Over the last few months I’ve been rehearsing for a play. Tonight is the opening night and I won’t be on stage.
That may seem like a strange reason to be grateful but let me explain.
I’ve always enjoyed acting – that chance to get up on a stage and be someone completely different, to move and entertain an audience. Since having children I’ve not been able to do much, so I was dead pleased to be cast in the ensemble for this play back in June. Then, before even the first rehearsal, we got the positive screening result for MPS. By the second cast workshop, we’d heard that it was MPS II and Pudding was started on enzyme replacement. At that point I was hopeful that come the performance weeks we would no longer be travelling to Manchester; I knew that I would struggle to perform after one of those exhausting days, let alone having the worry of getting back on time.
Rehearsals were not always easy; sometimes it felt like the difficulties of the battle scenes were echoing my own struggles and more than once I had to go and find a quiet corner. But unlike my life at the moment, acting is generally much more predictable – you stand where you’re told to stand, say your lines and someone responds. Sometimes things go a bit wrong, but we work together to cover a missed line or awkward entry. And for a few hours each week I was doing something for me. Something unrelated to development targets, treatments and worries about the future. So when it became clear that home infusions wouldn’t be able to start as early as I’d hoped, there seemed to be no other option but to pull out of the cast.
But the wonderful director told me we could find a way around it. Other cast members are taking over my lines and actions on the nights I can’t be there, and once again I get to be part of something special. On stage I won’t be a Hunters Mum. I’ll be a noble, a soldier, an attendant, a munition worker. Not tonight, but certainly tomorrow, and for that I am grateful.
So thank you, Lasses, and all the crew. Hopefully you all know how much this means to me.