Living in a Box.


It’s my daughter’s birthday tomorrow. No, not that daughter. Not the one we’ve just visited in South Korea.

The other one. My Bonfire Night ‘Remember remember the Fifth of November: Gunpowder, Treason and Plot’ baby. The one whose twin boys find their way into my posts from time to time. The one whose husband died of cancer not seven months ago. This will be the first birthday in years that she can’t share with him.

She could do with him by her side more than ever at the moment, because she too has now been diagnosed with cancer.

Her blog has the byline ‘Recently widowed. Swears a lot.’ If that’s going to bother you, don’t read it.

But I suggest that you do look at it, and get an insight into what it might be like to be widowed, young, and have cancer.

Fanny the Champion of the World

Who in their right mind looks forward to cancer treatment? Me. I need a break. I can’t physically find the time to fit everything in, and the idea of lying in a hospital bed waiting to get my cancerous bap sliced open and stuffed with silicone, saline or pig fat is suddenly not without appeal. I’ve come a long way in a few weeks – before, the idea threw me into a blind panic, but I’m so tired, and so ready to accept offers of babysits, dog walks, and help around the house, that I give up. I’ll trade anything – even my left breast – for a good night’s sleep and some time off work and away from the boys, who are in the throes of grief for the third year running. They’re sapping every last scrap of energy I have, and testing my patience to its limits. I adore…

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22 thoughts on “Living in a Box.

  1. I had to read this twice to make sure I had it right, I couldn’t believe it and if that’s how I feel it must be 100% worse for you. I had been for a lie-down (preparing for family onslaught tomorrow), got up and within 30 minutes I heard of 3 people who have been similarly diagnosed. I hope you all have all the practical and emotional support you need, I am sorry I can’t be on that list, but I send you a big hug and lots of positive thoughts. I couldn’t bring myself to click Like. There really should be another kind of button to register acknowledgement and understanding and a virtual hug. 😕

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  2. Jeez Margaret that’s awful , my heart goes out to you all. We knew this year would be awful but not this awful. Big hug xxx

    Jan Sent from my iPad

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  3. Oh my god, Margaret! I thought I was following Ellie’s blog and that she just hadn’t been posting. I thought maybe that meant she was doing fairly well. I just went and read everything I missed and cannot believe how awful she is being treated by fate or luck, or whatever pulls the strings. I have to say, I am so moved by her ability to articulate her anger and all the other things she’s going through–I hope she’s finding it to be somewhat cathartic . . .

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  4. Margaret. I read your daughter’s post and I can understand her swearing, I’d swear, too. Please know that I am with you and your daughter and her sons. I realize how flip that may sound or read but it’s what I can do. We all are at the mercy of the twists of life. May the sun shine on your family and light the way. Peace.

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