When I wrote the title to this post, I ended up with the song ‘Firework’ in my head. You know the one? Baby, you’re a firework. Is it by Katy Perry? I don’t know. I don’t even like that song. Even if it does remind me of Zumba. Anyway. The song has nothing to do with what my post is about. Not that I’d even know because I only know that one line from it. But I doubt she’s singing about standing out in the cold accepting that she could die soon.
Last night, I bit the bullet, got dressed and went out to the local public park to watch the council funded firework display. It’s been a long time since we bothered going out to watch it, the last time was when I was pregnant with my son – since then his ears have been a little too delicate and it’s been held way past his bedtime. But this year, my husband wanted to take him to watch them, to let him go on a few of the rides at the fair and win something on the hook-a-duck. I wasn’t going to go: I’d been up most of the day already, I’d been out to the doctors, I’d had to go to the supermarket, and I’d sat up playing with my son and his gran for way longer than my energy levels deigned appropriate. All I wanted to do was stay in bed, curl up into a ball, and wait for them to come back so I could be rested for the bedtime struggle and for a friend who was popping in for pizza and a dvd later that night. I’d even put my pyjamas on. And climbed into bed. And curled up into a ball. But ten minutes before they were going to leave, I realised I wanted to go with them. Not because I wanted to actually see the fireworks display. Because I wanted to see my son’s face as he watched it for the first time. I wanted to be there in case it was too loud or too cold for him. And because somewhere in the depths of my subconscious, a voice reminded me that I have Cancer, and this might be the last time I get to see the fireworks display, and my son’s face as he watches them.
I was up and out in a matter of minutes, holding my son’s hand as we walked wrapped up warm to the park at the end of our street.
It was freezing, and raining, and the boots I’d chosen to wear so I didn’t slip and fall over in the mud – my old DM’s from ten years ago – rubbed my feet and offered little protection from the cold. Add to that the fact that I’d forgotten to take my anti-nausea tablet before we left; that made me pretty cold, wet and miserable. But my son was happy, riding on the bus on the carousel, waving and grinning at every pass. Well, he was happy until about five minutes into the display when he realised standing still was no fun and he was cold and wanted to go on another ride. So my husband said he’d take him for another ride, leaving me with a friend to finish watching the fireworks. The display was pretty bloody good for a small local park; at least three times I thought they’d lit their finale fireworks only to have another set shoot up. Really good to watch. And then the pang hit me again, threatening to take the smile from my face; this might be the last time you do this. I blinked back tears and told myself, not that I was being silly, but that instead of getting upset I should just take it, get over it and enjoy it for what it was. Somehow it worked, and I made it through the rest of the outing, and the rest of the night without being upset.
In bed, I told my husband what had made me get up out of bed, sort of proud that I’d made the choice to get up and live rather than curl up and pretend it wasn’t happening. I didn’t think it would upset him, but it did. He said he didn’t like it when I spoke that way, as though I was already defeated. He said that all of my doctors so far were optimistic that they could get rid of the cancer, and while it was good that I’d decided to join the park outing, the motivation for it sucked. I can see his point. He doesn’t want me to die, and doesn’t want to even consider that it will happen. He’s been that way from the start. He’s the optimist to my pessimist. It’s not that I believe I’ll die from this myself. I’m actually pretty sure that they will ‘cure’ me. I’m already thinking ahead to the massive holiday I want to take when all of this is over. It’s just I think I’m more of a realist than he is. I’d rather entertain the possibility of a worst-case outcome than have it hit me in the face later on down the line. If I can already imagine the worst, then anything better than that is a bonus when it happens.
I sometimes wonder how this way of thinking affects my overall moods and health – I mean last night, going from having no energy at all to spending an hour or so out in the park with my family based on a snap decision to enjoy the night. I hadn’t noticed how much my health was based on my outlook until recently.
I guess it’s something I need to think about while all of this is going on.