The other was that we met with my Marie Curie nurse last week and again spoke about the fact that it had been suggested last year that I speak with a Marie Curie nurse to make arrangements for where and how I wanted to be looked after when I was ailing a bit. And here we are almost 1 year and 10 months later speaking about the same issues again! Really quite remarkable how fortunate I've been in being able to carry on doing things despite the treatment and how my pain levels have been manageable. At the risk of being a bit dark it was also almost surreal speaking about how to handle what might happen when my time comes when I actually still feel quite well( though creaking a bit with the old bones). I'm still able to do things though I take a bit longer doing them than I used to- maybe not a bad thing!!
My wife and I made a tally of the things I've done since we were warned I might not be around so long- they include
- Building my great solar panel and fitting the whole system myself
- Redecorating our wee office/study
- Bought, sold( intentionally at no profit I may add!) and repaired a 30 year old campervan
- Building some decking at our back door
- Removing a lead water tank with my son( don't underestimate how big these things actually are!!) and replacing with a new CW tank
- Testing but rejecting two wind generators( involved being up on the roof- odd that my neighbours look away when I climb a ladder!!)
- Decorating our hall- upstairs and downstairs
- Relaying crazy paving
- Installing anti-escaping-spaniel-gates
- Building a greenhouse for Elspeth
- Sailed out to see the whirlpool at Corryvreckan
- A ten day campervan trip( my ears haven't recovered yet from the noise levels of a 30 year old Bedford van!) and a few weekends away in the van.
- Holidayed in East Angus
- Holidaying in Croatia
- Holidaying in St Ives
- Holidaying in Kinlochrannoch both last year and this
- Going to Tayvallich this week( west coast of Scotland
- Working on a report with Elspeth on anti commercial sexual exploitation of chilkdren issues
- Working on establishing a Centre for Rural Childhood at UHI
- Now doing preparation work ( demolishing wall/rerouting plumbing for a new bathroom
- Now renovating a 26 year old Dahon Classic folding bike
- I've also decided to get back on my bike as its actually easier for me than walking given the leg with the pin in it and where I've had at least 3 clots. My consultant has agreed to let me do this though he did note wearily that he'd prefer it that I didn't fall off.
And all the other things a family do. I don't make any claims about how wonderful this is- all I'm saying is that having had warnings last year about going to the football stadium in the sky, we've still been able to do a lot. In fact I must go and have a lie down!!- even writing the list made me tired!! But to others out there- keep going!
This wouldn't of course happen without the support of Elspeth and the kids( kids!- do you know how old they are Stewart!!) and with the continued friendship of many people. One of my friends says my illness is costing her a fortune- she prays for me ( I'm not a religious person but welcome the fact that someone who is a friend might want to pray for me) and she has been wearing out her prayer mats kneeling down. To help her out I sent her a copy of an advert from Screwfix Direct for industrial trousers with inbuilt knee pads. I think this is easier on her but she is now on her 4th pair already! Expensive business.
Elspeth and I were discussing the fact that, although I personally don't go down the complementary or alternative therapy route, being active and doing things- and lots of new things- is my own form of alternative therapy. I also have to acknowledge that I've been very fortunate in that though I have clearly been pretty ill some times, I've also been very well at others. I also seem to have less bone pain to deal with than other myeloma colleagues ( though plates in two arms and a tibia nail was a bit tiring and wearing). What I also have to acknowledge and I don't know where it comes from- I've been able generally to remain quite positive- though about 3 weeks ago I did find myself letting go a bit in a routine hospital visit with the tears flowing. Ach well- we're allowed to let go now and again. Be a bit surprising if we didn't.