Teaching myself to have faith in what will be

About now I should be anxiously waiting for that coin to flip on heads (doesn’t everyone choose heads?).  But I am not.  At least not this month.  And I can’t help wondering whether I made the right decision.

During my last visit to my liver surgeon (the spare one, tucked up my waistband where I keep spare tyres) he made a BIG thing about the number of CT scans I have had and looked at me gravely telling me I am having too many and this was DANGEROUS.  More dangerous than perhaps missing the early re-growth of a nasty I asked? To which more tssking was heard.  Go and live your life he said.  And slammed the HUGE file shut. 

“So what do you suggest? Mr Spare Liver man?”

He prescribed an alternating diet of MRI and CT scans every 6 months.  A big jump from my 3 monthly check ups since the hiccup last year.  

Meanwhile The Siamese Cat (The one and only bowel surgeon) had been busy processing my 3 monthly CT scan for May.  Whilst Mr Spare Liver was sitting in front of me expecting an answer for his preferred plan of an MRI instead in August, giving me nice things to think about in the meantime like living.   Option 1 would have left me dealing with the results (good or bad) 6 weeks before The Wedding whereas Option 2 has me dealing with the results (good or bad) one month after The Wedding.

So, lacking a coin to flip, we played rock, paper, scissors and option 2 won.  “Ah very good” said the spare liver man. “Now where are you going on your honeymoon?” 

“Greek Islands, Santorini” I said “we’re hiring a motorbike to see the island and maybe a sailing boat”.  This elicited even larger tsskkks “I haven’t saved your life twice (well technically only once Mr Spare Liver Man, The Siamese Cat & Felix the Cat did the first time) only for you to squander it on the Greek roads “.  

Which makes me think, there must be a guide somewhere to this ‘baby bear’ living.  Too much of anything, ooh that’s bad, too little, tut what a waste, but getting it just about right, now there’s a challenge.  I am currently sitting on the settee writing this having had a little too much and suffering for it.  John knows about this only too well.  He regularly rebuilds me over the weekend only to see me crumble away as we get towards the end of the week again!

So I have a plan and this involved sitting in the same waiting room expecting to collect a shiny new medic to join my ever growing menagerie; we will call this one, Mr Handsome the pain controller.  Mr Spare Liver had kindly decided that I couldn’t Live My Baby Bear Life happily if I was still in pain, so referred me to get it sorted once and for all.  Whilst waiting, I saw Felix The Cat (aka Liver Surgeon Number 1) who assumed I was there to see him and authoritatively said “follow me”… which I very nearly did before I remembered I was having my sacrum injected today, not my liver tampered with.

The pain injections into the sacrum were painful but I have had worse.  Mr Handsome insisted I went into recovery afterwards to be monitored for half an hour before he could dismiss me.  I felt a massive wobbly fraud.  Even more as I ‘walked’ into recovery and was met by the Sister who said; “Oh, you fancied a little spoiling as a patient, did you?”  Now I may be mistaken but I think of spoiling as taking me to a nice hotel, feeding me good wine and chocolates, stroking my hair and being trusted to drive nice cars.  No-where on my list does dressing in blue backless gowns and having needles stuck into parts of my body only reserved for sitting on feature as spoiling. If that’s all the same to you.

So there is much living to be getting on with.  With a wedding fast approaching to the ever patient John. 

“Where are the blue authorities?” Asked John over the phone this morning, when caught slightly off guard by the registrar asking him for documents ahead of our appointment this Monday.

I asked Google but he didn’t know.  Too busy collecting our brains to make robot cars I suspect to bother himself with such trifles.

If ever there was a need for a list it was now.  And my lack of one means we I forgot to pick up our ‘blue approvals’ from the grilling we were given a couple of months ago by the registrar.  Luckily John located them in the registry office awaiting our collection, tapping their dusty blue fingers and sighing theatrically when he picked them up.  Which means I now need to write a LONG list over the weekend as it is now less than 6 weeks and I suspect there are things which need doing.

Until then keep out of trouble and much love to all x


5 thoughts on “Teaching myself to have faith in what will be

  1. Rachel,

    Tom von Kaenel here. You are awesome! I’m cycling across the States (again), this time self-supporting and self-funded. I started out in South Carolina on 1st Mar, cycled down to Key West, Florida (the southernmost tip of the US) and am now cycling up the California to go to Alaska.

    I am writing for two reasons:

    1) I must admit that I was feeling sorry for myself today. Although I’ve gotten off the pain meds since my accident, I still have daily pain in the hip that was shattered. I read your email after a long arduous climb, and was instantly inspired. You are really touching many folks with your blog – keep it up.

    2) Tell all the medical specialists with their no bedside manner to go ‘stuff themselves.’ I really wish that I had done that when they misdiagnosed and then delayed my treatment which resulted in me being nearly 6 feet under. They diagnose, you and whoever is the cornerstone of your faith make the prognosis. Keep looking for the ones that will combine with your indomitable attitude to cure yourself, once and for all. It will happen, and I suspect, it is already a done deal.

    Congrats on the wedding plans, super stuff for s super lady!

    Best wishes & prayers winging your way on a regular basis.

    Tom x

  2. Goodness me, TVK as I live and breath! Talk about inspired, you have just returned the favour. I was lying in bed grumbling about not being able to shake off this silly bug and feeling sorry for myself and there you are again cycling across the states with a pelvis which Picasso would have been proud of! Sending love and prayers to keep you going along highway 1 today and lots of good fortune alone the way. Will be following you on facebook now x

  3. This uncertainty’s the ‘crazy’ dust my life is sprinkled with. It’s a wretched way to live, but living it is, still. Dare – Dare – Double – Dare – How long can you go? I’m not sure it’s very easy to explain it to others in the way you’ve managed in this super post. Weighing up not finding something against causing something else is choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Over the years I’ve shifted to a new kind of denial by living in the moment, so the future and past moments aren’t governing my thinking (at least some of the time..! Other times, well..) The advice I have had (years ago and very recently) was to only come back if I had symptoms – Nightmare in many ways but I would definitely have had another cancer from regular CT scans by now, if I’d had that kind of regular check since 2001. And I have got used to it by managing to believe I’m ok.
    We’d like to know the correct choice but there isn’t one. I demand MRI’s and ultrasound when the needs arise before considering anything else. Are there no blood markers to monitor?
    1. Elastic Waisted Dress
    2. Comfortable Shoes
    3. Good Food
    4. Good Friends
    5. Cold Champagne
    6. Creative Photographer
    7. Bad Dancing
    8. Kissing (Lots)
    ..er – sorted
    Much love, Lisa xxo

  4. Dear Rachel,
    I found your book on a recent trip to Melbourne, having just come from an oncologist appt. I was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer at 31 18 months ago, and have recently had to have more treatment for a new tiny nodal recurrence…a slight hiccup in my ‘long term remission plan’! Your book was just what I needed. I laughed in recognition so many times, and realised that if you can be so upbeat and positive after all you’ve been through I can damn well pull myself out of my funk and get on with it as well! Thank you, congratulations on your upcoming wedding and I hope and pray for many more years of boring scans for us both!!

    • Hello Alexandra, thank you for your lovely comments. I am so glad my book helped s little. Someone once did the same for me so am just following in their footsteps. It’s amazing what we can get our heads around eh? Once the disappointment of your body letting you down again passes, I am sure you will enjoy life again! And yes pray away, boring scans it is. Good luck my love x

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