medical day 11: entering our blue period: waiting for cancer results. #frightened

if you need any proof how debilitating, frustrating, exhausting and downright irritating (see – we Are English and can Get Cross) illness and recovery from illness and medical leave confinement can be – read yesterday’s post.

today we are entering our blue period (but there are two lovely shots below – we hope you agree) while we wait to see if we have cancer (we’ve stopped calling it C powers, just for today. it felt too cute for what, in effect, is very serious – See! blue period. very blue).

one of the best things about being a (little) older and earning the kind of money that a Day Job like ours pays (why does it feel like a pound of flesh all of a sudden?) is that one can concentrate on having the essentials of a good life: proper tea pot, cups and saucers, elegant surroundings, photographs (framed with a good-sized border) and a well-dressed boudoir with Lots of Pillows, soft blankets, crisp sheets and two throw pillows made from the most silky satin (one was once an old butterscotch slip – we never liked the trim – and had it whipped up into a pillow – we ALWAYS wanted to be the kind of team gloria that walked over to the seamstress – actually a man, now we come to think of it – and said “Juan, would you make us up a pillow from this slip, darling?” and he did a Lovely Job).

in this area of our life we are most inspired (and quite distracted) by Barbara Barry (style crush alert)

“I believe that beauty is healing and inspiring; I want to help others see beauty in all areas of their lives.” – Barbara Barry.

Barbara also influenced us greatly (note how she wears her pearls so elegantly too) in the purchase of our large(ish – we do live in manhattan – in a relatively small apartment) french farmhouse table and bench.

the autumn schedule for (one of the four!) local art-house cinemas has just arrived and we are eagerly planning our movie dates for the next season (one has to book everything early in a town once dominated by the students of Woody Allen’s oeuvre).


are we really planning a post-medical-leave-wellness?

or are we just waiting for the NEXT STAGE?

we assumed (dangerous to do so but we did, based on evidence of good faith) that we would know by now whether we have Cancer.

but we don’t.

apparently when they opened us up (Shudder!) it was “such a mess in there” (and we are So Tidy in RL so that was an indication of Inner Turmoil to be sure) that it took five hours (!!) to remove and replace and respond. we could tell it was hard by the victorian gothic look we were sporting with a neck brace and small’ish bottle of our blood draining away from the wound for 12 or so hours after.


so we don’t yet know.

we Are Prepared (naturally).

we’ve read “all the books”. our fridge is full of leafy greens. we are taking all the minerals they told us to take (because our body isn’t producing them). we are doing everything we’ve been told to do (mostly – see “not taking opiates” in earlier posts).

and still we don’t know.

because as soon as we Do Know – we can do something about it (probably cry in a cab across town to the Waldorf Astoria but this time, not binge on cake, just sit and meet with a quiet and understanding friend who says all the right things and drink tea – lots of tea).

1. scenario A: let’s say we do have cancer. we can join a group (we’re Very Good at that now). get support. clear the decks for healing. ask for help. book all the nuking our body appointments that will undoubtedly follow (we hear the radioactive iodine is no picnic) and we can join the C team and get support and love and probably undergo a Radical Life Change (like leaving NYC at some point – doesn’t everyone in Those Books) and – you know – write the novel, the screenplay, publish a lovely set of photographs, maybe design a range of scarves (we do have a lovely High Forehead and a big set of baby blues) – you know – get into action (we Do live in the USA for a Reason).

2. scenario B: we don’t have cancer (or they removed anything that looked like it might have once been or was about to be).

then what?

apparently then we get tested every six months for years to see if scenario A is on the horizon.

yeah. our life changed already. we are charting a completely new course.

where’s the horizon.

because we can’t see it today.

9 thoughts on “medical day 11: entering our blue period: waiting for cancer results. #frightened

  1. I am so moved by the direct, honest, witty and unequivocably stylish way you are analyzing things via Section A and Section B. Oh, and just let me say one other thing…………..damn, You Have Guts.

    Love you tremendously!

    A. XOX

  2. There isn’t much to say after reading all the comments above. It is clear that you have surrounded yourself with good people who really do have something to contribute to the process.

    Your honesty is heart breaking and all consuming for me. Every time I read one of your entries I want to know more and I feel disappointed to close the browser window and go back to the work at hand.

    Let me tell you a little story that I am sure you will remember:)

    I was 22 and having what felt like a horrible breakup with a guy named “Dan”, remember that guy? Smoking cigarettes and sitting on the patio of a huge apartment that I didn’t need and because I didn’t have a day job and college was rather easy, I was being overly dramatic about a breakup. But you were there and you looked at me and said, “James, I want you to think ahead. Imagine how you will be in your 40’s and I will be even older and we will be enjoying our vacation in a beautiful country house in Tuscany. Its going to be ok.”

    You imagined a beautiful future nearly 10 years ago and whether it is A or B that happens there is still the future and I suspect we will have that vacation in Tuscany.

    (And just so you know, I used your story, and gave you credit for it, yesterday with a dear friend who is in the midst of a breakup. Your mind produces comfort for people you don’t even know 10 years later:) )

  3. Oh gosh ….. we’re so privileged to hear/see how you’re doing this. Along with the ‘essentials of a good life’ you have a tremendous gift as a writer/photographer and are so open hearted in sharing your journey through this horrific passage. Much love and prayer coming your way, dear one(s).

  4. There is so much you can do. There’s momentum in action. So: Drink tea. Go somewhere where there are many different teas, if you have such places in NYC. Drink all of them. Make sure you have enough scarves/pashminas so that you have the perfect colour and texture for every experience. Ditto cushions and bedroom linen. Read through all your messages and remember how much you are loved and supported. Come to London and join me on a bracing buggy push up Parliament Hill. If we get up early enough, and keep our voices low and our movements slow we might just see Bill Oddie. Or Ricky Gervais power walking. And do Keep Writing. With Capitals. You’re really Very Good.
    Cat xxx

  5. You are Loved.

    May I suggest that some of the items associated with scenario A are applicable to scenario B; you may avail yourself of support and help from people who love you no matter what, for such love is unconditional.

    That love, at least, is a constant that may be depended upon wherever your new course takes you. xxx

  6. What would Jean Muir do? invent another shade of navy blue – that’s what!

    i think knowledge is definitely power and at least knowing is having a map. You won’t necessarily have all the navigation info immediately, but you have a great ship, a good crew and a top notch sextant. if it is scenario A it is also worth remembering that most people die with cancer not too many of cancer.

    We’ll just have to love you a little harder and help you find your way – which you will do with strength and style.

    Also you could do:
    shouting, crying, going to France or Italy and having an affair, coming to England and letting me take you to Cornwall, going west and overdosing on vitamin D and the beautful people, writing writing writing, throwing your head back and guffawing, letting the little bastard know who is boss, buyng gorgeous things, drinking tea in Fortnums, and lots and lots of other shades of navy blue.

    When do they think they’ll have all the results?


  7. So brave, honest and true. You will sail toward and past the horizon, darling, with grace, style and humor–woops, I mean humour–surrounded by beauty and friends. We won’t always be able to reach you in all the blue places you’ll go, but we’ll be waiting to catch you on the other side. xxx

do say something - do :-)

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