Into The Land Of The Unicorns*

If only my parentals could see the oncologist  and breast surgeon without me, I think as I walk in the sunshine at lunchtime.   Am anxious about the scan results.  At least the appointment is at 1.30pm so won’t have to spend the whole day worrying about it.  Passing a shop, I spot this little unicorn in the window.  […]

The Postman Always Rings Twice*

A while ago I wrote an article on the language surrounding severe illness.  There is a section on What Not To Say to someone with cancer or another life-threatening illness.  Anyway: various people commented along the lines of “that’s all very well, but what helps?  What would you, or your parents or brother like us […]

The Force Awakens*

     “This is just a trial run, to make sure we’ve set everything up correctly,” the nurse says.  She has pink and gold streaks in her hair.   I’m lying on my back and the white tunnel of the CT scanner is in front of me.  It moves towards me.  It’s cold in here, […]

Inside The Whale*

“What would you like to listen to?” The radiology nurse asks.  If that’s what she is: this pretty girl in a white coat, mid-twenties, long sleek hair. “What is there?” I say.  “It’s cold in here.”  Cold air blows to keep the MRI machine at its optimum temperature. “Adele, Michael Buble or Beethoven,” she says. […]

Blood Eagle

Lying in bed, reminiscing about my time with Seb earlier in the week. Ah I wish he was still here. Am plotting a trip to see him. Will book a hotel though: can’t stay with him just in case he is still sleeping on a reed mat on the floor, as in his monastery days. […]

Spring Awakening*

Suddenly, spring is in the air.  It’s mid-February and there may well be further cold snaps ahead, but on the walk to my bus stop this morning, the earth is awakening from its slumber.  There are purple crocuses out and a blackbird flies past with twigs in his beak: nest-building is underway.  And so, my […]

How’s The Pain?

Current Physical Complaints: 1. Upper back pain – probably from sitting at office computer for two solid days: there’s a reason why I don’t go to work too often. 2. Headache – presumably from staring at screen for two days. See above. 3. Aching in thighs – from working legs in training, therefore good pain […]

Not Dead, Only Resting

“How are you today?” My plastic surgeon says, beaming his huge smile. “Yeah, OK I think,” I say. “Oh, I’m sorry – I forgot my device. Mum’s just signing in – there was a queue and…” “Don’t worry, Tanya, I’ve got a spare one,” the nurse says, reaching into the depths of her trolley and […]

In Bruges

Have a Date tonight: first one for a couple of weeks. Am nervous as he looks absolutely gorgeous in his photos. He’s half-Belgian/half-Danish: lots of shaggy brown hair, great cheekbones, wide mouth with naughty grin, hazel eyes. He’s not a Bright Young Thing either: this one is forty. A man of Experience. Works in telecoms […]

Sparkling Cyanide

“How are you, Tanya?” My plastic surgeon says, beaming his big smile as I sit across the desk from him. Mum is sitting next to me. “OK, I think,” I say. This is the first time I’ve seen him this year. He looks jolly, as usual. It always cheers me up to see him. “So, […]