The End of the Beginning
I’ve finished my first cycle of treatment, and today I’m starting on the second, so I thought I’d try to write something before the fog descends again!
The first cycle proved quite a challenge in terms of side effects. There were a number of nasty, personal things – which you don’t want too much detail on! – but the most persistent problem for me was a sense of being spaced out. For a lot of it, it meant I couldn’t read, struggled to look at the computer, didn’t feel safe driving, and I couldn’t keep any sense of focus or concentration.
Having had a few days free of medication, I’m not looking forward to that returning, never mind the other nasties!
One of the bonuses has been seeing the wonderful displays of autumnal colour on the way to Gloucester for my injections. There’s been a lot of sunshine, so the golds, reds, yellows have been striking. I try to comfort myself with a seasonal analogy for what I’m going through. The leaves on the trees are having their final burst of glory before they shrivel and die, ready to burst forth again in the spring. My treatment is helping cancer cells to die, so that healthy ones can regenerate – and perhaps by next spring, I might be – if not bursting forth – at least feeling better.
To celebrate that thought, I’m going to include one of my favourite autumn poems. I’ve probably shared it before, and it’s a bit late for it, but it’s the poem I always think when I think of autumn, so here goes:
Song at the Beginning of Autumn Now watch this autumn that arrives In smells. All looks like Summer still; Colours are quite unchanged, the air On green and white serenely thrives. Heavy the trees with growth and full The fields. Flowers flourish everywhere. Proust who collected time within A child's cake would understand The ambiguity of this - Summer still raging while a thin Column of smoke stirs from the land Proving that Autumn gropes for us. But every season is a kind Of rich nostalgia. We give names - Autumn and Summer, Winter, Spring - As though to unfasten from the mind Our moods and give them outward forms. We want the certain, solid thing. But I am carried back against My will into a childhood where Autumn is bonfires, marbles, smoke; I lean against my window fenced From evocations in the air When I said Autumn, Autumn broke.