I had Bloggers Block. I’ve wanted to write but just couldn’t. Writing is my therapy and the interaction gained from it does wonder for my state of mind and self-esteem. When I don’t write I miss it terribly. I started to get a bit desperate so put a shout out on Twitter asking for anything that might reignite the literary spark in me and sure enough, my virtual friends came to the rescue. It was a fellow AFCB supporter who offered me this gem of advice: Start blogging about why you’ve got blogging block. Will probably then free your mind! This got me thinking … What had changed? Why do I feel paralysed? Why am I stuck? I have mulled this over the last 24 hours and then it struck me. Things have changed and things continue to change for me, my family, my friends, my community and our society. This period of transition has silenced me.
My blog and writing started because my son was diagnosed with leukaemia. It gave me a platform to share my feelings, frustrations and experiences. I felt that I had control over something; I could spread awareness, I could use writing to try to make sense of this brave new world we were in. My son is still being treated for leukaemia but our world now, compared to that world then, has changed beyond recognition. This time last year Felix was an inpatient on a child’s oncology ward receiving High Dose Methotrexate as part of the UK2011 trial. On admission he would be examined, his port would be accessed and he would be taken to theatre for a lumbar puncture and a dose of chemotherapy which would be injected into his spine and brain. He would then be taken to the ward for up to five days where he would be hydrated for 6 hours through an IV drip, then receive his chemotherapy over 24 hours and then receive further hydration until the chemotherapy was released from his 10-year-old body. Every millilitre of fluid intake and outtake would be measured. I remember him shuffling to the toilet with his drip stand, peeing in the bottle and me carrying it to the sluice with my gloves on because of the toxicity of his urine. The side effects included his skin ‘breaking down’ and excruciating ulcers which required oral morphine and left him unable to eat or drink. That is where we were a year ago.
Today he is on his Year 6 Residential trip. He left on Monday and will return on Friday. From spending hours, days and weeks side – by – side battling this awful disease I am now sat here and have no idea at all what he is doing. I don’t know how he’s feeling, what he’s thinking or what he is experiencing but that’s OK. This is my realisation, it’s OK and our story has changed.
I have always relished change much to my husband’s despair. However, when that change is beyond your control, that is when it brings uncertainty, pain and suffering. Our society is currently experiencing a sense of change because of the recent terrorist attacks and the imminent election. If we recognise that it is because of change which is why we feel as we do then it somehow makes it all easier to cope with. Change happens all of the time; nappies to potty, child to teenager, single to married, ill to healthy, leaves budding, leaves falling. This is the circle of life and many changes go unnoticed for what they are. It is the ones which we have no control of which bring sadness, despair and uncertainty but this is the impermanence of life.
So, my realisation is that our story has changed and Mrs Brown’s Blogs will now reflect this. It will continue to be an honest and frank account of life, family and childhood cancer but with greater emphasis on family, life and stuff. This is a new chapter in our story and one which leaves me feeling as apprehensive as I do excited.
I hope you stick around for the next chapter – who knows what it might bring!