Once I returned home, I was pleasantly surprised at the pain levels that lopping off your boob induces. In fact, it reiterated to me once again, just how massive an accident I had the previous year. With the accident, even lifting the duvet was painful, and I cannot begin to describe the level of pain brought on by a sneeze. This pain on the other hand, was manageable, and after a couple of days of paracetamol, I found myself able to start moving and getting out for some fresh air.
Once again, the tribe of people around me were tremendous. I came home to find an apartment which had been hurriedly and beautifully cleaned, because no-one had expected me out so early, cupboards full of organic food and people checking up on me so often that I began to get an inkling of how the Queen must feel when staying at Buckingham Palace.
My personal circumstances were also put into perspective with the horrific murder of PC Andrew Harper in the UK that week. He was a close friend of family members, who had attended his wedding just weeks before. When something like that happens, a young man’s life taken away so brutally and suddenly you realise just how lucky you are. Sat on my sofa, I have a great chance to prosper and survive, a chance that this young man will never have, and that is not something to be taken lightly.
This was also the longest time I had been away from my son and much as he drives me mad 99% of the time, I did miss him terribly..He is delightful and exasperating in equal measure but I also realised that having that period of recuperation, when who knew what was left to come, was well worth it in the long run.
The low points…
There were also down moments during this week, in that there was the stark realisation that life had now taken a very different path. People talk about having a life ‘before’ and after’ cancer. Once you have a cancer diagnosis, and knowing that if you get through it, it can rear its head at you on a whim further down the road, living for right now becomes, possibly trite, but exactly right.
We have become far more aware that recurrences do happen. In that sense, life becomes a currency, and it is no longer a case of not knowing what you will be doing in your seventies or eighties, but much more a case of working towards getting through the next ten years, then no doubt, when and if you make it to there, hoping and trying to get through the following five.