Tuesday 13 August 2013

Thought Picnic: If you lived my life, what will you do?

A typical ethereal tiff
I woke up this morning from an altogether strange but not unusual dream, which involved a shouting match with my mother where I bluntly told her she was not invited to my funeral.
Shocking as this might seem, too many unresolved conflicts between my parents and I play themselves out in my dreams with a regularity that has become the norm, though this vision was a bit scarier by reason of the fact that I could see myself wasting away, everyone seemingly aware that a certain time was drawing near.
Changes for a new perspective
Now, I am under no illusions about my health, it is as fine as it can be but after cancer, there are no assurances of tomorrow but the day you are in to make the best of what you have, whilst you have it and enjoy life.
The transfer of my medical care is also underway from the Netherlands through a brief stint in Wales to London where a battery of tests have been conducted but I will not be any wiser of the results until my appointment next week, I will be meeting my new consultant and we will be having a chat as to what the bloods have to say this time.
Bloods away
I walked into the hospital and within minutes the phlebotomist called me in, asked for my date of birth and turning to the keyboard punched in some information to retrieve data indicating what other tests need to be run, I took the opportunity to step on the weighing scales, I have not lost much, I think, probably 4kg and that is not due to any strenuous exercise.
I gave 4 vials of blood and then I asked to speak to someone about psychological and social support. We sometimes forget that beyond addressing physical health after a life-threatening disease, there are serious adjustment issues that follow requiring a more professional angle than positive thinking, stoicism and a stiff upper lip, believe me, I have got lots of those three, but one needs to know when to ask for help – it is not a sign of weakness, it is just an expression of deep humanity.
Don’t worry about it
A nurse I spoke to almost 2 months ago came out to chat to me asking about the help I needed, I told her about my seeking new employment, my pending homelessness – well that is not for another week and other concerns.
I say concerns, not worries because I have learnt over times of almost debilitating adversity that worry solves nothing, it holds no magic wand of sudden change to the prevailing circumstances, rather it opens wide the doors for stress and that opens wider gates to other more serious health problems – I know I’ve had my share of those, I need no new ones – thank you.
No, I am not worried, I could be anxious but I cannot dwell on that, what I do is consider what new useful advice I can get and keep my chin up, as every day presents itself both as a struggle and as a victory, life could be better but it is not bad.
Miscellaneous matters
As if to read my mind, the nurse observing my furrowed brow despite the beaming smile was intimated of the fact that I have not really been eating well, not for the lack of an appetite but for other reasons. In short order, I will be seeing a psychologist, then a support network and finally my new medical consultant.
She has assured me that if all those meetings fail to address the prevailing and long term issues, whatever they are doing to help their patients would have to be up for review.
As to whether I am suicidal, you have got to be kidding, I love life and I live it to the full, when I have plenty and when I have nothing.
One small matter of getting nourishment beckons but choices desert me. Here’s to life and here’s to joy, even when it seems there is nothing to celebrate, there is much to celebrate still.
I sometimes wonder, if another one lived my life in the realities I have experienced, what will they do? I will like to hear their story, I might just be doing something wrong.

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