Sunday, 24 November 2013
In the healing weeks post mastectomy, before the onslaught of chemo, my sister and I went shopping for the hats and scarves I knew were to become my headwear of necessity . No acrylic itchy wigs for me; rather soft silks, warm wools; plain, patterned and carefully turbaned .... my choices in which to swathe my head and hide FEC's poisoned touch.
We had a glorious time, and stumbled upon the perfect item, a scarf of skulls and roses, artfully printed so at first glance the skulls appeared to be buds hiding in amongst the leaves. It became my talisman, to be worn at every chemo session to keep black thoughts at bay. It made me smile to think that in this place where the tussle with death was played out amongst the young and the old, I would carry death's symbol as a totem .
When my veins gave up, shrinking and stiffening at the thought of bright red toxins, and my Hickman line was introduced; I bought skeleton tees, soft against this new scar, further talismans against my stumbling body and an immune system which had all but ceased to function.
Now I am firmly back in the land of the living, I still find myself drawn to the skulls and bones that saw me through those dark difficult days.
My Charlie Chaplin and skeleton mariachi tees add gentle humour to dull day outfits, their quiet significance lost on those around me; and my scarves no longer turbaned round a smooth bald scalp, nestle cozily around my neck on those days when my bones ache and the cold seeps into my very core.
I found a bird skull ring for sale on the internet today.....just one more piece for the collection, perhaps.....