On Monday 15 December I had my check up with the Prof. I had flown in the day before and had spent the day with Tommy, first at the Bench, with a late birthday tribute to Louise (always in our thoughts), and then in the pub with some of Louise’s friends watching the football. Consequently felt not only anxious about Monday’s appointment but also rather hung-over!
The relief of being told my chest x-ray is clear and there are no signs of lung secondaries is the perfect Christmas present. Hurray!
Only a year ago, I was hobbling around on two crutches with fifty stitches in my leg and in considerable discomfort following the removal of my tumours and then the radiotherapy burns. At airports I was confined to a wheelchair. My therapies include Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, loads of physio, and a complete change of diet. As a result I have shed 12 kgs and have never felt – or looked, dare I say it – better.
When I look back at 2014 it is hard to remember the anxiety and the pain of this past year.
Rewind: a year ago my surgeon said it was unlikely that I would ever be able to go uphill again (the surgeon in Singapore said I might even lose my leg!).
This week the surgeon said my plantar-flexor muscles in my left leg are as strong as my right, and this is due to all the physiotherapy, exercise (yoga, swimming, Pilates) and – his words – my sheer determination to live a normal life again. However, I will always walk with a limp and my leg still feels numb and tingles..
Photographic reminders of what I have achieved since then:
Swimming (at least 3 x pw, 500m) and yoga and Pilates 3-4 x pw
Riding a bicycle in Borobudur
Walking the Great Wall of China
Riding a trailbike
Trekking in Myanmar
Lots of walking round ancient monuments
And now – to try my hand at skiing – snow permitting (there ain’t none!)
In between the travels I edited a collection of my mother’s war-time letters: Love and War in the WRNS, which will be published in June. I also launched a website, www.healthylivingwithcancer.co. Please do have a look as I am putting most of the holistic content on there, as well as all my experiments in cooking. It also gives insights into my recovery…
So it only remains to wish you seasons greetings and all the very best for 2015. I am looking forward to it being a year of further travelling – skiing in Japan in Feb, Yunnan in May, London and book launch in June, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe in September, diving in Wakatobi, Sulawesi, in October – and who knows where else in between!