I’ve just had a couple of bad days when I suddenly became overwhelmed by the bleak prospects of the future.
Until now I have immersed myself in practical planning, but I think when Maelle delivered the report from Lyon confirming the Mixed Müllerian Tumour, it finally shut down some doors of hope. Yes, there is hope, possibly 50%. But it would have been so much easier if I had had a normal cancer of the uterus. Why do I have to get a very rare one which they don’t really know how to treat?
I thought of my friend Sylvia, weeping as she said she wanted to see her grandchildren grow up. Well I don’t expect to be there when mine are adult, but I do want to follow their story a little longer. My daughters also. I want to be there to see the 30 olive trees I have just had planted grow to maturity. I want to have the courage to take up the cello again. I want to fulfil my dream to return to India – and explore elsewhere.
Once again, in the Saturday market, when I bump into so many friends and acquaintances, I find myself undecided how to reply to the inevitable question “Ca va?” usually followed by exclamations of how well I look and am I ready to take off now my hip is finally better. Do I reply ‘ça va’ or do I say, actually no, I have cancer and am about to go into hospital. My dilemma is becoming easier because word of mouth information means that increasingly my friends stop to wish me well rather than ask me how I am.
Well, I hope I have got over this bleak moment, helped by a day of eating and drinking with my friend, Deborah – my companion of the months in the Hopital du Vigan. And now I have a whirlwind range of activities which threaten to use up every moment of the next two days: a visit to Sylvia, visits from Joceline (my physio) and Charles and Pierre, an extended lunch party today at Christine Capieu’s, reply to dear friends who write or phone, the arrival of Jean Pierre, my builder, to continue work in the two houses (he doesnt know yet that I wont be there), hiring someone to continue to cut the grass which Joris hasnt finished, packing, checking my medical records are all in place … …
I must also spend some time playing with Poppy, before she goes into kennels for the first time in her life on Tuesday morning. I’m not too worried: Laure is a pleasant, animal-loving young woman, and it is only five or six days before Hans and Margaret return from holiday to take over. But it is a bit like taking a child to primary school for the first time. Will she cope with being outdoors only during the day? Will she handle the attentions of the two boisterous sheep dogs plus any other pensionnaires?