Written in 2007, Me & Adam Ant records Louise’s first cycle with chemo and like everything else she wrote it is honest, warm and full of insight.
Part 2: Relationships
Chapter 2: Friends
Maybe it’s cliché but something good really does always come out of something bad (more on that idea later)… and one thing that’s really touched me in how great my friends have been – especially people I didn’t really expect so much genuine concern from (not because they’re rubbish friends! but because we weren’t necessarily that close).
Anita, Fiona, Dave & Julie, Al’s friends Chris & Sue & Hazel. Everyone’s shown a genuine concern. Fifi’s been ringing nearly every other day… keeping me up to date with all the gossip (!!) and news. She even called me from H&M on the day of the M for Madonna collection launched to talk me through the range!! And of course she’s been sending presents to cure my shopping withdrawal symptoms. (I’ve had a Parka, a scarf and a silk headscarf from Fifi).
But so many other people have sent me things: Anita, a vase of gorgeous hyacinths. Tracey, a lovely card and Top Shop handbag. Leroy, an Abercrombie & Fitch pdo T-shirt & American vogue from one of the Ny trips I missed. Hazel, a Benefit powder puff. Clare, a letter and a customised balloon! Charlotte/Nat/Rose and families a gorgeous bouquet of pink roses.
And then tons of cards and emails and calls from a load of people. I’ve been quite amazed really.
It’s funny though ‘cos one thing I’ve noticed is that people don’t really understand the seriousness of the situation. And you do ultimately realise you’re more or less on your own when it comes to dealing with the emotional enormity of something like this. Of course there are people who’ll be helping me through all this who I’ll be leaning on… Alberto, M, D. Maybe Clare. And I know if I chose to I could lean on all of my friends. But I don’t want to. I want to maintain some semblance of normality and talk about shopping and gossip. I don’t want to be a cancer victim in everyone’s eyes.
And I think that’s why people haven’t grasped the seriousness of it… because so far I’ve portrayed it all along these lines “well I’ve got this awful thing o deal with but, hey, I’ll be fine!” Ive been incessantly positive so far… and people’s reactions have been determined accordingly.
Do you reckon I’ll keep it up?? Who knows!
Chapter 3: Family
I’ve already touched on how awful I feel for M & D. And in a way I can’t let myself think too deeply about this as it’ll upset me… but also I can’t really imagine genuinely how it must feel to have lost one child and have to deal with your only remaining child (am I still a child?!) getting a very rare high grade cancer that no-one knows how to treat!
Initially I’d felt awful about D cancelling his 5 month round the world trip… I felt it wasn’t worth it for the sake of my operation… but now I have to start chemo… I’m glad for both him and me he’s here.
Nan of course was hilarious. I asked M and Uncle Pete not to tell her the tumour was malignant ‘cos I thought she’s worry too much. But then I had to tell her when I found out about chemo. I was telling her about the ‘chemo regimen’ and she listened, responded and in the very next breath said “Will you get your mum to get me some cornflakes tomorrow”. Fantastic! She did also tell M it’s best not to tell Grampa (who’s only just out of a long stint in hospital) ‘cos he’d just cry all the time… I don’t know what I’ll say when he notices me in a wig!!