The title of this post may well have become the working title of a longer and more detailed account of our lives since Mags’ diagnosis. Wasps, because of their frantic efforts at our window this summer, trying to get to the other side of something they could feel but couldn’t see. Dragonflies because often when Mags has been sleeping I’ve watched them in numbers, sprinting and glinting with apparent purpose, before drifting and floating on seemingly random trajectories. Looks like I’ve discovered my inner insect, an undeniable fragility that manifests in the shadow of that which has the potential to squash me.
It’s doubtful that the account will ever get written, not least because I would always be conscious of the story titling towards me, how I’ve been affected. And that’s not the way it is, by a long way. It’s about us, two ordinary people like countless others who have had their entire existence turned upside down by cancer. It’s about vulnerability. That which is shared and that which is experienced individually. There’s a wonderful piece I read just recently by David Whyte. Well worth a look.
I want to avoid telling tales of what the oncologist describes as “bumps in the road”. They are already well documented in countless personal stories. The various online forums are littered with them, unsurprisingly. People posting in the hope of reassurance and, in turn, readers reassured by accounts that make them feel healthy by comparison. I’ve left all forums now because I found them, overall, to be depressing. Always the threat of something weighty that might flatten me in an instant, activating my inner insect once more.
So, before I buzz off, here are some positives. Mags doesn’t need to see the dietician any longer, her surgeon is happy with his handiwork and doesn’t want to see her until June 2020, and we don’t need to monitor blood sugar levels anymore. Mags has a lovely counsellor via a local cancer support charity, and we had a very long meeting with our wonderfully bubbly GP this week, that ended with something rarely prescribed: a big hug!