"And if I only could
I'd make a deal with God
And I'd get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building
Say, if I only could." ~ Kate Bush
in 1985, Kate Bush explained the meaning of this song: "It's about a relationship between a man and a woman. They love each other very much, and the power of the relationship is something that gets in the way. It creates insecurities. It's saying if the man could be the woman and the woman the man, if they could make a deal with God, to change places, that they'd understand what it's like to be the other person and perhaps it would clear up misunderstandings. You know, all the little problems; there would be no problem."
"And I think it would lead to a greater understanding. And really the only way I could think it could be done was either... you know, I thought a deal with the devil, you know. And I thought, 'well, no, why not a deal with God!' You know, because in a way it's so much more powerful the whole idea of asking God to make a deal with you."
Well, I don't want to swap places with anyone right now but I have been thinking recently that I might have. If the cancer I was diagnosed with last September had not been caught so early; if I'd had to have chemotherapy and lost all my hair; if I had been facing a more uncertain future; if I'd not had the support and love of my family to prop me up as I navigated the alien world of cancer treatment...
It's so good to not want to swap places with anyone, don't you think? To be happy with who you are and where you're at in life. Having breast cancer has deepened my gratitude and enabled me come to terms with my mortality. It's helped me so much, and I feel lucky to have been given the chance to learn these lessons without the disease taking everything from me at this point in my life.
I'm starting radiotherapy in a couple of weeks, which is amazingly less scary than it sounds. I went for my preliminary appointment this week and was marked with tiny tattoos forming a triangle on my body so the radiologist can position me exactly right each time I go in for a blast. Each of the fifteen sessions takes only 10 minutes, and apart from some fatigue and skin burn, there are no major side effects. I'll always have those little tattoos though.
Lying on the radiotherapy "bed" on Wednesday, as I was being marked up by the doctor, I closed my eyes and imagined I was lying on a tropical beach (cancer hospitals are inordinately hot). I meditated for a few minutes and felt completely calm. I am so grateful that I learnt this practice and am able to apply it to help get me through situations like this.
Going back to Kate's Running Up That Hill, I am booked onto the Sheffield Half Marathon on March 26th but it's likely I won't be able to do it due to radiotherapy fatigue. So this weekend, I will be running my own private half marathon with my fiancé by my side on his bike. It's important to me that I tick it off, even if it's not the official one that I was supposed to be doing. I may prove to be a miracle of science and also run the Sheffield Half but if not, at least I've got one in this year.
Another lesson I've learned over the years - go with the flow. Do not resist what is. Work with what you've got...
Lots of love,
Lucy xx 😘