Sunday September 11th, 2011

A Swimming Competition and Holy Communion

  A slight mix up with repeat prescriptions means that I am short of morphine tablets, and I am at a swimming competition today.

I did not take any morphine tablets last night. Despite that, I got a reasonable night's sleep. This morning, my hip is uncomfortable but not a actually painful, so should make sure that I don't try to do anything silly.

By just after 9am, we are at the pool. I have taken up a position in one of the alcoves on pool side; a spot deliberately chosen to be away from where most of the activity takes place, but in ethernet range of the Meet Management system and with a good view of the start and finish.

It is going to be very frustrating watching other people set up and run the competition, but I don't have much option. Chris and Ken Moore are doing a splendid job in getting all the wiring in before the swimmers arrive.

I am supposed to be just sitting quietly. Maybe, I should count the number of times I get up. On second thoughts maybe not .. Sue will get annoyed. I just reached 8, but I am not counting, honest.

Lots of people are coming to talk to me, many of whom are telling me that they are reading this blog. That is very gratifying and gives me some incentive to keep it up and to record how I really feel.

So now comes a confession. When I was 60, I received a routine bowel cancer testing kit. I kept putting it off and never actually got round to doing it. When I got my first diagnosis, I managed to convince myself that it was all my own fault and that it would have been picked up by the screen. Now that I know it is not bowel cancer, I am very relieved. BUT if YOU reach that age and get a screening kit through the post, make sure you use it.

Warm up for the competition is well underway. Just goes to prove that everyone can cope without me!

Despite the relatively low level of entries, the pool hall looks comfortably full. It feels good to be back on the side of a pool, even if I am only watching. Part way through the morning session. I am actually doing something, calculating overall results.

My computer has just crashed. Most of the results I put in so far have been lost! I wanted to get back towards normality. Thank you, Microsoft.

We finished the competition at around 4pm, by which time I was pretty tired and was making some silly mistakes. My hip was beginning to ache. I did have a reasonably comfortable seat, but it didn't provide all the support I needed.

Back home, I was able to relax and start thinking about preparing to go to church. Barbara Penney, who is involved with both swimming club and St. Mary's reported that Sue and I were mentioned in prayers at the morning service today. It is very comforting to know that people are continuing to pray for us.

Thinking back to the swimming competition today, it gave me an opportunity to face a lot more people for the first time since my diagnosis. There were some people who seemed to avoid me, but mostly people came over to chat and to tell me how well I am looking. Next time I meet these people, conversations will be much more natural. Universally people are telling me that I look much younger with very short hair. I think I have decided to keep it like this when all this is over.

Getting ready to go anywhere still takes me a lot longer than it used to. Just putting socks on takes a long time, so I needed to allow about 20 minutes to get ready to go out to Church, and I do have medication to take before we go out.

The Church Service was Communion, the first time that I have taken Communion since my diagnosis. I left church feeling fit and uplifted. One verse from a 19th century hymn particularly stayed with me:

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
no merit of my own I claim,
but wholly trust in Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand -
all other ground is sinking sand.

Yesterday, two members of our church house group got married. The flowers left in the church were magnificent.