I wasn’t able to write my blog last week due to unexpectedly being in hospital. In May I had a perfectly straightforward operation but encountered complications. Blood clotting problems. Haematoma. A massive infection. What should have been a two week recovery period took over two months. I didn’t really give the whys and wherefores a second thought. But never mind, because the annual summer holiday was looming and that would put me right. I’d only been on the aircraft half an hour when my ankles swelled up. I put it down to my age – old lady ankles were surely perfectly acceptable once entering your fifties. After all, if nobody had invented wax strips, I’d still be sporting an old lady fluffy chin.
On arriving at Chania Airport for the return flight home, a holiday rep insisted I see a doctor. I had to have a ‘safe to fly’ certificate as, by this point, my swollen ankles had also become swollen calves. Once home in England, I elevated my legs and got back to work. I was far too busy to trouble doctors. However, one week later I had two legs like tree trunks. I finally took myself to the GP to check it out. The GP suggested a blood test to make sure the kidneys were in good working order. And that, I thought, was that.Twenty-four hours later I had a phone call with my GP sounding frantic and telling me I must drop everything and go to A&E. I was horrified. I was diagnosed with CML. I can’t spell it and I’m not going to look it up on the internet because then you see all the negative stuff, and I’m not buying into that. On the plus side, I have been told there is a good success rate and although the condition cannot be cured, it can be ‘put to sleep’, which means staying on a drug for the rest of my life. I’m not buying into that either, and my haematologist has agreed that in three months time I can check out alternative practitioners. But right now, I’m just tremendously happy to know that I have a future.
Whilst in hospital awaiting results of blood and bone marrow tests, my sister told me to keep calm by meditating. So I gave it a whirl and, despite being sceptical, actually had some mind blowing experiences. I simply had to write it down. So I’m now working on a very short book (or a very long essay, depending which way you look at it) about this one week of my life which spanned both despair and great joy. I think the meditations may carry a message for others. It will be called ‘100’ because that number kept cropping up time and again as I wrote.
Which reminds me. A schoolboy told his parents, ‘I got 100 in my maths test and still didn’t pass.’ ‘Oh dear, why ever not?’ asked his mum. ‘Because the answer was 200...’