Saturday 5th November, 2011

Everything in perspective - upbeat again
  Before going to sleep last night, I prayed that God would help me put everything into perspective.

I had the best night's sleep for ages. I only had to get up twice in the night and slept solidly until past 8am. I did pay for it with lots of aches .. a hot shower worked wonders.

On several occasions, I have mentioned the 19 year old girl up the road with the persistent infection. Over the last two weeks, there has been lots of good news. The infection has cleared up and she has been a university place in October 2012 and is beginning to plan her life again.  Her father now feels able to leave her on her own during the day and to return to work.

This morning, I got an update from her dad, where seemed discouraged because her consultant had warned her that it would be 6 weeks before the wound would finally heal and she would be able to start serious exercise.

This reminded me of my negative feelings last night, where a relatively minor set-back caused me to feel irrationally down.

This helped me get to grips with my own feelings and I felt able to respond to the e-mail with an account of my own experience, and what I did to put things into perspective.

I realised this morning that it was important to consider my situation today with the starting point a couple of months age, rather than getting depressed by comparing one day with the previous one.

Tiredness. My body is having to cope with the effect of some really nasty chemicals. My doctor warned me that some of the effects are cumulative and I am just entering week 2 of the cycle, when I should expect to be tired.

My hip. When I started, I was in a wheel chair and the pain was keeping me awake at night. Now I have mild discomfort and I am sleeping well. I am walking around the house without a stick or crutches. It is only when I want to walk a relatively long distance that I need to take crutches. [When I have my crutches, I feel justified in using disabled toilets, which are universally cleaner and more pleasant that the normal ones].

My digestive system. When I started, I had severe constipation and a lot of real pain. Now, I get occasional discomfort/pain, and mostly when I try to reduce the dose of the laxatives I am taking, and it is always short lived and relaxing in a reclining chair always relieves the symptoms.

Prognosis. When I started, my prognosis was pretty bad. Now I am looking forward to the future with confidence and have just booked flights for a meeting in San Francisco and a holiday in Hawaii.

Given this context .. there really is no excuse to feel down. That is just self-indulgence.

This morning, I did some more work on arrangements for the South East Region 2012 Swimming Championships and then Sue and I went out for lunch at The Hatch. It was rather busy, so the food took a relatively long time to arrive. There was a family on a nearby table who got really stressed about this and were really quite unpleasant to the duty manager. We realised that we have learned patience over the last few months and just accepted how long it took. We both had splendid mixed grills. Our only comment is that British Chefs don't know how to cook steak. Because I am in the second week of my chemo cycle, I have to avoid anything that might cause an infection and that includes red meat, so I ordered my steak "medium". It came back "well done".

In the afternoon, I just accepted that I was tired and relaxed in front of the TV for a couple of hours, dozing occasionally. I spent the early evening in front of my PC, but my digestive system was giving me problems.

The highlight of the evening .. the first edition of Match of the Day to be broadcast in High Definition. When I mentioned this, Sue described me as "very sad".