Now that I am leaving my latest persistent vegetative state and my activity tolerance is an impressive 30 minutes, I can turn my attention back to observing the strange and funny ways in which my life and in particular, my appearance has changed.
And speaking as someone who would rather step willingly onto a flying saucer than a set of scales, I am finding this new monitoring and obsession with my weight very alarming.
The only other time I recall my weight being under such scrutiny was during and after pregnancy and I have done my best since to forget and unlearn kilograms should I ever accidently fall onto any scales again. However, I am now weighed more frequently than an average bag of goodies on MasterChef and it appears I have eaten the contents too.
But what I can’t quite comprehend is the look of glee in the nurse’s eye when the scales top the last chemo sessions record and they exclaim “well done you’ve put on weight, go on treat yourself to a fried eccles cake sandwich”. Such is the way of the chemo nurses who have mastered the art of making the depressing reality of chemo wards seem mundane and pretty normal that they think this calls for some serious celebration. NB: Piece of advice to anyone going through chemo – make sure you renew your passport before you start this fun and games otherwise like me if you happen to stumble across it in a mad clear out, you won’t be left enquiring when exactly did I start my job as chief cook and bottlewasher at Sellafield? Or why did I decide to plug my hair into the national grid? Or weirder still, what thumping great accident or 10 years of heavy drinking caused the swelling up of my face to resemble 90’s poster boy Gazza?
But what’s interesting is I am noticing that I don’t conform to what people think a cancer patient should look like. I know looking ‘hot’ now has different connotations, and it seems awfully vain to worry about your appearance whilst you are daily ingesting enough chemicals to deep clean the bathing facilities at a senior boys school, but I do daftly feel guilty for looking so ‘ruddy’ when I see people’s reaction and for a fleeting moment worry that they think I am putting it all on! And yet again (note to self), I feel a twinge of guilt for assuming in the past outward appearance is a good indicator of how you are feeling inside.