Saturday 5 March 2016

Thought Picnic: Looking ahead

Each waking day is a blessing, the way I see things differs from the way I once saw things. That dividing line sits at the point when the reality of my situation was quantified as having just 5 weeks left to live after a cancer diagnosis.
In other blogs, I have written about the choices I had and the advice I was given, in that if I did not respond well to the treatment being offered, I probably had no other options but one of slipping away. I survived and have counted over six years since I heard that news.
Yet, I struggle within myself about what lies ahead of me, it is a difficult battle, a mind in flux seeking a calmness and sense of ease whilst aware that things are not what they used to be.
At my last medical consultation which was almost a month ago, I was both unhappy and dissatisfied, I normally write about these visits, but I let this pass.
In the space of 4 years, my medical file has seen 4 hospitals and for all the appointments I have had since returning to the UK, apart from in Wales, I have not had the pleasure of seeing my assigned consultant on two visits in a row. In fact, I have seen everyone who works in the department and each conversation requires going over what I had done many times before.
For a condition that I have been promised will be tackled as soon as possible, and that was three years ago, I only finally got an appointment to commence treatment in a few weeks. I guess it came down to telling the consultant on my last visit that I am quite well aware of my mortality if they decide not to do anything soon.
Now, I do not want to dice with death or have it daily occupy my thoughts, I love the things I do and would love to enjoy life more without having a medical sword of Damocles hanging over my head.
Then, the reality is, after cancer, life ahead has two perspectives, one of recognised vulnerability and the other of new opportunity, and you have to live both.
I have seen friends afflicted with fates much worse than mine and seen people go out to try new things as if they bathe in a pool of inexhaustible youth and pleasure. It becomes a quest that no matter how good the past was, better days should be ahead.
I want to celebrate the joy of living, the happiness of laughter, the warmth of love and the experience of amazing wonder in people and in nature. Ahead in the uncertain is that one should live like the end is nigh and then live like the tomorrows will have no end.
What to expect from the next line of treatment is not clear, but I hope I have the fortitude and stoicism to face it even better than when I had chemotherapy coursing through my veins.
If I get to sigh, it is one that says, whilst we are living, let’s live and live well.

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