I haven’t been able to sit down to write these days. I haven’t had the courage or the time. I think that to my regret, reality has finally hit me. I have cancer and I am afraid. Afraid of dying and afraid of what is to come. Above all, I am afraid of what is to come and I feel grief, a lot of grief. Especially for Samirah. This situation makes me think about what my father must have gone through when my mother died. I think it is a blow from which you can never completely recover. And again, I’m afraid, afraid of not being able to be there with her, encouraging her, telling her that she has to take care of herself, that she shouldn’t go back to smoking again, that she should live and enjoy herself.
I don’t think I’ve ever been loved so much or I’ve never let myself be loved in that way. My wife adores me. Sometimes I wish she would tell me that she is leaving me, that she doesn’t need to go through this. I tell her this and she gets angry. It makes her sad that I tell her that she doesn’t have to go through this, that I’m the one with breast cancer. But then I can’t imagine living through this without her, without her hugs, her holding me, without the warmth that her body always gives off and that comforts me, without her hands holding mine tight. I wish I had not put her in this situation. So young and having to go through this.
My Samirah is a lioness, I know she won’t move from my side for a second and I think I will need her more than ever. I know that I have many people by my side, my family, my aunt, my in laws, my friends, the friends of the family; but to her and only to her I can show the most intimate parts of my weaknesses, my worries and my fears.
Not everything is sadness. We try to live our lives as best we can. Yesterday was a bank holiday. I didn’t have to work, so we were in the terrace most of the day keeping ourselves busy with our plants. Samirah cooked chicken with baked peppers while I did some writing. Today will surely be a similar day, but with a different menu.
The sun has returned and with it, high temperatures. It is twenty-one degrees right now, but there is a refreshing breeze. I am sitting in the terrace. We have a wooden table and also a wooden bench. Our apartment is on the ground floor and faces the street. Two blue and white striped sun screens protect us from the sun and the heat. We have put a red table cloth on the table. It’s a Christmas table cloth, but it doesn’t matter. On the table rests a collection of glass jars in which I have been sowing seeds during the confinement. Thyme, basil and parsley. Yesterday I also added peppers in a larger jar. Every day I take the pots outside to get some morning sun.
Under the table lies the other lion of the house, Otto, a mixture of Labrador and Mastiff. His 46 kilos rest partially on one of my feet. It doesn’t hurt me, he just wants to be close. Especially now that he knows I’m sick, he follows me around and leaves me full of white hair. I’ve never had a dog before and it’s been hard to adjust. He couldn’t be sweeter, but I wasn’t used to all the hair and the smell. Samirah loves him and he loves her. A few days ago she told me that if anything happens to me, she won’t be with another person again, but she will have an Otto II, an Otto III and so on until she dies too. I have breast cancer, yes, but I’m also very lucky.
Today, for the first time in 48 days, we are allowed to go for a walk together. Until yesterday it was forbidden to go out except for basic activities, such as shopping or work, and we had to go out alone. We got up early because we can only go out together from six to ten in the morning and in the evening from eight to eleven. As today is the first day, we think that it is going to be crazy, so we prefer to get up early. Around 8.30, the three of us went for a walk in the country side. I hope I can keep doing this, because it’s something I miss a lot and it cheers me up and keeps me healthier. Walking, besides some stretching I do several times a week, is the only exercise I do. It’s amazing how much this stupid virus has taught us to value the little things. Maybe we were the stupid ones though.
Besides being able to continue doing some physical activity, I am very concerned about my diet. I want to stay as strong as possible. On Thursday I went to see a nutritionist. She told me that we were going to have to change the way I eat a little bit. According to her, we should reduce the sugars as much as possible, because they are food for the tumor. I had already read something about this. I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to eat, because she said she would send me a nutritional plan and she hasn’t done that yet. I suppose that little by little I will be adapting my life to this new reality.