General

These Weeks

Due to a routine physical examination back in March required for her (then) employer, concerns arose about my wife possibly having cancer. It was a shock to us to say the least: she had had NO symptoms of anything and felt fine, she said. She was hurriedly looked at closely and it was then thought – but it was not certain – not to be cancer… yet.

I admit I have never so had the s-it scared out of me as I have felt at times since March. I did not even feel the same about my father’s 2014 heart failure (from which he recovered), or even my mother’s and my uncle’s deaths in 2015. These have been the most unsettling weeks in my life.

We decided to keep it from the rest of the family and most friends until we knew more. It is not easy to do that, though; and personally, it was especially tough for me: I had no one really to talk to about it and talking is how I β€œcope” with stress and plan ahead in life. (Not being able to talk to my mother and to my uncle, which had always been a release for me, is one of the main things I miss about not having them around.) At a subsequent examination in May, the growths were removed and found NOT to be cancerous.

[Stevenage, England. Photo by me, 2019.]

She went back into the same hospital yesterday for a follow up, and two tiny new growths or regrowths were discovered. Both were removed – and will be biopsied (again). And (again) the consultant does not think there is cancer… again, for now.

So it is, I suppose, mostly good news. The work examination raised the red flag and the treatments by the NHS have been quick. It all seems okay… for now.

My wife said I seem more stressed by all this than she is. Yes, I suppose maybe I am – because it is mentally wearing: she is after all not a father or an uncle or even a mother, but my wife. We are never quite prepared for this sort of thing. I had alluded to it in a post two months ago. When some weeks ago I’d confided to my sister-in-law (the mother of our recent travel companions in America) how alone I’d felt, she told me that there was no need to hide it; that I could have spoken to her privately.

[Stevenage, England. Photo by me, 2019.]

The British National Health Service (NHS) is the subject of a great deal of bad press in the USA – mostly from those who have never experienced treatment in it. In my nearly 20 years living here, I have NEVER experienced the nightmare it supposedly is. For instance, crowds of people near death while awaiting a “rationed” service? I don’t know. I do know yesterday that I was (as I was in May) the only one in that hospital’s specialized ward’s waiting area for most of the hour and a half of my wife’s procedure.

Then again, too much media thrive on gossip and even fostering fear. There are no ad sales in writing “news” declaring, “Well, uh, nothing important really happened today.” As the old story goes: we never hear about the 10,000,000 airplane flights that land safely; but we hear LOTS about the single plane that crashed.

I have learned also in my increasingly many years on this earth, that all we can do in life is go on. At one point while my wife was being seen to, I had a look at some of the artwork on the ward’s waiting area walls. It was at least distracting:

[Stevenage, England. Photo by me, 2019.]

Most of the time I was also proofreading and correcting more of my manuscript – which I had on my iPhone. Indeed the tale has been influenced in a few spots by my experiences since March. I am again thinking to myself this morning: finish the damn book now.

Oh, and I am not directing that last reminder entirely at myself. If you are writing, it is meant for YOU, too.😊

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I saw this yesterday when we arrived for an overnight visit: two of my novels, for some reason prominently perched on the end of one of my in-laws’ lounge bookcases. I recall weeks ago there had been only one sitting there. The, uh, elephant in the room… grows bigger.πŸ˜πŸ€”πŸ˜† . They haven't said a word to me about either. (I don’t even know for sure where they got them, but I have my suspicions.) I haven't mentioned them being there. Interestingly, one of my late uncle's novels – a hardcover gift he gave them years ago – has long been standing on a shelf just below and is still there.πŸ“–πŸ˜œ . It’s almost as if they want me to say something? I’m always happy to discuss them if asked, but I also don't really enjoy doing that: I never ***start*** that discussion. Often I see writers on social media wishing they could get reluctant family to read their books, but I’m more the opposite: I won’t tell anyone not to, but I kinda wish family would NOT want to read my novels.πŸ“šπŸ˜‚ . #goodmorning books #bookshelf #family #novels #reading #England #Enfield #London #travel #historicalfiction #fiction #romance #writing #writers #authors #photography #expats #writersofinstagram #authorsofinstagram

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Have a good day, wherever you are. πŸ™‚

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