Who would have thought that I would be writing and sharing stories about my life that included cancer. I have always had the deepest respect for those close to me who have had their lives unhinged by a cancer diagnosis or the loss of a loved one. Some have undergone long, unending suffering and some have literally taken my breath away with how suddenly it has taken them. My perspective has of course shifted and if I ever showed a slightly nonchalant attitude towards someone’s story about cancer, believe me when I say, I will never be the same again.
I have so much to say and my stories will probably jump around a lot and may seem confusing, but for today, I will write about …today!
Walking in the rain is one of my favourite things to do and it just so happened that I had a day planned with one of my favourite people.
I will tell you briefly about how I came to meet the incredible Sophie Matthew and if I run out of space in this blog, I will share a special story of hers in another. I met her at an audition for Nine To Five which she was helping cast…multi-talented is our Sophie. I remember her being so lovely and friendly and calming. I met her again at an auditon for Bananaman and she read opposite me and was again….just lovely!! One day, many months later, I walked into the rehearsal room for the UK tour of Summer Holiday and there before me was Sophie. We didn’t join the dots till later, but we both acknowledged that we seemed familiar to one another. I joked that we probably knew one another in a past life…which I am now convinced is true 🙂 I thank Racky Plews, our director, for casting me as Sophie’s horrendous mother Stella. Red bus……yes!!!!! Private joke, sorry..
So for the next 6 months we would tour all around the UK, share a dressing room (mostly), tell stories..and also tell stories, laugh and the best of all – I got to shout at her and push her around the stage. That makes for incredibly good bonding and a life long friendship. Hopefully you have a lovely picture in your head because she is a perfect picture to me.
And now I need to quickly shift the focus a little and back track for those who know me and have followed a little of my journey on facebook. I posted about my first surgery in October which was relativley straight forward and successful – to a point. I then had a second surgery in December which was a single mastectomy with immediate reconstruction which I am happy to say, I am in my 8th week of recovery and it is all healing beautifully. I will write about these at some point, but what led to our outing today is the next unfoldment of my journey which involves chemotherapy and I have a lot to write about that particular subject, but not today.
So now, back to the day. Sophie and I met and walked in the rain arm in arm to a place that was recommended for wigs. While I’m on chemo I will be using something called a cold cap which has been successful for many women so you can hold on to your hair. It’s incredible to me that this option even exists! As I’m an actress and extremely passionate about my career, I’ve chosen this option so that hopefully I can jump back in after my treatment and carry on as before. It’s not a pleasant experience I’m told, but worth a try and in case, for some reason it doesn’t work, Sophie and I have chosen two rather spunky wigs..one is particularly on the spunky side.
So, on World Cancer Day, I share this story with you and I salute every person that has been touched by cancer. One thing I know is that cancer brings people closer together. I am thankful for my lovely “daughter” Sophie, who has been supportive since I was diagnosed on the Summer Holiday tour. Thank you sweetheart for sharing your precious time with me today to make sure that my head is covered and if you ever need me Sophie….I’ve got your back!! X