March this year began quite happily for me. My usual routine – house, swim, dog walk, coffee with a chum, game of bridge, planning a Spring break, maybe seeing my daughters and my grandchildren.
I am 68 and very much aware of how fortunate myself and my husband (who is a bit older than I) are. I had a serious session with cancer three years ago and, although traumatic at the time, I was learning to live with the regular check ups and scans that my oncologist deemed necessary.
Then the Coronavirus pandemic suddenly became a reality. Life really had to change. You’re living through it too so I won’t go over that, but what changed for me were three things.
One: how stunning the early Spring sunshine and the daffodils and early flowers were this year and how much I was enjoying walks with the dogs and my husband. Two: It was found that I had a nasty small lesion and it needed removing. Three: As we were in the older group we needed to self isolate.
After frantic heart-pounding calls to my medical team, all was revealed. I would be taken care of in an uncertain time frame because all the energies and resources were being focussed on dealing with the expected waves of Covid 19 cases.
I suddenly calmed and realised that I was in the hands of others and that I should concentrate on getting food deliveries to the house, try to make myself much more pleasant to the man with whom I was in lockdown with and to enjoy the waiting time as best I could. I loved doing the A&G yoga 10 mins and have really improved and slowed my breathing which will stand me in good stead post-op.
During April the wonderful sunny warm days have seen sowing of seeds, planting of shrubs and planning. Planning where to put vegetable seedlings and where to put the oh so healthy climbing rose that our kind neighbour gave to us. Planning where we might walk each day and what yummy recipe I might pull out from back articles of Annabel and Grace that I have saved, and cook for supper. And when the call came regarding my operation date, planning meals and what to put into my hospital bag – I packed enough for a short holiday and had to rethink!
I go into hospital this week. I am a bit nervous as the hospital is now an eerie silent place with no clinics or hustle bustle because so many things have been cancelled. But I know I will get the best care from the wonderful NHS staff.
However nothing can take away the intake of breath when we walked amongst the bluebells and wild garlic flowers. Watching my dachshund flying down a track with no one in sight. These memories I shall take with me this week as well as the many photos I have taken on my iPad. See you out the other side.
We would like to wish the lady who wrote this piece a very successful operation and a speedy recovery.
If you are in a similar situation and would like to talk to someone at this worrying time, call the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
More lockdown stories can be read here