Am I really here? It's 3.00am and I am blogging from my bed on a ward at York District Hospital because, although I am utterly exhausted, I can't sleep. It feels surreal - like I might wake up and still be going to Wimbledon tomorrow (today actually, as it turns out) with number 3, meeting up with number 1 child and staying with lovely old mate JCB.
But I am here, wearing brand new jammies and some very fetching elasticated knee socks (boy, my feet must pen and ink by now - hot in here!) and there's a drain in my armpit and the unlikely combination of a road accident of bandages, bruising and graffiti on my left breast. On a positive note of course, it - and I - am still here. And I feel ok - which is also good. Of course, sleep might be a possibility if the elderly and very charming bewigged lady opposite didn't snore with the randomness and sheer ferocity of my beloved. I nod off, thinking thoughts of Jonny Wilkinson (a girl must take her pleasures where she may) and then Florence lets out a rip snorter and I'm wide awake again. It is darkly humorous that her wig is pretty much immobile throughout and her mouth is like a letterbox. I may not be finding wigs so full of comedy value in the months to come.
Not going to talk about yesterday though hopefully it's not regarded as rude to drop off mid-sentence to Graham, the anaesthetist. He must get it all the time. Anyway phase 1 of the horribleness completed and I'm waiting now for the consultant to give me the heads up on yesterday's damage limitation exercise.
I am blessed to have truly amazing family and friends. A record-breaking eight texts yesterday morning before 6.30 whilst I was loading tweet deck for Spear Travels, and then a Skype with number 1. My friends have been wonderful, offering loads of support which is what I need now. And my nominated cancer buddy, aka my ladies doubles partner at Ripon and very dear chum, knows exactly what I need. But I don't want this bloody awful event to define me. I want my friends to entertain me with all the usual madness and not dwell on what is happening to me. And most importantly - and sorry if this sounds bossy but if I can't be bossy today when can I? - I don't need to know about anyone else's experience of cancer. I've all on dealing with this and I don't need anyone else's, however kindly meant.
So I don't want to be the woman with breast cancer. I want to continue to be the mother of four fantastic young adults, my beloved's beloved, party animal (did I tell you I went out in thigh boots and hot pants on Saturday?), tennis nut, marketing consultant and her from the Acorn Charity. And if I turn into a cancer bore I rely on you all to tell me!
Not quite the mother and son day I had intended but numbers 3 and 1 having a ball at Wimbledon. Excellent!