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The End and The Beginning.

It’s been over four months since I updated this diary.  I guess I’ve been waiting to for something definite to say, something to round off my musings and reportings.

And here it is – the results of my last CT scan were confirmed this week – no sign of active disease, no abnormal lymph nodes.  I’m still clear.  And I’m set free.  There are no more scheduled scans.  I’m booked in for a check-up in April next year but Dr. Kruger’s advice was not to worry about it if I found myself out of reach, sailing for some distant shore!  The fact that there are no more scans is both a liberation and somehow a concern too as I now have to let go of the support and reassurance of the Health Service.  I think it’ll take a little time to adjust to this.  How will I know if I’m still OK?

Well, my in-built body scanner is working full time and I imagine that I will know if things start to go awry again.  This time two years ago I didn’t know what was happening to me; two years ago that I pretty much passed out at the table eating Mum’s wonderful Christmas dinner, dealing with acute tiredness, weight loss, night sweats, eczema outbreaks and killer back pain induced by a glass of wine!

Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve and I’m heading up to see Mum and Dad this year, looking forward to that glass of wine, feeling pretty well and very, very lucky.

Otherwise, I’m picking up where I left off two years ago – finishing my home and studio building project, with the added impetus to get it ready to do some holiday rentals next summer, try some Air BnB bookings from Easter maybe and see how it goes.  Why not?  Let the building look after me for a bit.  And I can go and live on the boat, do some local sailing and if I get it organised well enough perhaps sail off the Brittany and spend some proper time with Ben and Isa and the children – I like the idea of over-wintering in Morlaix.  Ok, it would be cold and wet perhaps but snug on the boat and it’s France, and family; finally learn to speak french and start planning for warmer climes…

So, because I’m in a Conservation Area, there’s a final planning application to get in next month to allow me to put in an extra skylight and replace a window, maybe paint the facade.  And I’m working through my snagging list for the building, a bit of paint, a bit of varnish, some minor electrics, moving the washing machine etc.  I’ve solved the problem of the side window which for a decade has had the shutters closed as it looks out on the side of the block of flats next door, someone’s bedroom window and a bright security light shining all night – using two large Duratrans transparencies test prints of the BOY GIRL soaps which I’ve been storing for 20 years I’ve now have my own permanent light box installation:

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And of course works to the boat continue too – getting to know Selene’s Dragon from top to bottom.  I’m currently going through the electrics system, cutting out old wiring and equipment and tidying up the bird’s nest of cabling that’s been building up over the years behind the panelling:

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That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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And completing a (rather organic) wiring diagram at the same time:

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So, I’m doing well.  Life is pretty much back to normal, and the plan is to just get on with it:

Keep eating well (but try to wean myself off the organic 85% dark chocolate to which I confess a post-treatment addiction). This was lunch today – a thick veg soup with chicken bone broth and cooked mushrooms, garlic, chilli and fresh turmeric…ok, not as pretty as nasturtium summer salads but tastes good!

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Try again with the skylight succulents garden which expired in the summer through water neglect and a white root fungus, but I rescued some plants and propogated more so will have another go.

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Keep up with the Tai Chi – I’ve mastered a personal version of the Short Form now which is energizing and centreing (but maybe it’s time to return to teacher!)  My fingers and feet are slowly improving as the nerve damage numbness abates and I can balance on my toes now.

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And perhaps be easy on myself.  Nurse Gaynor was talking to me about cancer ‘Survivor Syndrome’ when I was at Treliske Hospital last week, and the current thinking from the health care team that it’s not necessarily over when it’s over.  This morning I heard some guy on the radio talking about periodic depression; times of acute negativity and self-loathing, which he eased by working in the woods and with his hands, and I recognise that.  For me it’s just the moment of waking really – it’s getting light but somehow it’s still dark – but I know that what I have to do is get up.  Just get up.  Everything’s OK – it’s been a testing two years – and this is life; don’t over worry, just live it.

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I think this is the last entry to my Lymphoma Diary.  Maybe it’s time to start a sailing blog, or finally make an artist’s website which can perhaps accomodate everything…

Writing this Lymphosite has been really helpful – a way of keeping tabs on what’s been happening and a good way of communicating to friends and family.  I’ve had a huge amount of love and support from you all along the way, and I thank you thank you THANK YOU!

Love Hadrian.