Believe it or not it’s been nine months since we have had a proper holiday (in Malapascua – https://vickygoestravelling.com/2013/08/13/in-which-we-dive-with-thresher-sharks-and-sea-horses/): our last one to Wakotobi was cancelled on the day of departure by my admission to hospital, so we felt we deserved a mini-break to relax and chill. I know many people might think my life is one long holiday, living in the tropics and swimming every day, or tagging along to Ross’s exotic work destinations but, believe me, living with cancer is hard work.
So here we are at the Six Senses Resort & Spa in Koh Samui. It’s an easy hop – only 1 hr 30 mins from Singapore; and we are picked up and whisked to our smart villa with its own private plunge pool within 30 minutes of arrival.
Ross is desperate to get underwater and I am curious to see if my leg will be strong enough to enable me to get down, and then swim around. It’s a gorgeous day, the sea is azure blue and flat, and we set of for Sail Rock, a good 1½ hrs by speed boat, near Koh Tao. The good news is that getting down is no problem; the bad news is I had underestimated how much weight I had lost, not only my leg muscle, but also in terms of body fat, so I sink like a stone and we have some interesting underwater manouevres to lighten up! Anyway, the two dives are lovely and replace my morning meditation as I float around in an other-worldly state.
The hotel is celebrating its 10th anniversary and, to be honest, it is showing its age a little. The staff couldn’t be more charming and friendly, and we love our free cocktails by the pool, but are disappointed by the famous Dining on the Rocks experience. The beach is overlooked and hot: one evening we take our free bottle of Prosecco and eavesdrop on a Oz/Singapore-Chinese wedding party. It is mesmerising: as soon as the guests arrive, even before the bride and groom, they all sit down and tuck in; even the groom, drinking a lager (!) chows down while his wife wanders the tables, and has to be dragged away to cut the cake! No-one is laughing, and barely a word is exchanged! It’s a pretty miserable occasion all told. I hope their married life is an improvement…
The spa, however, is excellent, and we enjoy massage a deux, with Ross having a simple aromatic treatment while I go the whole hog and have detox seaweed wrap, followed by lymphatic drainage and balancing the chakras through reiki.
In the mornings I do yoga classes, overlooking the sea, cooled by fans. My new friend Nancy took this photo of a Tibetan yoga pose we all tried. I also decide to take a formal class in mediation techniques. My teacher, a sinuous and lithe fifty-something European (German? French?) takes my breath away by appearing in the tightest budgie smugglers you ever seen. ‘Vatch my body’ he instructs, as I try to grasp walking meditation, which is jolly hard when you can’t put weight on one leg and ‘vatching’ him is something I would rather not do…
I also learn how to meditate using the chakras, but I am slightly befuddled as what happens if you can’t remember them all, so I download an app; Serge aptly calls one of the seven, the genital chakra, others call it the ‘sacral’ chakra. I guess I am not surprised…
On Sunday we hire a motorbike and whizz round the island. It’s pretty tacky in all honesty, so unless you’re staying in a luxury hideaway resort, I wouldn’t recommend it. Strips of tawdry shops, bars and restaurants, a bit like Bali, line the notorious Chaweng Beach. I was told – to my great relief – we had missed the Full Moon Party by one night. We try to visit the waterfalls, but are thwarted by bureaucracy, need to take ‘safari’ or ride an elephant (something I hate to see, the poor eles in cages) or walk 45 mins in order to see the water. Still a bit too far for me, especially up hill.
Back at the hotel Ross and I take a cooking class. We make 6 dishes in 2 hours, which is good going, I reckon. It’s all in the preparation, Thai food. Now Ross knows how to make pad Thai, green chicken curry and to chop all the ingredients finely. As a result I have a trained sous Chef, which was the objective!
All this quiet time gives me time to think, and I realise I am subconsciously counting the days until my scan and that the anxiety is beginning to niggle. I guess it’s impossible and I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t occasionally acknowledge my worst fear, that they will find a secondary on the lung. The news about poor Stephen Sutton and Louise Wilson, who both died this last week, may have contributed to this.
So it’s back to dry days, more yoga, acupuncture and healthy eating to help build up the immunity. As I say to myself, it will be so unfair if I fall between the cracks after all the work I’ve been doing, living with my cancer.