Friday, 11 February 2011

Every little helps

Now that my computer has been rescued from the flames in real-time, we can revert to blog time, which at this particular point is running in October 2010.

On Sunday 3 October my wife and I went to morning service at church, where infant baptisms were taking place. It is always a joyful occasion when parents bring their new or nearly-newborn to be introduced to the local church family and invite that family to support and encourage them and their children in their walk of faith. Babies and young children are naturally bearers of hope and on these occasions goodwill, shared joy and laughter predominate, with the parents and godparents in their best outfits and the babies (sometimes with older, cheekier siblings in attendance) all fresh and new. For the clergy officiating there is always the mild peril that one or more of the children will act up, but this particular service passed off without incident.

After the service I sat in the recently built extension to the church, which abuts the eastern wall and which is filled with natural light streaming through the windows in its sloping roof. The extension was not yet fully commissioned, but would in due course house the creche where parents preferring to give their whole attention to divine service can leave their children to play happily (or usually so).

Here I got into conversation with a member of the congregation I have known for quite a few years and who grapples with a serious and long-standing medical condition. On this particular day I was profoundly pleased to see him looking really well and with more energy than usual. He told me, with a broad smile on his face, that he was feeling the benefit of new medications. The change in him was so evident that I was able to rejoice with him and also to take some encouragement for my own situation from the knowledge that medical science does not stand still.

We went home to a delicious lunch of salmon and roasted vegetables. Although I felt tired in the afternoon I managed to do 20 press ups. Would I be able to keep up this good work?

On the following day, Monday 4 October, feeling shaky, I was initially not at all sure that the good work was at all within my grasp. Nevertheless I persisted and managed to perform 20 press ups as well as to hold a front plank position for one and a half minutes.

Plank exercise (basic, front position)
Good for the abdominals and developing core strength, the latter so important for good back health and stability

I followed this up with the assault course otherwise known as “shopping in Tesco". Mindful of good diet and the need for antioxidants I bought some chocolate with an 85% cocoa content.

These various exertions had the desired effect on my motivation and I was able to spend a good part of the day in personal administration. It is a bare statement of fact and no false modesty to say that my financial interests are not extensive. Nevertheless I find that, even with—or perhaps because of—online banking, security card readers, passwords, PINs and the like, basic money management takes an inordinate amount of time.

Supper consisted of a good salad with jacket potato, baked beans, grated cheese and tuna mayonnaise, food whose simplicity always appeals.

The following day I was due to see the haematologist for the next of our now regular appointments. Previously unbeknown to me, my wife had been doing some more reading up of her own and we had both come across the word “rituximab", an intriguing substance which seemed to be having good results in the treatment of various lymphomas, including mine. We agreed that it would be a good idea to ask the doctor whether this agent could have any role in my treatment. It would however turn out that rituximab, far from travelling solo, would bring along some fellow passengers as well as a fair amount of baggage. More will be revealed soon.

George Osborne, now Chancellor of the Exchequer,
In blog time he has just made an important announcement about welfare, but here looks a bit of a plank himself.
Let's hope he has learned a bit more about the whys and wherefores
of welfare since his days in the Bullingdon Club.

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