Monday, September 19, 2005

Day 32 - Holiday pains

I am painfully aware that life is a terminal illness. Life is not an infinite span of time we have here but a small snapshot of life, which needs to be lived and seized with both hands. On Sunday afternoon I thought my time had come. One thing I am starkly annoyed at about cancer is that before May I always filled out those medical questionnaires saying, no and nothing in my medical past. I always wanted some sort of choice when I went in 30 plus years time, but not to have to face my own mortality in such a short scale of time.

On Sunday afternoon I was driving my beloved Lizzie to Pandy, a small campsite nestled in the Welsh Black Mountains, close to Abergervenny. After 90 minutes I had reached Bristol. I was aware that I had stomach pains, which I put down to indigestion. I went over the new bridge into Wales and realised that my whole upper body was wracked with pain, my back was tight, and my stomach muscles, what is left of them had gone firm and there was a stabbing pain in my back. I managed to get to Magor services on the M4.

I really thought my time had come, I was alone in the lorry park of a bland M4 car park, my body was shivering and the muscles tightened. I worked out I was not having heart attack or stroke as the pain was restricted to my below my chest, however the stomach cramps increased. I thought is this cancer inside I did not know about. Its normal to think every minor illness is serious now, despite the fact its not connected. I found some morphine and most proberly had too much but within 20 minutes the pain had subsided and it was clear that I would not be ending my short life in an M4 car park. Of all the places to go an M4 service station!

It is clear that the pain was muscular, bent over and driving a van with no powered steering. I had done too much. I should have done the journey over 2 days or 2 stages I pushed my tired weak body to the limits. I arrived relieved to see Ron & Pat and the dogs and the pain melted away.

The night was quiet and relaxed, in fact I needed to rest and you can imagine when I hit the pillow I slept soundly will not ill effects from my traumatic experience. An experience, which I will not be repeating!

Monday 19th September 2005

I slept well there is something very therapeutic about camping, listening to owls as you snooze, the turmoil of the last few weeks sleep forgotten as I slept, only to wake at 6am on my body clock hour. I was able to snooze until 0730 ish when my book took over.

I am reading the girl in the red coat by Roma Ligocka. Roma was jewish, five and lived with her family during the 2nd World War in the Krackow getho. The book is a history of her childhood avoiding detection by the Germans whilst struggling to survive in the most degrading and awful circumstances. The book is one of those you cannot put down once you pick it up. The book makes you realise that perhaps things are not so bad when you consider what children went through during those terrible days. Living in constant fear of death at the hands of the Nazi death machine.

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