Once again, I start my blog post by lamenting the fact that I have, once more, failed in my intention to post regularly. I do mean to post, but I seem to find that I run out of time and, combined with my rubbish memory, this results in me giving myself a (metaphorical) slap on the forehead and uttering a Homer Simpson-esque "Doh!" as I realise that I've failed in my blogging mission.
However, today I find myself in the lucky position of having time and having remembered - this may not be quite so lucky for you, having to read my meandering thoughts!
The coincidence of date - this came to mind on January 13th this year, when Neil, Adam and I were climbing Helvellyn in the Lake District. We had persuaded Adam to come out with us. He's not a natural climber and hasn't taken advantage of being on the edge of the beautiful Lake District by going out and exploring those glorious mountains, so we were really pleased we managed to get him out with us. Hopeful that our day would inspire him to get out and enjoy those hills, we set off in snow and with ice underfoot. For the first hour, he was not too happy but soon he began to enjoy it and was striding forth confidently. Unfortunately, on the way down, he strode forth a bit too confidently, slipped on some ice and landed heavily on his right arm. He had obviously done something to it, as he couldn't bend it and was quite clearly in some considerable pain, so after we got off the mountain, Adam drawing in his breath every time he stumbled on some rough ground and sometimes yelping with pain, we went straight to A & E at Carlisle Hospital. An x-ray later, we were told he might have a fracture at the elbow but it was hard to tell, so he was strapped up in a fetching blue velcro sling and told to return to the fracture clinic the next day. Luckily, it turned out not to be broken, just badly bruised!
January 13th? In 2012, I was having my monthly check-up at the Marsden, not yet officially in remission, and my consultant found a suspiciously soft gland. Long wait for an ultrasound scan and a week later I was told there was nothing wrong. Even so, it was enough to bring back those feelings of helplessness, uncertainty, fear and lack of control I had experienced for so much of 2011 for that week of waiting.
I think next January 13th, I shall remain indoors and encourage the rest of my family to do the same!!
I know, I know it's bad luck to be superstitious, but even so.....
In other news, I am still working two days a week in London - I have really enjoyed this piece of project work. It's been great to use my brain and to feel I am making a difference and I have really missed the office buzz, the conversations while waiting for the kettle to boil, the planning, decision making, thinking process and the opportunity to make suggestions. Two days a week feels about right to me - that, with my one day a week volunteering at the wonderful Orpheus Centre, is about all I have stamina for at the moment.
I find this lack of stamina quite disappointing. I had hoped that, by now, I would be much nearer the stamina levels I had before I got ill. My friend, who herself is in remission from cancer, had said to me right from the start that it would take two years or thereabouts to get back to similar levels, but I did hope I would get there a bit early! I guess I have to remember that it's only 17 months since that gruelling treatment finished and only about a year since I started eating properly again, so all in all, perhaps I'm not doing too badly. I just miss that sense of having energy to spare, that need to do something to use up the spare energy. Instead, I find myself falling asleep on the train home from work, having almost hallucinations in that half-asleep-half-awake state so that I wonder if I am in some strange parallel universe. I don't remember getting this tired before being ill. Will it get better? I am trying to do the right things. I eat healthily, I exercise regularly, I sleep as much as I can, I drink lots of water - what more can I do?
Still, I'm alive, I'm doing so much more than even 6 months ago and I have my wonderful family and friends giving me constant support. I hope they feel I am giving something back to them too.