Friday 19th August 2011

39th Wedding Anniversary

The IBM garden at Basingstoke Hotel.
  Our 39th Wedding Anniversary and clearly mixed emotions.

I got out of bed at 7:45am and had a very refreshing shower. Mobility much better than for a couple of weeks. Nice breakfast with brewed coffee.

Despite the fact that I had to go back to hospital, I felt really upbeat.

For the first time all week, I started to think about life other than just moving from chair to chair.

Life is going to be different, but will go on. I just need to work out how to make the best of it.

I am starting to think about things that we can do. I got a message from American Airlines confirming that our flights to Fort Lauderdale in December have been upgraded. We have a Panama Canal Cruise booked. Normality!

Back to hospital for a biopsy at around 2:30pm and then back home until treatment starts. I managed to walk to the car with relative ease. Back in the ward, I was able to collect E-mail including a lot more supportive messages.

By the end of the week, I have realised how important keeping contract with people is and in particular, how much value I have been greeting from this tablet computer, which is much more practical than a full PC, and the motivating impact of being able to receive E-mail. The combination of my  Xoom and the 3 Mifi has kept me occupied wonderfully.

The weather looked beautiful from my chair, so I decided to go for a walk to the IBM garden. A bit of a challenge, with stiff muscles, but the stick helped. It was wonderful to sit out in the sun with my book for 15 minutes. I was very tired when I got back to my bed, but it only took a few minutes to recover .. another encouraging sign.

Sue returned after a counselling session with Caroline West at St. Mary's. It is very comforting for me to know that Sue has got the support of St. Mary's surrounding her. They looked at Psalm 5 with a focus on prayer. I found the same psalm valuable later in the day.

The main reason for being in hospital was an extended scan to check whether the cancer has spread upwards into the chest region and a biopsy to take some tissue from the growth on my pelvis.

Although not comfortable, lying on my stomach for 15 minutes, this was not painful. In fact the doctor seemed to take an immense amount of care. Nothing will now happen until next week, when the tissue samples are analysed, so hopefully I will be released shortly, but that depends on getting drugs ready.

Eventually we got home. I have a whole tray of drugs. I need to keep them under control. Sitting down watching TV, I had probably the lowest moment of the week. The reality of what is happening to me started to bear down very heavily. I shared it with Sue (why have I just taken her for granted for so long). A few minutes chat and holding hands was enough to pull me back up.

I finished the evening by processing some photos from Center Parcs, handling a couple of emails and reading the bible. I got to bed around 12:45 and got a great night's sleep.