C is for Cancer, X is for Courage

Of the wayward monikers our mum bestowed upon each of her three daughters, Ximena (Mena) definitely got the top spot over Anouska (*waves*) and Tarien (the middle one) for name awkwardness. You try sitting in a waiting room, listening out for someone to call that mouthful out. Zim-mee-nah… Hex-zim-mennah… Sacagawea.. Jeez, Mother. Give your kid a chance. You know that bit, on Four Weddings and a Funeral? When Rowan Atkinson tries to say ‘Sinjin’ or ‘Singeon’… see what I mean? Can’t even spell it. But yeah, there’s a lot of that for Mena.

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Anyhow, I’m digressing, soz. These days ‘X’ not only stands for my sister’s dodgy initial, but for everything I think is marvellous about her, not least her courage.

It’s another big week for Mena. Tomorrow she will have the scans that will take a detailed look at what exactly is going on inside the mass occupying her right lung. We know there’s a lot of cancer in there, there’s also fluid and infection and other nasties her body is trying to deal with. In my last vlog about it ( https://anouskaknight.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/fabbo-friday-feeling/ ) I was a little overwhelmed by the fact that at last… AT LAST… Mena had received some positive news from her oncologist in that, after changing around her cocktail of drugs and crossing every finger we had between us, the scans had finally shown a reduction in the size of the mass.

The mass. Not the tumour.

A fact that dawned on me with a swift kick in the guts shortly after I posted that vlog.

So on the evening before these more detailed scans will take place, the fronds of anxiety are starting to creep back in, ever thick and fast. And if I think on how hard it is at times for the rest of us to plaster a smile on it, I can only imagine what Mena’s thoughts must be like to deal with before she falls asleep each night. This Thursday night coming will be bloody awful for her, I should think. Waiting for the results to hit on Friday. But we’ll never know because she’ll never say.

Because Mena is courageous. I know this because instead of falling to pieces (which incidentally she has never done) she keeps it together so the rest of us can cling to her calmness like a raft. At a time when I tell you now, I’d be milking the cancer card for every favour, scrap of sympathy, cooked meal and foot rub going, Mena is always just chilled. Always ace, always facing her illness beautiful bald head on.

So whilst cancer has taken the letter C in our world, it hasn’t taken the top spot. Because around here, folks, courage very definitely got crowned with the X.

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Fabbo Friday Feeling!

Hope you’re all having a great Friday… chances are, my friend, it probably isn’t going to be as EPIC as ours. I know that sounds a bit nobbish and cocksure, but it’s a big fat fact. Even if you win tonight’s Euromillions, bag yourself a hottie to count it with while spending the weekend wallowing together in an infinity pool of chocolate sauce overlooking a Norwegian fjord, it’s still a fact, dude. Because, you see, thanks to my stupendously tough kid sister and her gobsmackingly kick-ass ability to keep on flipping the Vs at her illness, today’s Friday feeling goes waaay above and beyond the average. Not that chocolate sauce is ever average, but you get what I’m talking about right?

Here’s why today is so bloody epic…

Vlogging… Am I doing this right?

Mooorniiing!

So I’m attempting a venture into the mindboggling world of vlogging, y’all! I kinda feel like I should, everyone else is. Apparently it’s the thing now to share share share, so I’m doing it too. Albeit with less than sophisticated camera equipment and a dodgy Midlander accent. (My mouth opens, Ozzy Osbourne’s in the bluddy house, Sharrrron)

The main reason I’m giving it a bash is that there’s so much going on around here these days, I’d like the chance to reflect on it later on. My monsters are growing up fast, throwing all sorts of joy and headaches our way, I’m settling into my new life as a writer and, the event that’s eclipsing them all at the moment, my sister Mena’s cancer has returned with gusto. In fact, as I write this, she’s at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham waiting to be told whether or not the new chemo mix they’re trying is performing the miracle we need it to. The last mix didn’t, the tumour in her lung had doubled in size within a week after her first chemo cycle. Which more than sucks. Because we all love her, and need her a lot. So today is going to be a big one.

See, lots happening around here. And while life’s speeding on, I’m gonna try and catch the odd bit of it on tape. Accent and all x