I love Bridget Jones. I have read the books, seen the films .... and would probably wear the T-shirt if there was one. I just relate to BJ. My mind works in the same way. Years ago I even used to keep a diary logging how many lbs I needed to lose, how many alcohol units I had consumed and how many cigarettes I had smoked. I no longer do that, but I do still fall off my exercise bike and unintentionally ski down mountains backwards. It has been recently reported that they are currently writing and producing a third BJ film. Apparently, she is to get married ...... have babies ..... and then be diagnosed with breast cancer ........ OK so maybe not the last bit. It was Bridget that said: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces".
Until a few weeks ago things were ticking along quite nicely. In retrospect I had very few cares or concerns. I was enjoying my great job, working with some truly lovely people. I had just bought a new car - not a Noddy car as one of my colleagues so nicely put it. My bulging wardrobe had just received its latest addition - cracking leather knee-high boots with ties up the front (black to match the car obviously). And me and my happy and healthy family were about to disappear down to France for nearly three weeks to enjoy the sun, surf and sand. And in my case a little red wine and yummy cheese .... But it wasn't to be. Instead my life fell "spectacularly to pieces".
I spoke to my BCF for the first time yesterday. A Breast Care Friend is someone from a voluntary network that is there to help you whilst you are on your rollercoaster ride. The network is made up of women who have had breast cancer - who have obviously survived breast cancer - and now kindly use that experience to give hope and support to newly diagnosed patients like me. My BCF and I chatted for about half an hour. One of the comments that I made to her was that I feel that I am in some kind of parallel universe. On the one hand life carries on as normal - you go shopping, you take the kids out, you put petrol in the car and do the ruddy housework - but on the other hand you know that within days you are about to start this gruelling treatment which is going have this huge impact on your body and mind. The horrid emotional and physical consequences of hearing that you have cancer and what you have to go through to get rid of it just hasn't hit my radar before. For those of you who know me well this must sound really strange as my lovely mother died of ovarian cancer. It is only now, nearly twenty years after her diagnosis, that I appreciate how strong she was - stronger than me - and how much she protected me from it all.
So in total contrast, what do I do? Set up a blog detailing everything which is going through my mind which any Tom, Dick and Harriet can read. Why? Well for a number of reasons. Firstly, it enables me to tell my friends and colleagues what is going on in my life at the moment. Hopefully it will remind them that although I maybe out of sight I don't want to be out of mind and they need to keep in contact with me! Secondly, it supports two other things I enjoy so much. Writing ... and talking about myself.
And finally, and most importantly, it makes me think, reflect and summarise what is going on in this new parallel universe. Even if nobody reads this damn blog ... I find it therapeutic.