Thursday, 29 May 2014

Living with mortality: the legacy of cancer

Oncology season is approaching again. Next month, I will arrive with sweaty palms and dry mouth at the hospital which summons supressed fear the moment the A-road heralds the big ‘H’ signpost.

While I perch restlessly waiting my turn alongside fellow cancerees, I will swallow the dreamlike memories that seem to send Pavlovian blades of ice through my heart, and will flick blindly through an old issue of a tacky magazine. 

By the time a nurse calls me in, I’ll be so stricken with embittered adrenalin that I won’t be able to smile. I shall come across as supercilious as I take my seat in the consultation room and wait for the oncologist to enter. Yes, I know what’s coming because I’ve done it all before, many times over the past ten years. Yet still, I never know the full story.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

How being a mother to two daughters stirs the feminist in me

Last week, I had a profound and memorable nightmare that left me awake under the covers in a sweat of shame. 

The gist of the storyline goes that in meeting up with old friends and colleagues I haven’t seen for more than a decade, I absent mindedly turned up to an old London haunt wearing my apron. 

With a floury handprint on each thigh, the shame brought by the public realisation I was sporting my homely pinny, next to the professional attire of my friends, resulted in the contemplation of some home truths.