Tag Archives: Crete

57, and not planning to be out…

It is now almost 4 years since I thought I had only those 4 years and so I have been celebrating a birthday. I don’t care what age I am, whatever the age, it is truly something to enjoy. Every year feels like a bonus and I am happy that I am actually here to get older.

  • Dealing with each day as if it is my last has engendered an attitude of awareness of what makes me tick, big or small.
  • I am thinking myself “well”
  • Physical travelling has been indulged – in the past 4 years I have been on so many adventures and am loving it…Crete, Israel, Jordan, Deep South US, Salzburg, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, St Petersburg, Dublin, Saint Lucia as well as Hay-on-Wye, Brighton, Bath, Manchester, Harrogate, Liverpool.
  • Not sweating the trips or outings I have had to cancel
  • Perhaps more importantly I have also travelled from utter despair to contentment, albeit taking a rather kinked? kinky? tangential? route
  • Living life vicariously is not living at all
  • Family and friends (ancient & modern) have made the world a better place for me
  • I have reframed the challenges I want to undertake and have, finally, accepted that some you win, some you lose!
  • I also know how easily tired I get and am learning (or, more truthfully, am on the learning curve for) how to stop/opt out/cancel/take time out when head says yes and body says no.
  • Indulging my creative and academic sides through writing, art, silversmithing, photography, studying again….and on a different level altogether – nail art, taxidermy…the list keeps on growing
  • My new benchmarks for living – serendipity, psychotherapy, reading and laughing whilst climbing every mountain (as it were!)
  • I am not planning on dying with any regrets of things not done/achieved
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Blowing hot and cold

I have been to Crete and back since I last blogged and in the process have discovered the possible cause of the Greek economic problems. Everybody (certainly in Crete) is so incredibly open, warm and generous! I have stayed with and met the most amazing people, dined on the most fabulous fresh food, drunk delicious Cretan wine (and raki) as well as soaking up the very hot sunshine and swimming in the Aegean. Yes…I swam in my bizarre and unnecessarily fluorescent mastectomy swimsuit…and survive to tell the tale.

Had a fascinating day in Spinalonga – the island where Greek lepers were sent 1903-1957. It felt somehow incumbent upon me to visit “my people”, even if they were in the cemetery. Since my foul skin rash and constant itchiness of the past year I have been conscious of a deep affinity to all lepers. Perhaps they have been conscious of me also as since the visit/pilgrimage the rash has lessened day by day. (Of course it could be that I am for the first time, more than 3 weeks from my pertuzumab treatment which is thought to be the cause of the “leprosy”)

But now I am back to face the music this week. It has been very liberating to have a week where I haven’t had to get undressed for doctors, have multiple blood tests or go in a machine of some sort. BUT….my on-going treatment starts at home on Monday. Apparently because the drug is being given in a community rather than hospital setting, it has to be infused over two hours rather than the usual half an hour. By the time the cannula is put in and the flush at either end of the treatment is given, this will mean a good half day. Wonder if I have to talk to the nurse all this time or whether she will have other business she can attend to…I had rather imagined lounging around in the sitting room with cat in lap whilst this all took place rather than making conversation…Hmmm…

Tuesday is my multiple hospital appointments. It looks like they have been re-arranged so that I can manage them all in the same day, I hope that is the case. There is a lot to discuss this time which always makes me nervous. Whether I go back to the surgeons again will also depend on this appointment. Then GP appointment later in the week.

So back on the hamster wheel and back to grey skies but if I close my eyes there is still Crete.