I am beginning to think I’ve had a gut’s full of 2016 already. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Terry Wogan and Frank Finlay (the latter an incredible actor who helped me form the idea for a character in my first ever novel); all iconic in their own ways and all in the backdrop of my formative years. Mostly, all with one thing in common; cancer.
I have deliberated about posting this. It’s personal, it’s private. It involves others, not just me. What if my ex-husband reads this and takes perverse satisfaction in my misfortune? What if my Mother reads it and is cross with me? She is a very private person. However, I’ve reflected; this is my blog and this is personal to me too.
I had big plans for 2016. Frequent blogging, tweeting more, a manuscript to submit to the RNA New Writers’ Scheme and with the encouragement of two e-publishers feeding back to me last year that my writing has a ‘page turning quality’ I intend in sending off the afore mentioned manuscript, once highly polished, to both of them. Only, in a cruel twist of fate, life has imitated art. My last blog post before Christmas was about my character dying of cancer. How utterly tragic it was to then find out on 8th January that my own Father’s prostate cancer has spread to his pelvis and right femur.
January went out the window. By 20th January Dad was in so much pain and with his good leg having swollen to twice its size, he was admitted to hospital. Radiotherapy was arranged for the following week, the hospital were managing his pain and we were hopeful that the cancer could be tackled and he could gain some mobility again. So, it was devastating when a few days after being in hospital he fell in the bathroom and fractured his hip. Radiotherapy went on the backburner and he had an operation last Tuesday to pin his hip and thigh in three places. I haven’t seen him since. The pain and recovery have made him so weak that he cannot even muster the thought of visitors and general chit chat. I can remember my Grandfather’s six month battle with stomach cancer twenty years ago, but I was 16 at the time. I do not vividly recall the terrible pain this insidious disease causes or how helpless it feels to see someone you love in so much pain.
My Mother always says that you should draw on the positives and today is 1st February, so let me start again. Dad is slowly improving and once he is recovering well from the operation he can begin treatment to tackle the cancer. He is going to die but not today. Or tomorrow, or hopefully the next day and he is 79 so I’ve known for quite some time that I have been living on borrowed time having a father in my life. Today I have taken the time out to blog. Later I will draw up a schedule to finish by manuscript by the end of February and submit it to the NWS by the end of March. Now I am living with a family member with cancer I can draw on that experience to make my character’s experience of cancer that little more authentic. And if you have read my blog in the past, you will know that I firmly believe new beginnings start in September, not in January, so this is just a ‘blip’ mid-year for me really. Dad would not want me to stop focussing on my goals and so I am not going to let cancer get me too.
Oh, and in brighter news the Hill family has become six. He has four legs, boundless energy and I am now getting ‘plotting time’ on our bi-daily walks….