Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Journey

It seems that in breast cancer world, the whole experience is sometimes referred to as "the Journey". It is an expression that irritates me but then I am a bit irritable at the moment. It could be a little denial and frustration at the length of this interruption to my life. The term just feels a tad patronising and feel good for my liking. A 'journey' to me is an inherently philosophical process whereby we, on the journey, choose to travel through our stations moving toward the final destination- either getting better or not. I don't feel that way about this experience. There was no choice, it is not fun and there is no good scenery unless you count the gnomes outside the chemo rooms. If this were a journey I would have jumped ship long ago.
A friend of mine is starting on the Chemo Trail this week. I hope it goes well for her and finishes quickly with few interruptions to her own journey- her real life- on the way. It makes me sad to think a friend has to do this.
Last time I was hooked up, the person behind the curtain next to me was playing a very loud play station game on his laptop. We don't have these things in our house because I have an unreasonable aversion to them. Being attached to a drip and unable to move I was briefly irritated and then forgot about it.
Later on as I was checking out, I saw a woman with great hair in the waiting room. Everybody seems to have great hair styles at the moment. I observed her 'do' and considered whether she was just starting out on treatment. Then I noticed the sneakers that had been on the anonymous play stationer belonged to the handsome boy on crutches next to her. He sported a very cool beanie and philosophical smile as he kissed his well coiffed mum hello. She was picking up her son from chemo.
Small  covetable brooch from GOMA
I felt an enormous rush of maternal affection and concern for this lovely boy who was about 16 and an equally huge rush of relief that it is me, not my child, on this leaky boat.

23 comments:

  1. I don't have the right words (but I have tears). Have you ever thought about how a blog post can sometimes be a gift? You have given me a gift here. And I don't know about this 'journey', but you sure are one strong mutha :)

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    1. Some days it's the strong face and others not so much. My friend who did this last year calls it "putting on her gay face"!

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  2. I do hope the next 'journey' is one of your choosing, with your family, somewhere where you know you are going and that the anticipation is all about joy....you have every right to be feeling 'anything' at the moment I would say...anything at all....xxx

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    1. More like 'everything' I think, E.M. X

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  3. Journey is such an overused word and I've cut it out of my vocabulary. Everyone has a journey these days but they never seem to be physically travelling anywhere...Anyway my heart skipped a beat when you wrote about that boy. You'd never want it to be your child's or anyone else's child. It is a very sad thing.

    BTW, I keep finding Kosta Boda pieces, so if there is a particular pattern you are after let me know. xx

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    1. I love the Kosta but unless I get new cupboards or less Pyrex I am sworn to reign in my hoarder ish tendencies for now. Having said that I did pick up a nice piece of Bendigo pottery today from R N B's....fo my mum... A piece of post chemo karma!

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  4. Oh Annie ... no-one should ever have to go pick their boy up from chemo. I do hope I've never used the 'journey' word in one of my comments, probably not as I now only associate it with every contestant's time on Masterchef.

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    1. You say nothing but the right stuff, Fiona! I don't believe the word 'journey' ever bothered me till now. I'm just being petulant!

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  5. hi Annie, sorry to take so long to pop in and say hello! thanks for your visit and comments. i'm with you re 'the journey'! i always think it sounds naff!! the chemo ward/cancer hospital can be pretty confronting, seeing kids affected is the worst. you'll be so glad when the chemo part is over! how long have you got to go? i found losing hair to be difficult ~ am tired of the beanie! hopefully not long now :)

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    1. The bald head doesn't bother me as much as it does other people. I'm thinking the beanies can only
      last so long with a Brisbane spring on the way. I will definitely jump on your wagon and keep in touch!

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  6. yes the life lesson is you never know who is behind that curtain. How sad for him and her.

    I hate the 'Journey' stuff too. It makes it all seem much more voluntary that it in fact is. I think a better word is Process. Or Illegal Kidnapping. You have to just get through it, and get to the other side. And yes you might learn stuff, and change, but there is no sightseeing, and you are very alone.

    I have just emailed you as well.

    xo

    Hope you are well. xoxox

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    1. I thought I had responded to all these but chemo brain is doing its funky thing again. I didn't receive your e-mail but would love to hear from you if you can try and resend.
      I was thinking something along the lines of a convict vessel where you are locked up in the hull and feeling quite queasy for the duration!

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  7. Bloody cancer! (Sorry, I swore, but way too many people suffer because of it.)

    Thank you for this post x

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    1. "Bloody" is not swearing in Australia and is quite an appropriate adjective in your context! You're welcome. Thanks for the tolerance of my wee tirade.

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  8. The word journey can sometimes make me want to barf, it is in the same basket as "touching base". I wish you didn't get this nasty travel bug, but I am glad to be one of your fellow travellers on the road of life. Go burn something, make an effigy and dance around it, send it off to whence it came.

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    1. It's so nice to have you along , old friend! XXX

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  9. More like a keeno trip than a journey.
    Psycho babble has a lot to answer for.
    Keep crocheting on, soldier.

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    1. It ha certainly been trippy and you're right, I need a new crochet project!

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  11. I have a new beanie to grace your lovely baldy head for just a little bit before the weather warms. It will be on it's way to you this week my dear...

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  12. I have missed so many of your posts. I'm glad you're a bit pissed off. You should be. I can't stand words that are used for a completely different purpose than that for which they evolved. Of course cancer's not a journey, it's a bloody illness that one had to see oneself through.

    I guess 'journey' makes it easier for morning show television presenters to deal with complicated issues.

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  13. I agree mostly about the word 'journey' but I don't know what else to 'bloddy' call it.
    I intense dislike "battle".
    You have made me laugh today and I sorely needed.
    I'm feeling a bit melancholy about the journey ahead of me.

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  14. I never spell checked of course I meant "bloody"

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