28 Exmouth wooden seat outside A La Ronde 2
This wooden seat outside A La Ronde does not look too comfortable.

When I learn of the problems other people have or have had in their lives, I’m humbled. I realise how lucky I am. My worries are as nothing compared to many unfortunates.

Nevertheless, we did not have a good start to 2016, so we’re starting again!

The letter which arrived for me from the hospital at the end of December did make my blood run cold. I have to admit I was scared, more so because it was unexpected. I’d had a CT scan for my ongoing thyroid problems and thought no more of it as I have a follow-up with the consultant in April. The news on that was fairly good, but the scan had shown a change in my pancreas – a lesion. While the doctors thought it may not be significant, I was concerned as a cousin of mine had died from pancreatic cancer when she was younger than I am now. That disease is hard to diagnose too.

Trying to sort this out was impossible until the surgery opened in the New Year, but I have to say our local surgery acted promptly in referring me and taking blood tests. The radiologists had suggested a special scan, an endoscopic ultrasound.

However, the first appointment to see the relevant consultant could not take place until March, so with the help of a mutual society in funding me, I decided to ‘go private’. Even this was not straightforward, as after several false starts, I discovered there is only one consultant in the whole are who can perform this test, whether on the NHS or private.

I managed to have an appointment with him quite quickly and he tried to reassure me that it quite possibly was not cancer, but he couldn’t be sure without the test. I went ahead with the request, but still had to wait several long weeks. If it was necessary and safe to do so, the consultant would perform a fine needle aspiration through the wall of the stomach to the pancreas, a procedure not without a few risks. If it looked like cancer, he would not be able to do it due to the position of the lesion; it could spread cancer cells, so he would not take that risk.

In the event, when I had the test, on the 25th February, he could tell without using the needle test, that in fact there are two cysts on the pancreas, which he believes will not trouble me. No cancer! What a relief, and since then I’m recovering from the stress of the wait. After all, I should realise that I’m no youngster and anything can happen at any age, but I love being here and hope to stay for a few more years yet. My guardian angel has taken care of me once more.

At the end of that week,  I had some good fortune with my writing as well, as if to say that life is on the up again. I received a small cheque from the Crystal Magazine as winner of the previous issue. Just what I needed to spur me on to try some more writing.

There’s nothing like a health scare to galvanise one into action. My office (cupboard under the stairs) has never been as clear as it is now. It’s not perfect even now, as I hoard so much, but boxes of magazines, which I had hoped would provide inspiration for writing, have now been thrown out. A lot of unfinished writing has been placed in a pile to be completed; some has been discarded as worthless. I’ve tried to organise my personal affairs so that in any sudden change of circumstances, my dear husband Mike would not have problems. He has several health problems anyway, and he’s not happy dealing with paperwork, so I’ve tried to simplify everything. Not a bad thing to do really and all because of a scare. I intend to continue with the task by clearing out unwanted clothes and other items. We don’t need as much as we seem to accumulate.

Now we’ve had a weekend break away in Exmouth, in sunny Devon, to clear the stress from our bodies, and make a fresh start. Photos are from that area. Happy New Year.

6 Exmouth calm waters 2
calm waters at Exmouth
35 Exmouth A La Ronde 2
A La Ronde, a National Trust property near Exmouth







10 thoughts on “Starting the Year Again

  1. Sorry to hear what you’ve been through, Chris. I can well imagine how stressed and worried you were feeling. Really nice to hear a good news story although depressing to read yet more information about how rubbish our healthcare system can be!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. It was the waiting which really made me feel so stressed. Once you know what you’re dealing with, it’s possible to face up to most things. Hope you’re keeping well, and have enjoyed your holiday. Sunshine looked lovely!

  2. Chris, you are so right, there is nothing like a health scare to get your priorities set straight. I wish you all the good health you can possibly have! You have inspired me to clean out my accumulations because I like you have so much I don’t need anymore. It’s amazing how over time “stuff” just seems to grow in piles or in closets. I so strongly believe in preventive care and by that I mean good diet, good living, and maintaining stress to a minimum. I heard one of the dumbest “according to research” data a few weeks back. Those of us who are aware, know stress kills. Yet according to this research there is NO link whatsoever between stress and cancer and so the findings stated, stress is not a factor in cancer. I heard this and my mouth dropped. Who is kidding whom? Same radio station has commercial after commercial promoting a well known cancer hospital here with all kinds of “data” how many people will get cancer and how. I finally turned the station off even though it plays my favorite music. Nothing like “programming” people’s minds. *sigh* Really! Anyway ……. GOOD LUCK!!!! ❤

  3. My Dear Chris, Really Very, Very Glad things have turned out Well. It is a Lot You have been through. But You, Ably supported by Your Dear Husband, have come out with Shining colours. Wish You Very Good Health, and All the Best in Your Writing too. Love and Regards.

  4. So happy you are cleared. Having lost so many friends my age in the past few years, it does make me stop and think. I am on a throwing out binge myself. Donating boxes of stuff to the Goodwill store. I don’t want my friends to go through what I went through with my mother who was a hoarder. When we are young we want to accumulate more stuff. But as we get older most of us want to live more sparsely. Congrats on your writing.

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