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I’m Good I Say

May 17, 2017

It’s a natural social thing to ask ‘How are you?’ when we meet with friends. ‘I’m fine’ I say out of habit, then I get given the quizzical look. So I’ve stopped saying ‘I’m fine’ and say ‘I’m good’ instead. I’m not fine really. But I am feeling good, happy, calm, hopeful and as positive as I can be. Somebody asked if having cancer has made me reflective? That caught me out, and hi-vis jackets immediately sprung to mind, not very gracious of me. No, it hasn’t made me reflective. It’s made me appreciative of the good, and dismissive of the bad. Time is short, why dwell?

I get told a lot of stories about other cancer patients, it seems to come with the territory. I’m an insider now. I don’t mind discussing it at all. But I latch on to the stories with happy endings, and there are plenty of them to keep my hopes up. But if the story has a sad ending, my blood momentarily runs cold. I have to gather myself up again, re-focussing like a lens searching for a hard edge to latch on to. I need to get back that image of myself here in five or ten years time – it can be elusive.

Even though I’ve arrived at some sort of equilibrium through the three-weekly routine of chemo and recovery, I still cry ridiculously easily, sitting as I am on the tightrope between a long life and a severely shortened one. Manda weeps if Maddy strokes her head, and Manda is the strong one for us all. I can cry when I see kids playing in the park, so full of energy and promise. I cry if friends say they love me. I’ve stopped telling myself to get a grip, it doesn’t work. The line between braveness and despair is wafer thin, and I accept that.

Weekends away are our fun time off – a physical detachment and welcome distraction from our daily home concerns. I love the journey almost as much as being there, wherever it is we’re heading. The images below are from a visit to Eleanor and Alex in Bristol. We are tourists, and tourists do bus trips into town, and boat trips along the harbour side, and drink coffee in trendy bars. Bristol is a city on the move with rapid gentrification everywhere. It’s a fabulous place, but I’m still drawn to the grungy side. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

23 Comments
Jo
11:12 May 23, 2017

Another beautifully crafted, moving, blog. Steve, you truly are an inspiration to us all. X

sara
20:27 May 21, 2017

Steve this is beautiful photos, words all of it. We loved the random pair of gorgeous pink tighted legs in the boat! xx

Martin Family
20:21 May 21, 2017

Thanks Steve, lovely images too sir!

Juliet
17:15 May 20, 2017

I love your photos Steve and your blog posts are inspiring. You, Amanda and your beautiful girls are in our thoughts and prayers

Bridget
14:32 May 19, 2017

Steve, your photography is as gorgeous as ever. You are a beautiful man. x

Katja
22:21 May 18, 2017

Thanks Steve for these posts. Its really good to know a little of what is happening in your world and it must be difficult to express it sometimes to the world but you do it so beautifully. You stand at a place that few people could comprehend or articulate. Its so painful yet so sacred and so powerful also. All your feelings and experiences are important and valid and allowed. Thank you for sharing. We continue to send our love and healing and blessings and well wishes from all of us and to all of you. Much love xxx

Susie
15:13 May 18, 2017

Love your words, love your photos, love you- you're an inspiration to us all xx

    Steve
    15:55 May 18, 2017

    Stop it, you're making me cry! xx

Nick Havas
07:25 May 18, 2017

Steve, I've always admired you work, you know that, you've seen it hanging on my walls at home. Now I also admire your words, your honesty and your way of seeing things. Keep writing and keep shooting. Love to you all xx N

Caron
22:17 May 17, 2017

This made we cry and smile and let out a long sigh it's that good. This book is going to be a good companion to so many

Leanne
21:49 May 17, 2017

Beautifully described Steve. Though Phil has nicked both my words and sentiments AND made me cry. Bravo darling boy. Stay strong, though it's your privilege to be as needy as you want to be. Xx love as always. X

Vie Spence
18:55 May 17, 2017

Hey Mr S, I'm sat on the boat, rain beating down overhead, a brew in hand. Embracing the moment, I find myself smiling at so many of your words, your exceptance, the desire to cry, the embracing of everything good. Hold onto the hope, enjoy the moments so many don't see, be you, trust your judgement and keep posting your images. A huge Viester hug young man and your gorgeous wife and girls, for this journey is theirs too xxx

Stephefox@gmail.com
18:53 May 17, 2017

Dear Steve I was so touched by words.. Truly lovely and inspiring. I am sorry I have not caught up with you.. I have been bogged down in my ongoing parental issues. Profound apologies. You write in the same beautiful way as you capture your images on camera. ??

Bob Owen
17:27 May 17, 2017

Warm and thoughtful as ever Steve, lovely images.

Giles Penfound
13:03 May 17, 2017

love your words and pictures Steve and I too have some words of wisdom to share, not my own of course but provided by that titan of comedy Rik Mayall - as Rick in the Young Ones - "Dirty undies clean botty" I know this has absolutely no relevance whatsoever but neither does bum & willies! love and hugs and very scrummy squishy things... Giles

    Steve
    13:04 May 17, 2017

    Excellent, Giles, I thoroughly approve!

Paula Beavis
12:21 May 17, 2017

I find reading your blog very lifting, you and your family are truly special people. I wish that more people had your positive approach to life in general. I would love to get to know you all more and see more of your photography. Hope you have something nice planned for this weekend and look forward to seeing more of your blogs.

    Steve
    13:13 May 17, 2017

    That would be lovely Paula. This weekend will be post-chemo, so lots of rest, but the following weekends are all for having fun and taking pictures!

Yasmin
10:54 May 17, 2017

Wonderful and positive. I promise not to share sad endings. (sorry)

Krishanthi
10:35 May 17, 2017

Dear Steve, we think of you often and what your family is going through; I have high hopes for you!!! Thank you for sharing your progress and journey, as ever with positivity and light xxx

Neale James
10:26 May 17, 2017

Steve, this photography thing... now there's a title for a book... this photography thing, I'd say there's a catharsis to it, and I'm looking forward to reading more stories. x

Phil
10:09 May 17, 2017

You, Steve, are "good" one of the few good men and a valued and fabulous friend, your honesty about you is heart wrenching and I see your photos as comment on your feelings. We are here (lots of us I reckon) to stand beside and around you - OUR hero, OUR Steve and we stand beside and around your loved ones, Manda, Maddy and Elly.....I know that words are transient and I trust your blog will be read and the photos admired as much as the words attached to them. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and with them your photos attached to the blog, we are the ones gaining strength from you sir and I admire you for that giving. X

    Claire
    13:38 May 17, 2017

    I could not put it better than Phil. So looking forward to seeing you soon, when I know there will be hugs and tears x

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