Friday, 30 September 2011

Enjoying the journey again

Having slumped through the middle chapters tying up loose ends and travelling with my heroes through the story, we're back on familiar ground, and I am able to re-use (although still rewrite) scenes and chapters. Which is exciting, and has pushed the book on to 52k words, which is more than halfway (I hope).

I'm also reflecting on the last four weeks, when I haven't blogged much because I was in a strange place. I have had a painful back since last December, which I expected to follow its normal healing course. It improved, then got worse again, twice. Finally, it just got stuck, and before my GP could send me off to see a surgeon, she had to run some tests to rule out serious illnesses, like, say myeloma. The tests came back positive.

Well, that's just a few blood tests, and they had to be repeated, and new tests added before ... well, before. So having had the 'hopefully it isn't myeloma' talk from the GP, I was sent home to wait for the weeks it takes for the tests to come back.

My first impulse was to call a friend, brother, daughter, someone, just to talk it over. But ... talk over what, exactly? In the end, my husband and I sat down and talked and thought and talked some more. Myeloma isn't curable, although there are some treatments to delay death. So I looked at the possibility, from the comfortable position of uncertainty, and we found some peace with it. Two years ago, I went to a workshop run by another psychologist called Gill Edwards. She, and other people, have been diagnosed with cancer and chosen not to get on the chemotherapy rollercoaster, and most of them had done better than expected. I would never suggest that anyone refuse treatment, but I wouldn't condemn someone for wanting to control their own destiny.

Anyway, much to my relief, the tests all came back normal. In fact, it's a puzzle for my GP, and the errant test (when it comes back) is almost certain to be normal too. She's very relieved (it must be horrible to deal out bad news) and even more surprised to find that the bad back of nine months started to clear up when I got the first set of tests. Four days later, it was fragile but pain-free and I was walking upright. Maybe the threat of myeloma kick-started my self-healing, self-preservation instincts!

While I was considering mortality, I realised something very important. Yes, I love my children, but they will survive without me. I adore my husband, and would hate to leave him, but he would move on in time. But no-one else can write my book.   

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