Waking up this morning in a place I could finally give a name to felt remarkably good. I know it's not a place I would choose to be, but it's where I am, and now I can name it, I can begin to look around and explore the terrain.
And at the moment, I find myself to be in a room, which is considerably lighter than I'd imagined it might be.
Which is good - great - but also a little scary.
Mike and I often quote (well, I say quote - can't actually remember the line so it's more a paraphrase) a line from - I think - the John Cleese film Clockwise. The essence of it is "It's not the despair that gets to me; despair I can live with. It's the hope . . . ". That's certainly been proving true of the way I seem to have been handling things these past few weeks. It's been easier, for me, to block out everything except preparing for the worst case scenario - because then you can't have hope taken away from you. So I have cheerily been assuring myself that yesterday's news was almost certainly going to be of the 'there's nothing we can do' variety, knowing that left me in a place where disappointment could not strike.
Now, let's not get over excited. The news yesterday wasn't massively better than that. The hope that was there was tentative, and it was conditional. If tomorrow's PET scan reveals more tumours, then it's a hope that will be very short lived. But it is, for now, hope. Hope that, if it survives the scan, and lives and grows, even holds the tiny seeds of the word 'eliminate'. A word I really hadn't allowed myself to contemplate.
So today's first challenge, as I survey the room I'm in, is to let myself look at this rather lovely but unexpected guest 'hope' which is sitting like a lantern, flickering away on the window ledge. And by hope, I mean very specifically, hope that I might actually survive this physically. I've got buckets of other kinds of hope, more of which later, all of the sort that, not being conditional on me surviving, can't disappoint me or anyone else. But this hope is risky. I want to take hold of the lantern, because let's be honest, I really, really want to live for as long as I can. I really, really don't want to leave a life which is brilliant and a family who are . . . well, I can't even begin to find words to say who they are to me . . . and friends who have stunned us these last few weeks with the depth of love they have poured on us. I want to grab that lantern and never let it go. But . . . I'm finding it surprisingly hard. And it helps me to say that.
Enough for tonight, I think. Bit more exploration tomorrow.