Today I’ve done some ironing in the first time for nearly 18 months. It’s not that my clothes have been crinkled and shabby all this time (and I do wear a lot of cotton and linen just so you know I’m not ironing-obsessed) but I’ve not been up to doing it. It’s amazing how exhausted cancer treatment and fibromyalgia together can make you feel. So, I hear you cry – how did you manage? I managed thanks to 2 lovely friends who took all our ironing and delivered it back, fresh and beautifully folded. They tell me they like ironing which I find hard to get my head round. Apart from this, they also took me to hospital on several occasions as well as helping with moral and emotional support. And now, they are doing something even more amazing and I encourage you to follow them. Alan and his wife Lesley are doing the Adventurist’s Mongol Rally and through this, supporting Cool Earth and Street Invest. Alan starts his journey today with his friend Matt and they will complete the trip in 4 to 6 weeks. Lesley is flying out to join them in Russia in a couple of weeks so I hope they find they have the same sense of humour and enjoy the same taste in music as they only met Matt a few months ago. If you want to follow their blog, you can find them here. So it’s essential I am able to do my own ironing again as my ironing team hit the road in search of more good deeds. Maybe they will get to do some extreme ironing as they go.
As for me, I am pushing myself to do more activity. Tomorrow I will be back Dragon Boat racing for the first time since March. When I say racing, I really mean just paddling as we don’t normally have other boats to compare ourselves with. It’s a bit like Hawaii Five-O with much slower, older people. Again, it’s an amazingly generous act as people are donating their time in order to get us out on the water. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, Wave Walkers is a group of people affected by cancer and team members from Raging Dragons come along every other week to help us find newer and better levels of fitness and have fun. It’s not something I would ever have considered doing (have I said this before?) but the post-cancer space between active treatment and – well, whatever comes after that – seems an ideal time to indulge in some new activities. It also feels like a good way to try and get some energy and just put cancer to good use for a change. So tomorrow, bright and early, I’ll be up and off to Docklands with Mark, wondering if it’s the right thing to do as usual and knowing I’ll feel better as soon as I’m on the water. The only downside to this is that because of the lymphoedema, I have one pale arm and one brown arm. I am unsure how to rectify this. I will definitely need to wear the loathed compression sleeve to something as energetic as paddling but look forward to the day when my breast care nurse gets her finger out and books me an appointment with the lymphoedema nurse so I can learn how to manage the condition and not let it get any worse. In the meantime I will just have to look half pale and interesting. It’s a look.