Nighttime Waves in the Middle of the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2

We’ve had smooth sailing on the Queen Mary 2, except for the waves that kicked up last night. In the evening prior to dinner, Zsolt and I were down in the games alley near the bottom of the ship, staring out the windows with other guests and saying along the lines of: “Look at that! Woah! Here’s another!” as the waves coming off the ship collides with waves approaching from the oceans for robust claps of water that shot spray high into the air. It was powerful and wonderful.


But then, later in the evening, as we lay in bed and rocked back and forth – suddenly, I no longer found it so wonderful. There was some point where we suddenly seems to tilt a little too much in the other direction unexpectedly (to me at least), and this was startling. So I opened my eyes and began to worry.

And that is what I did for quite a while. I worried. I lay in the darkness and thought about how we were literally in the middle of the Atlantic all alone. How this massive ship looked like a toy boat against the spread of Atlantic all around us. How one employee had been saying that in the winter, they’d once sailed through 12 meter waves, which was quite scary (yesterday waves were about 4 meters high). How if the ship flipped, we’d be stuck. How if we went into the water, we’d freeze and drown. How many things could go wrong? And part of me waited just in case the alarm signal went off, and we’d need to jump out of bed and grab the life jackets.

Zsolt was sound asleep throughout all of this, totally minta bunda – which is Hungarian for ‘like a fur’ as in, like a bear hibernating in the winter. As in, it really wasn’t a big deal and I was most certainly over exaggerating.

And the logical side of my mind realized this over exaggeration. Only hours earlier, I had been thrilled with the sight of those waves, and was loving watching them slam and crash together. It was beautiful.

The logical side of my mind also said: Hey, you are in a warm and comfortable bed, next to the person you always want to be next to, and you are on a gorgeous holiday – enjoy it, lady.

To which I replied: WE MIGHT TIP OVER!

To which the logical side said: then deal with it as it comes, and go to sleep in the meanwhile.

And then I had to agree with myself. It reminded me very much of the later-coming September scans. This time I’ll have my chest scanned and my head. I am, of course, very nervous about with may be seen – particularly since the news wasn’t happy last time. So you know, I dread September and that is the truth.

But at the moment, I’m on the way to Hungary with my husband. It is our 10 year anniversary since having met, and we will be stopping by Nice – the place we met – to be sentimental and romantic and possibly get a tan on the beach.

Perhaps I should extend my experience on the boat to that in life: deal with it as it comes, and just enjoy in the meanwhile.

It’s a challenge to let the logical and the emotional meet in one place. I am still scared of the scan. I am still nervous of nighttime waves . . . but then, so many wonderful things are happening all around today. And sometimes, I have to make my body and mind realize that worrying won’t do anything. It won’t make the ship sail better, and it won’t help the scans to come.

After trying a couple restoration yoga poses, I finally settled into sleep mode and began to think about Romeo and Juliet. The actor troop here on the boat will be performing it today, and Zsolt would like to catch the show – never having seen it done live. I began thinking how way back in high school, grade 10, I was lucky enough to play Juliette in a classroom dramatization. It was the death scene. I worth a skirt and dress shoes, which looked clunky under the white sheet they draped over me as I lay there ‘fake dead’ while Romeo threw his life away over a miscommunication. Then I got to shot myself in the head with a foam Nerf gun, and fall to the ground – trying to hide my fit of giggles.

The teacher said I, and my friend Derrick who played the priest, had done particularly good jobs in acting the parts. Based on this single compliment back when I was 15 years old, I have always quietly held the belief that I’m a damn good actor. Of course, I have not tested that hypothesis ever since.

And then, I realized, I’d forgotten all about the waves, and was finally ready to fall asleep.

One thing about the past, it is certainly useful when distractions are needed.

So that is the story of big wave-like metaphors, and trying to fall asleep.

P.S. We are having a lovely time.

P.P.S. This post brought to you by my man Zsolt, who has been working much of the trip and I’m literally snagging some of his precious internet minutes. Thanks babe!

P.P.S Picture time!

Queen Mary Southampton to New York Queen Mary 2 Queen Mary 2

Two for the road

Today I said goodbye to the UK chemotherapy ward. This was my last chemo treatment in England, and now (2 more left) it’s all about Canada. My doctor was thanked (I’ll see him again in about 18 weeks), the chemo coordinator hugged, and a Christmas card was given to the nurses. Job done.  🙂

Last June I longed for this moment – these moments – but found it difficult to imagine time would pass. Everything was overwhelming, yet not tangible; goals were blurry shapes in the distance. But guess what? This is real. Soon chemo finishes and we’ll move forward to the next phases: radiation and hormone therapy.

The doctors like to warn me that despite chemotherapy being over, I’ll still likely feel its effects for about six months. Maybe my emotions will go bananas, maybe like treatment I’ll be left exhausted, maybe I’ll still get tree trunk legs and tingle toes and crazy hot flashes . . . maybe I’ll recover beautifully. Won’t know till we get there.

In the meantime I’m thankful for the people in England who have supported me, fed me, encouraged me, humoured me, helped me, entertained me (all those cups of tea!). You’ve seriously made a difference in my life; these past six months could have been shit, but they weren’t and that’s all down to support.

Of course that support goes beyond UK borders, but next week begins a holiday in Canada – 2010 may keep its Cancer Catherine, because 2011 starts with a cancer-free me. England will be a fresh start when I get back (with new treatment), we’ll have overcome a lot of crap. Therefore my Southampton friends and hospital ought to be honoured. Happy Almost New Year everyone!

Fourteen chemotherapy treatments down. Two more to go.

I’ll write about radiotherapy this weekend, and maybe some other stuff too 🙂  but in a seperate post.