After a period of apparent inactivity everything seemed to happen at once today. From nine o’clock onwards I hardly had time to put my phone down. Firstly, and most importantly a call from the surgeons secretary, who had received the referral back from the oncologist – over to you guys! Not that I thought I had been, but it’s reassuring to know I’ve not been abandoned. Even though it’s just two weeks since finishing radiotherapy, it seems a long time. Anyway, they are in the process of organising the scans necessary before we proceed further, and these should be in the week commencing 23rd January 2012. At least I’ve got a date to focus on now. I’ll be waiting for the brown envelopes to drop through the door. Unbeknown to me until today, they are also likely to call me in for, and I use her words, “a look around”. Me that is, not the hospital. Hopefully a short procedure, under general anaesthetic, “Mr S likes to have a look and feel of the tumour”. I’m not sure what to make of this yet, I’m not sure I want to hear bad news at this stage. Oh well, have to wait and see.
It’s no secret that I’ve been having problems, eating, and sleeping. Macmillan have suggested a number of remedies to help with the eating, and I’ve made an appointment to see my GP. I don’t want to go down the sleeping tablet route, but it’s really starting to get to me now. For the first time in my life I have an understanding of what true insomnia feels like. It seems silly that I had to be reminded that I have cancer, and my expectations may be a little too high considering the treatment I have just undergone. It almost felt like a telling off ! I don’t like feeling ill. I don’t like looking ill. I don’t like being ill.
I finally managed to get out of the house today. I’ve tried on a few previous occasions, but the effort of getting ready had left me exhausted before I‘d even got to the door. Today I made it, an achievement in itself. Despite the cold and the wind, I ventured down my normal path to the old railway line.
One week before the solstice and winter has arrived. I was surprised at the amount of water gushing from the surrounding hills into the streams. In the summer you can easily walk across parts of it, using the stones embedded in the ground, no chance of that today. The trees have been stripped, their gnarled twisted branches reaching up to the skyline gasping for the last few minutes of daylight.
It has been 7 weeks since I was last here with Alana, the thought of that bringing me some warmth in the coldness of the late afternoon. I could almost hear her shouts of “Oh Daaaaad” as I crossed the rickety bridge, it never did fall in the river. You can’t buy memories like that. The playground on the journey home was deserted, although I swear I could hear the screaming and chuckling of toddlers. The new Co-op store in Grotton is almost finished, although I suspect it will be new year before it’s open. It is only marginally closer than the existing one in the other direction, but at least it will give me a choice. I have to congratulate the architect and builders in maintaining the art deco look of the building. Not too difficult is it, if just a little thought is put in.
And now I’m home again, tired but happy that I made the effort. Darkness draws in, it only seems a few hours since daytime poked through the drabness of another December morning. I might share a few tunes on Spotify, that have brought me pleasure this week. I need to share them, I can’t keep them all to myself. I get just as much enjoyment knowing other people are enjoying them too. Then it’s a night of TV. This Is England 88 seems a long way off as I write this, but it will be well worth the wait. Every series since the original 2006 film has been gripping and frightening in it’s frankness and darkness. Every cast member deserves an award, but none more so than Vicky McClure, her ability to portray the pain and anger of Lol is deeply moving. Is it a coincidence that the latest series commences as record figures for youth unemployment are announced? The hopelessness of the characters in Shane Meadows drama is another stark reminder of how cruel right wing politics can be, and what little shame the politicians who impose this feel, either now or back in the eighties. It’s a credit to Channel 4 that it is screened in the same week as the equally brilliant Brooker/Huq penned Black Mirror trilogy. The latest – 15 Million Merits- gives a harrowing insight into the effect of technology and TV, provokingly screened on the same night as the X-Factor final, drawing obvious comparisons between the two. The sad part is that I doubt anyone who watched X-Factor would ever think of watching such intelligent broadcasting. I can’t understand how people can moan “there’s nothing on TV” when the art of television is quite clearly alive and thriving.