I’ve always been aware of #breastcancerawareness but after this, I am a lot more serious about it. Ladies (and gents), please check your boobs for irregularities regularly. If you don’t know how, speak to a local healthcare practitioner.
It was a normal Monday morning shower. Until it wasn’t anymore. There I was, warm water cascading down over me, yet I was ice-cold with an indescribable feeling of dread; I had felt something unusual in my right boob – a hard lump. Could it be cancer? Nah, surely not?! But maybe… no, don’t be stupid! There’s no history of breast cancer in the family…but what about on your biological father’s side? It could be cancer… you’re at that age… These are just a few of the things that milled through my head the entire day. Needless to say, I hardly slept. I kept waking up during the night poking my boob. As sure as the earth rotates on its axis the knob was still there, feeling to me to be about the size of an old one Rand coin.
There is some unwritten rule that says you’re not supposed to have favourites where family members are concerned. Well, if a former British Prime Minister could favour her one twin above the other, I can surely have a favourite aunt, and even though she traded her earthly shell for her angel wings this past Monday after a short battle with liver cancer, Aunty Cathy will always live on in my heart and memories.
I am extremely humbled; a psychotherapist friend in Bristol in the UK asked me to be a contributor for her practice’s website. My first article is available to read here. I shall write for her as required, from my own perspective as someone with depression, on various topics. It is a tremendous privilege to be part of a project like this, knowing that my stories may help others who are struggling.
As I was writing the published article, it got me thinking about other aspects of lockdown and how they’ve affected me.
I said to Eliza the other day that I am starting to hoard stuff, and it is scary. I know that hoarding is linked to certain mental illnesses, including depression. To quote a short excerpt from an article I found online: “The term hoarding refers to a psychological disorder whereby an individual refuses to discard things that they own. The person holds a firm belief that they will eventually need these items for some reason.”
I have had a buggered back for ages, but for the last ten days, I had debilitating pain as I’ve never experienced before. I couldn’t walk – I shuffled; I couldn’t stand up from a seated position without crying in pain. It was dreadful.
One thing I have struggled with during the lockdown is reading. I’m not sure why, because reading has always been a great form of escape for me. It’s as if my brain refuses to leave the place it’s at now to go to places of fantasy, murder, and intrigue. It’s frustrating to say the least.
Maybe it’s because I’m feeling like John Coffey in The Green Mile, which coincidentally is one of my favourite books.
There is a lot of awful stuff going on. Not just in South Africa, but globally. It makes me sad, even though I know there is nothing I can do about it. As far as possible I try to live in my little bubble, oblivious to what’s going on around me, but the muck still filters through.
Pink is a colour that I’ve grown to love as I’ve got older. Maybe it’s because I’m still a hopeless romantic (despite my disastrous love-life track record), or maybe it’s because I feel like some candyfloss right now. Who knows?