Question: What do you do the day after you have been told you probably have cancer, when physically you feel the same as you did the day before, but mentally you are somewhat screwy?
Answer: Go shopping.
Or at least that was the answer that came to mind for me. At the point of life being so rudely interrupted, with an unspecified amount of time about to be spent having some as yet undecided treatment or other, I came to a sudden realisation… (drumroll please)
I didn’t have any clothes that were suitable for having cancer.
Clearly, my current wardrobe of skinny jeans, tight fitting tops and skirts/dresses with tights just weren’t going to cut it in the lead up and aftermath of whatever was about to happen. And if there was ever an excuse for buying new clothes, surely having cancer had to be quite a solid one.
So – I needed new clothes. Obviously these clothes needed to be comfy and loose-fitting. Most importantly for me, they needed to be COLOURFUL; if there’s one thing I love, it’s a colourful print. Having cancer treatment would not turn me monochrome.
The very next day after my aborted colposcopy (more about that here) I dragged a kind friend along with me to the local shopping centre. Not quite sure what I wanted, we headed to Uniqlo. Amongst some soft, baggy Heat tech tops it suddenly struck me that what I needed more than anything was LOUNGE PANTS.
Why lounge pants are so amazing (in this case):
- they are baggy (especially in the crotch area!);
- they are soft;
- they have stretchy waistbands;
- they fit over compression stockings (very important);
- they are easy to wash;
- they come in lots of colours;
- they come in lots of PRINTS!!!
Following that first trip, I became a regular visitor to the shopping centre over the next week or so. I like to think I was almost something of a local attraction, wandering around buying lounge wear and crying intermittently. In that time I managed to buy four (fabulous) pairs of lounge pants; the best I found were Uniqlo Drape Pants and H&M Jersey Trousers. (And, if you are interested, the H&M Jersey Trousers are the best to wear over a catheter bag as they are baggier around the thighs. But I’ll come back to that another time.)
In fact, my lounge pants habit became so severe that the day after I had a biopsy and examination under general anaesthetic (which I will explain somewhere else), I forced my boyfriend into driving me down to the shopping centre for “just one more pair” (the navy ones). Oh, it seemed SO vital at the time. Crucial lounge wear achieved, I started to feel decidedly off colour before we got back into the car. Long-suffering boyfriend had to pull over on a red route metres away from the end of our road so I could be sick. Parking up as close as he could, he ran back to find me doubled over in the middle of the pavement emptying the contents of my stomach. He gently tried to usher me to a more discreet area away from the main road. Like some crazed drunkard, I palmed him off, staggering slightly while shouting “I pay my council tax!”.
Apologies to the Wandsworth Council worker who had to clean up my sick. Of course I realise now that it is NOT what I am paying council tax for.
Caroline Crimson x