suit shopping. Yay. I can’t think of anything better to do on a Saturday afternoon in big town. Nope. Can’t think of a single other thing I would rather do.
Having dispatched the cub to the parentals (my joy would have been tripled having her along for the suit buying experience!) we head into town and proceed to spend what felt like ten hours looking at suits. In fairness to the man cub – he did actually only try the one on in the end. But that was still arduous enough. The matching o the shirt and tie did nearly tip me over the edge. Followed by the declaration that we would also have to purchase a new pair of shoes. Well, we didn’t do that trip by halves!!!
We got back to pick the cub up and it transpires that she may be listening / worried about me / life more than we give her credit for. The parentals had been chatting while she was playing, about a TV presenter who had just come out publicly to declare she had a brain tumour and wasn’t going to be hosting some TV. The cub had told both nannan and daddit to stop talking about that as it made her sad. FML. Break me now child. The more I see little snippets of this behaviour, the more I realise how much this journey has affected her much more than we think. No matter how hard we have tried to keep conversations for ‘after bed time’ or when she isn’t around, inevitably, as is life, she has heard and she has been aware. She’s a savvy cookie.
Radiotherapy hasn’t helped either. Where previously hospital trips have mostly happened when she was at school, and luckily I wasn’t kept in any times, she hasn’t really seen the impact of the actual appointments. Granted, she has witnessed the tiredness, poorliness and looking levels of shit, but she hasn’t ever known what this relates too. Having my dad arrive every morning to whisk me out the house before she’s even got out of her pyjamas has definitely taken its toll. She has known every day now that I am off to hospital. She has entered school with her dada every day (not the norm) and she has carried that in her little head for the last eighteen days. Two more to go baby – then I can get us all back to normality. I’m on it I promise.
Seven of us set off today for a big old hike. Longest one yet and we’re building. I’m a little bit scared. I have the man cub on standby in case I need rescued half way round. But I set out with a 14 mile aim in mind. The cub didn’t want to let me go this morning though. She was beyond clingy, and even more huggy than she normally is.
But the small gang then walked 14 miles (phew, it was hard work, but ok actually). It was a really pretty walk (as always the amazing Audrey had pulled rabbits out of the bag and found a sneaky way out of town and all of a sudden we were in countryside). We all managed it, we all did it and we all felt more confident (well, I certainly did – the others might have already had that, they are all babies to me!!). I’m so grateful that I feel we are getting there.
Then I got home tonight and the cub tells me how sad she is that I have this (cancer). That she didn’t want me to have it. Christ, she breaks my heart. We have had lots of cuddles tonight and I have booked us a table for Tuesday night to celebrate / mark an end to this entire journey. I’m hoping that she will feel like we’ve marked the end and she can also put a pin in this and move on.
I also spoke to my bestie tonight (it’s been a busy old day!) – I needed a hug and I miss having her here. It’s crazy that it has been years since she has been here permanently and that I have never had her apart from a couple of weeks a year since then. But by god her hugs help. Even her virtual hugs help. I am comforted by her voice, by her presence, by her family, by her. But I bloody miss her. She’s the only person that can make me cry on the phone too and I hate her for it!!!!!!
By the time I’ve finally sat down tonight, with the man cub gone to bed, and sat basking in the silence and solitude, I’ve realised I feel a little bit funny about there only two days left of active treatment. I’ve booked Tuesday off (which feels a little bit ridiculous but I feel I need it) for when I’m done. I’ve been thinking about the end of this part of the journey without the man cub and we spoke about it last night (albeit after a few drinks) and whether we could make it work for him and the cub to be there. In reality that is harder to pull off logistically and may be a bit selfish in parts. But I am thinking about the bell. Whether I ring it again? About doing the end of this journey with my dad. About how I am going to feel on the day. I’m not sure how I feel about not having the man cub there. It feels like I am dealing with the same emotions when I had to deal with the man cub not doing radiation with me. He has been my rock, and obviously continues to be, throughout this journey. It was hard not having him there during radio, especially as his driving is marginally better than my dads!! But the end feels like something we need to share. And he won’t be there. I’m sad about that to be honest.
We have this though, I have this, the man cub and cub have this, my dad only has to park twice more in a multi story car park and try not to spill coffee down himself. It’s all good. And will all be over by this time next week!