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Tonight someone in a room I was in explained that she had recently undergone an operation to remove a brain tumour. At home, afterwards, I read about someone with aggressive cancer, and their chance of survival, and it was written by their partner. Recently, I have publicly written about the limitations of my immune condition and wondered if it might affect my employability. I am one of the lucky ones, because (unless those cells turn cancerous through years of damage) it will not kill me.

I was in a room in order to get better at writing. It was wonderful, the class. It will probably make me a far better writer in the long run, unlike most other creative writing groups I’ve been in previously, which were formative and extraordinary and usually contained too much port to be strictly helpful.

There is no room to go into, to save the parts of me my body attacks. At the moment, it has decided on stress urticaria, all over my face, as the latest addition to its arsenal. Urticaria is harmless, usually. And only slightly disfiguring. And the least of my medical problems. But my whole face looks as if it has been stung by nettles. Its quite sweet, really, the way the blotches make me look like a fairytale creature, illustrated in watercolour, that someone spilt the red over at the last minute.

Is there a point to this? It is autumn: season of picking up blogs and sharpening pencils and sitting up straight. It is crisp, wonderful autumn, when scarves are let out of cupboards and you can read Mansfield’s Miss Brill (1920) and feel the softness of the foxfur and the large, indifferent universe both at the same time. It is my lucky season, usually. In jobs, love, clothing options.

I would very much like to go into remission, get on with my phd, write my novel, improve my writing.

Learn to make bread. Make jam. Play video games. Watch bonfires. I’d like to take all the luck and make it into leaves to kick. Or something else. Make it into something that can be held or drunk or breathed in. A fox fur to be wrapped around the shoulders and fixed up with ceiling wax.

 

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